The Victoria Harbour is the focal point of the city, and the waters that surround it reflect the magnificent scenery that includes the Parliament Buildings and the Empress Hotel. The port and working harbor that is Victoria Harbour is always bustling with activity. Some of the types of vessels that make regular use of the harbor include fishing boats, vessels used for ecotourism and whale watching, recreational motor and sailing craft, industrial barges, ferries carrying cars and passengers to the state of Washington, recreational water taxis and passenger ferries, and industrial barges. Dragon boats, canoes, kayaks, rowing shells, and stand-up paddle boards are all examples of non-motorized recreational boats that are frequently seen on the water. Large vessels can dock at Ogden Point, which is located at the southern entrance to Victoria Harbour. These include cruise ships, vessels used by the coast guard, and ships that repair fiber-optic cables. More than 700,000 cruise ship passengers are expected to visit Victoria Harbour in 2019. The harbor is also used as a busy aerodrome, where seaplanes and helicopters land and take off for both private and public transportation purposes. Over 80 aircraft movements, including takeoffs and landings, take place each and every day on average. The harbor is still home to a variety of maritime businesses, including those dedicated to shipbuilding and repair. In addition to harbour ferry docks and waterfront walkways, there are a number of marinas in this area.
With the exception of a few locations close to Macaulay Point and West Bay, almost the entire shoreline of Victoria Harbour has been altered from its natural state. The only exceptions are the areas directly adjacent to those two bays. Despite the fact that both the industrial past and the urban present have had a negative impact on the environment, there are still ecological values that are important to preserve. Opportunities to restore some of the natural characteristics of this heavily modified environment are presented by new developments and redevelopments along the shoreline of Victoria Harbour.