Victoria has a bit of a granola-y reputation among your demographic. If you're a hard-nosed business-oriented person fresh out of Harvard Business school I guarantee you'll feel frustrated by the whimsical nature of what and how things get done. And I write this from Vancouver, a global hot-bed for laid-backness and zen.
That said, it has a vibrant cultural and arts scene. Monday Magazine
is the city's alternative / arts / culture weekly newspaper.
Nelly Furtado is from Victoria. Diana Krall is from Nanaimo, just a few miles up the Malahat Highway.
Victoria, of course, is on Vancouver Island. Ferry fares are expensive: expect it to cost you $100+ just to get off the island and back on again if you drive.
Victoria is the capital of British Columbia. Next May there will be an election where it is about as certain as the sun rising in the East that the NDP will be elected. The NDP is the 'leftist' party in the province and has its roots in socialism so the politics will be nothing like you've ever experienced before- if you think the Democrats are left-wing pinkos you ain't seen nothin' yet.
The country's only elected Green Party member represents the riding (district) just North of Victoria, Saanich and the Gulf Islands.
Places to live: that all depends. Victoria has quite the 'alternative' scene for its size. If you are LGBTQ, then look towards James Bay area, southwest of downtown. If you're more red-meat, then you might want to look towards View Royal and Colwood. Oak Bay is quite establishment.
Fairfield is kind of where the 'hipsters' hang out while the unemployed and unemployable spend much of their time loitering on Douglas Street between Broughton and Johnson Streets but I imagine you'll just see them, rather than join in on their revelries.
"Vic West" has seen a resurgence in recent years with many new condo developments springing up.
The club scene is a bit weak- but there is a healthy coffeehouse scene and you'll enjoy plenty of opportunities for drinking in purely unadulterated bars.
Restaurants, on the other hand, are really good... some great funky hang-out places and lots of the big-name chains.
The airport is not convenient to downtown at all. It's a 1/2 hour away on a divided highway so if you're looking for a place to live near the airport, then Sidney is your choice- but you'll be the youngest person living there easily by about 20 years.
It used to be a city dominated by British ex-pats, making it more English than jolly olde England herself but most of those folks have moved on to the Great Britain in the Skye so Victoria is suffering a bit of an identity crisis at the moment.
If you're going to UVic, student housing is plentiful up in Saanich, along the Mackenzie Avenue, Shelbourne Avenue corridors. There are even finds in Oak Bay- an establishment city if ever there were one.
When I lived in Victoria in the 1980s, I went to UVic and lived in Saanich and later in Oak Bay. I liked the feeling of Oak Bay with the ocean just a few blocks from where I lived on Lulie Street.
While quite hilly, one of the really great things about Victoria is that so long as you don't stray too far into the 'burbs, everything is very close. Physically, it's on a small peninsula.
Hope this helps. The basis for my info goes back to my memories from that time mixed with more recent and frequent visits as a tour guide- but even that's getting a bit more dated now. If you have any more questions I might be able to answer, PM