In the prosperous post-war era of the 1950s, Premier W.A.C. Bennett decided that Victoria, as the capital city of the thriving province of British Columbia, deserved to become the focus of beautification and enhancement. Consequently, on the first day of March, 1956, an act was passed in the legislature establishing the Capital Improvement District Commission (CIDC).
In the beginning the CIDC included representation from the four core municipalities of Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Saanich, and the City of Victoria. Eventually it was expanded to include all of the Saanich Peninsula and the Western Communities as far as Sooke and Port Renfrew.
The Commission endeavoured to aid municipal and civic interests by supplying advice, capital funds, and impetus to undertake projects that might not otherwise have been realized.
The CIDC’s very first project in 1957 was to improve parts of Victoria’s Dallas Road waterfront at a cost of $65,345. In the fifty years hence, we have committed approximately $19 million for various improvement and beautification projects.
In 1977 the CIDC became the Provincial Capital Commission (PCC) and was charged with the stewardship of several provincial properties of historical, heritage, and natural significance, such as the Crystal Garden, St. Ann’s Academy, the CPR Steamship Terminal, and the old Imperial Oil Service Station with its unique art deco tower.
The vision of the PCC was expanded again in 2003 to include a broader, province-wide directive to “connect and celebrate the Capital with all British Columbians.” Through outreach and education initiatives, the PCC endeavors to foster pride and awareness in all British Columbians in the diverse cultures, rich history, and natural beauty of the province and its Capital City.