When it comes to advertising a home in Victoria, the mediums on which to do so are nearly endless. Agents today can choose from social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and even TikTok (!), or various real estate websites. But what about the original advertising platform; namely, newspapers? Well, it turns out the first papers in the city predate Pemberton Holmes, which is really saying something! And surprisingly enough, there are more than you might think! Check out below for our timeline of Victoria’s historical newspapers!
June 25, 1858 – November 26, 1859 Victoria Gazette #1
Following the gold rush from California in the 1840’s, a number of men involved in the newspaper boom to the south arrived in Victoria around 1858. As in the south, the first paper was produced, which was named The Gazette. As it turns out, the islands Governor, James Douglas, may have had a part in the naming of the paper, and even attending the printing of the first issue in The Gazette offices alongside several Hudson’s Bay officials!
July 28, 1858 – September 1858 Vancouver Island Gazette
This paper, introduced by Frederick Marriott, only lasted a few months after failing to receive official sanction.
September 1858 - ? News Letter for Vancouver Island and New Caledonia
This was Marriott’s second attempt at a paper, and while it failed, it did include some neat features, such as a blank last page for miners to use for letter writing!
September 11, 1858 – October 8, 1858 Le Courier de la Nouvelle Caledonie
While published by Paul de Garro, Marriott was also involved in this paper! While there were a few French-speakers on the island, there simply was not enough to sustain the printing of this publication.
December 11, 1858 – August 31, 1980 (The Daily Colonist) The British Colonist
Published by Amor de Cosmos, this paper was the Colonists first competition. As its reform-bent content contrasted to the more traditional Gazette, this paper was able to outlast its predecessors.
Sept. 17, 1859 - Mar. 10, 1860; Feb. 13, 1861 - Feb. 27, 1861 New Westminster Times and Vancouver Island Guardian
Captain Edward Hammond King and Leonard McClure were behind this publication, which only lasted several years, potentially due to accusations it was government controlled, or perhaps due to its minimal advertising.
Dec. 5, 1859 - Sept. 29, 1860 Victoria Gazette #2
The original Gazette was sold to King and McClure, which influenced its pro-Douglas content shift. But just as with the government-supporting Times, this paper, after being sold to George Nias, was eventually published as part of The Times.
Mar. 9, 1861 - Oct. 16, 1862 The Daily Press
After a change in political affiliations, McClure renamed and reshaped the Times into The Daily Press, though eventually sold it in order to shift to his own political career.
Oct. 28, 1862 - June 23, 1866 The Victoria Daily Chronicle
This daily publication was started by journalists of the Press, David W. Higgins and James Eliphant McMillan.