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Canada’s mildest climate surrounds this 80,000-person city—the province’s capital—with lush greenery year round. It sits on Vancouver Island’s craggy south end, anchored by two splendid structures: the neo-Baroque, blue-domed British Columbia Parliament Building and the ivy-cloaked turrets of the Fairmont Empress hotel. Designated a National Historic Site of Canada, the hotel has become a symbol of the city. In best British-heritage style, the elaborate afternoon tea here includes scones and dainty crustless sandwiches.
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