Visiting: Victoria International Airport (YYJ)

Illarion Gallant’s ‘Bouquet of Memories’. Photo by Ray Shipka

Stuck at the Airport hopped on the Victoria Clipper for a 3-hour ferry ride from Seattle, Wa to Victoria, British Columbia. And on arrival, we jumped in a cab and headed north about 15 miles to Victoria International Airport (YYJ) for a look around the expanded terminal. And to taste some award-winning gin.

Courtesy Victoria Int’l Airport. Photo by Landon Copplestone

Art at Victoria International Airport

Arriving passengers at Victoria’s YYJ airport enter the terminal’s bright central rotunda. And there they find live plants, floor-to-ceiling windows, inviting seating areas, and, overhead, Robert Wise’s gently moving “Roulette” sculpture.

Courtesy Victoria Int’l Airport

There’s lots of other art in and around the terminal as well.

Out in front of the terminal, Illarion Gallant’s colorful “Bouquet of Memories” welcomes departing passengers with giant aluminum and steel poppies.

Also out front, Charles W. Elliott’s “Totems” trio.

Photo by Ray Shipka

Elliott’s carvings are also featured in the Eagles Landing Observation Lounge on the YYJ’s third floor and in the bag claim area.

 Sul Sul Tan Spindle Whorl #1

And two rotating exhibitions curated by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria both display works by area artists and offer the work for sale.

Food and Drink at YYJ

A few steps beyond Tim Horton’s is the Fickle Fig Farm Market, whose farm can be spotted across the airport airfield. The menu features seasonal, sustainable, and very locally-grown items.

And post-security you’ll find an outpost of Victoria Distillers, which produces a full line of award-winning Empress 1908 gins and other spirits at a waterfront distillery nearby in Sidney.

Victoria Distillers at YYJ offers travelers complimentary samples of all its gins and sells bottles of all its gins to go. There is also staff on duty to blend, bottle, and hand label the company’s purple-hued Empress 1908 Indigo Gin.

This famous gin is blended with botanicals, the signature black tea served at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, and butterfly pea blossom, which gives the gin the signature indigo color.

The only other airport that has a distillery on its premises is London Gatwick Airport (LGW). There, The Nicholas Culpeper – the world’s first airport distillery – has been open since 2016. The distillery makes ‘The Nicholas Culpeper London Dry Gin,’ which is named after a famous botanist and is distilled from an exotic blend of ingredients, including Chinese Cassia Bark and Angelica root from India.

British Columbia Aviation Museum at YYJ

Courtesy British Columbia Aviation Museum

Another bonus amenity at YYJ is the British Columbia Aviation Museum located on the southeast corner of Victoria International Airport’s property. The museum has a wide range of aircraft, as well as engines, photographs, models, and other aviation artifacts related to the history of aviation in Canada, with an emphasis on British Columbia aviation history.

Thanks for visiting Stuck at the Airport. Subscribe to get daily travel tidbits. And follow me on Twitter at @hbaskas and Instagram.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *