Freedom of Information

The City of Victoria is committed to:

  • open and transparent government, including improved quantity and quality of records available online
  • providing easy access to information and records

The three primary methods to access City records are the City's website, direct contact with departments or formally under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

City records available online include:

  • the Open Data Catalogue, containing a wide variety of records. This includes archival holdings, heritage buildings, parking restrictions, zoning and information on businesses
  • Document Library, providing electronic copies of the most viewed documents and publications. This includes Statement of Financial Information, Annual Reports, Task Force reports, etc.
  • access to City Council and Committee agendas and minutes
  • City Archives provides online access to Ross Bay Cemetery information from 1872 to 1980. The Death Notices Index from 1901 to 1939 and the Marriage Notices Index from 1901 to 1939 are also available.

Routinely Available Records

Under sections 70 and 71 of FIPPA public bodies “must make available to the public, without a request for access under this Act” specific types of records including:

  • policy and/or procedures manuals
  • guidelines
  • policy statements
  • annual reports
  • bylaws

Section 70/71 of FIPPA

If you are seeking the above information, it can usually be provided routinely. You do not need to provide a written request for the information, and it is often provided in short time. To find out if the information you want is routinely available, contact the City department that you believe has it. If the department you contact does not have the information you want, you will be directed to the department that does. If the information is not available, staff will direct you to someone who can process access to information requests under FIPPA.

Submitting a Formal Request for Access

If the information you are seeking is not routinely available, you can submit a formal request for access under FIPPA. Section 5(1) of FIPPA requires all applicants to:

  • request access to records
  • request access in writing
  • provide enough detail for staff to identify the records you have requested access to
  • be reasonably confident that the City has the records you are seeking access to

If you require assistance with writing your request, please use one of the contact options below. State the assistance you need and staff will respond within 48 hours.

To submit a formal request, please contact the City at: 

  • Email:
  • Fax: 361.0348
  • By mail or in person:
    City of Victoria
    1 Centennial Square,
    Victoria, B.C. V8X 1P6


The Act provides, under section 75, that the City may charge fees for the costs of providing applicants with records. Commercial applicants must pay the actual cost of providing the service. Non-commercial applicants must pay $7.50 per quarter-hour after the first three hours. This fee is for locating, retrieving and preparing records for disclosure. Additional fees such as photocopying and shipping also apply. If there are costs involved in processing a formal request, an estimate will be provided before processing the application. A schedule of fees is contained in the City's Freedom of Information Administration Bylaw 

Freedom of Information Administration Bylaw [PDF/170KB]

Victoria Police Department Information Requests

The Victoria Police Department is a separate local public body. All information requests for records in the custody or control of the Victoria Police Department must be directed to:

Legal Services Section
Victoria Police Department
Telephone: 250.995.7654