A rowdy, rollicking popular history that celebrates the tales of Victoria’s drinking establishments in their heyday.
From the raunchy saloons that lined Victoria’s notorious Johnson street to the lavish high-class hotel-bars like the Driard and the Empress, Aqua Vitae is a collection of fascinating true stories from the days of swinging doors, smoky bars, and five-cent beers.
Read about how the quick actions of an employee of the Bee-hive saloon saved a young Emily Carr from possible death. Discover the gruesome secret uncovered by a startled worker who was prying up the floorboards of the Omineca saloon. And find out about the grisly murder of Mike Powers, the proprietor of the Garrick’s Head, a pub that still does a thriving business today.
Carefully researched and accompanied by 70+ archival photos, Aqua Vitae covers the time from when the first saloon appeared in Victoria in 1851 to 1917 when prohibition shut the party down.