I'd also tend to agree that UBC has a much stronger reputation that UVic, and also that there's significant distance between them. For particle theory, UBC is heavily biased towards string theory, and is one of the (only) major centres for it in the country. In experiment, there is participation in a large number of collaborations, from neutrino experiments in Japan to ATLAS at CERN, and also R&D for the ILC. Another plus is that the campus has its own cyclotron and associated (large) facility, TRIUMF, which brings in particle experimentalists from around the world to conduct research, and has a large number of research opportunities both on its own and in conjunction with the UBC physics department.
The only thing I know about UVic is that they are also active in various collaborations—any other info I could give you would just be from their website, so I encourage you to check it out for yourself.
Have you considered SFU as well? They have (at last count) three faculty working on ATLAS, if that's where your interests lie.
As far as cost of living is concerned, it's rather high in Vancouver, but I can't speak for Victoria. There is reasonably-priced student housing on the UBC campus, though. Keep an important semantic distinction in mind: "West Vancouver" is a separate town, a suburb of Vancouver mainly populated by the wealthy elite, while the "West End" of Vancouver is likely what you're thinking of.