Rice Mill Landing Park, Victoria, B.C.

Rice Mill landing (Capital Iron) upper harbour

The Rice Mill Landing Park has scenic lookout point with wonderful views of the upper harbour of Victoria, B.C. This small area is primarily used by patrons of Ocean River Sport and Capital Iron stores yet there is a harbour ferry dock at the small marina in The Design District. There is an arbour sheltering a bench near the end of the wharf. Another bench is set up under an arbutus tree near the kayak storage racks. Black berry bushes cling to the shoreline. A huge metal funnel and other pieces of ships can be seen at this park, perhaps remnants from the iron salvage operations. The wreck of the Green whaling ship can be seen just below the wharf during low tide. This park is along the David Foster Way, a five kilometer harbour walk from Barclay Point to Odgen Point. The proposed Barclay Point Park is to the north. Central Park and Royal Athletic Park is to the east, about five blocks. The Canoe Club Boardwalk is to the south.

Geographic coordinates N48° 25′ 51” W123° 22′ 17″

Rice Mill Landing Park can be reached Blanchard Street. Turn right at Discovery Street and continue to the end of the road past Store Street, which is also called Wharf Street. The park is accessed from the lower parking lot for the Capital Iron and Ocean River Sport stores. There is limited parking in this parking lot or along Wharf Street. City buses travel along Douglas Street in this part of downtown Victoria, B.C.

Canoe Club Boardwalk, Victoria, B.C.

Canoe Club dragon

At the base of Swift Street, in Victoria, B.C., there is a sculpture of swirling indigenous looking sea dragon named ‘Four Winds’. This art piece was created by Chris Johnson. It lies near the boardwalk section of the David Foster Way and beside the ramp to access Mermaid Wharf. Included as part of the David Foster Way, the Canoe Club Boardwalk divides the large outdoor patio of the Canoe Brew Club, Restaurant and Marina; If you are curious, the food and drinks are delicious. The boardwalk continues along the waterfront and overlooks the small marina. Near the turnabout of Swift Street, the boardwalk passes through the patio area and up a flight of stairs toward Herald Street. There are black berry bushes, shore pine trees as well as landscaped gardens as part of the Canoe Club. Rice Mill Landing Park is to the north. Central and Royal Athletic parks are about five blocks to the east. Johnson Street Green and Reeson Park are to the south along the David Foster Way, which at this point is along the sidewalk of Wharf Street.

Geographic coordinates N48° 25′ 47” W123° 22′ 17″

Canoe Club Boardwalk can be reached Blanchard Street. Turn right at Fisgard Street and continue to the end of the road past Store Street, which is also called Wharf Street, to reach Swift Street. There is limited parking along this part of Swift Street and along Store Street. City buses travel along Douglas and Government street in this part of downtown Victoria, B.C.

Johnson Street Green

Johnson Street Green

Shore pine, London plane and elm trees shade the three parts of Johnson Street Green. These small landscaped areas are meridians formed by junction of several streets. A section of railway commemorates the Esquimalt Railway. The trees provide shade over the benches and the statue of Michael C. Williams designed with a friendly repose. This busy area of Old Town Victoria was envisioned by Mr. Williams, a business man, who shaped the Swans Hotel and Brewpub, just across Pandora Street, by redeveloping an old “ugly duckling” warehouse. Johnson Street Green is located near Reeson Regional Park and Canoe Cub Boardwalk.

 

Geographic coordinates N48° 25′ 41” W123° 22′ 11″

 

Johnson Street Green can be reached Blanchard Street. Turn left onto Pandora Street and just before the bridge make a sharp right turn onto Store Street parking area. The Green is to your left. Several city buses provide access to this Old Town area of Victoria, B.C.

 

Reeson Regional Park

Reeson Park wharf view Reeson Park Wyland

Located next to the Wyland wall mural of Orca whales along Wharf Street, Reeson Regional Park is a waterfront park near the Johnston Street Bridge, Victoria, B.C. Reeson Park has a large concrete and rock promenade and view point along the sidewalk of Wharf Street. The rock and grassy area just below the sidewalk are great places to enjoy the view of the harbour and to enjoy a stroll along the waterfront toward downtown, via the David Foster Way, or across the bridge to Westsong Walkway. This park, donated by Gorden Reeson and Peter Pollen, has a couple of large granite outcrops with several benches over a sloped terrain. Embedded into one of the rocks is a large mooring ring, which dates back to a time before the wharfs were aligned along the shore and ships would use a two point anchoring system. A row of large shore pine trees are along the north side of the park. Take a moment or two appreciate the magnitude of the mural of the group of A-pod whales on the wall of Victoria Regent Hotel at 1250 Wharf Street; it is a large rectangle of fifty meters by forty meters. This park is close to Johnson Street Green, Bastion Square and Centennial Square. Reeson Landing is along the walkway from Reeson Park to Wharf Street docks; this walkway forms a section of the David Foster Way along Victoria’s Harbour. Bastion Square, Customs House Green Space Ship Point Park and the Canoe Club Boardwalk are nearby.

Geographic coordinates N48° 25′ 38” W123° 22′ 16″

Reeson Regional Park can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn right onto Johnson street. Continue to Wharf Street where you turn left. The park is near the corner of Wharf and Johnston Street. There is limited roadside parking. City buses travel along Johnston street.

Bastion Square, Victoria, B.C.

Bastion Square GreenBastion Square is an open air courtyard along the road right of way for View Street in downtown Victoria, B.C., between Government Street, Langley Street and Wharf Street. There are terrific views of the waters of the Inner Harbor and many wonderful shops and restaurants. Hanging flower baskets, boxwood hedges and a few small trees add texture to the concrete and brick causeway and can be enjoyed from numerous benches. The unique outdoor sculpture called the ‘Commerce Canoe’, by artist Illarion Gallant, is a huge aluminum canoe and a few reeds with fiberglass cattails, and commemorates an early mode of transportation. The nineteen o-six light beacon, a lantern with Fresnel lens, from Trial Island Light house is located outside the Maritime Museum of British Columbia. This eighteen eighty-nine building was the former court house for the region. Reeson Regional Park, Johnson Street Green and Canoe Club Boardwalk are along the David Foster Way to the north. Customs House Green and Victoria Harbour Causeway to the south.

 

Geographic coordinates N48° 25′ 33” W123° 22′ 11″

 

Bastion Square can be reached Blanchard Street. Turn right onto Pandora Street then right onto Wharf Street. The square is seen to the left between 8 and 15 Wharf Street. There is limited roadside parking along Wharf Street. A large parking area below Wharf Street is accessible near the junction with Fort Street. City buses travel along Douglas Street.

David Foster Way – Harbour Pathway – Victoria, B.C.

store street mural water side 2

From Barclay Point, near Rocky Bay, to the Ogden Point breakwater is the David Foster Way. This waterfront pathway along the Inner Harbour of Victoria, B.C., is about five kilometers long. Although, it is easy to get distracted by the unique shops and restaurants in Chinatown and Old Town and the beautiful scenery, give yourself a couple of hours to explore your backyard in downtown Victoria. This meandering route leads through the unique historical areas and developments along the waterfront of Victoria. This makes it a distinctive area to explore using the parks and green spaces along the way. The north end of the walkway is near Barclay Point at the corner of Store and Pembroke streets, where the Victoria Gymnastics Club building is a landmark; this area is currently under construction and redevelopment. This grass pathway connects with the sidewalk along Store Street, which is also called Wharf Street by some businesses, and passes by the Capital Iron building, built in eighteen ninety three. The David Foster Way branches around this building so you can either continue along the sidewalk of Wharf Street or diverge to the wharf level. There are great places to see either way. The roadway to the wharf level leads to a parking lot and outdoor storage for Capital Iron. This road is extends of the western end of Discovery Street. A stroll through the parking lot leads to the Rice Mill Landing Park where Ocean River Sports has its outdoor toys. Continue past the kayak and board racks toward the boardwalk to the wharf. Turn up the trail to pass the picnic tables and an exquisite phoenix mural on the wall of the Value Village store, at 1810 Street, to reach the door-like gate that opens to Herald Street. This gate might be locked. Walk across the street, with a view of the boats and waterway of the harbour and the Victoria Ship Yard in Vic West, to the wooden staircase and boardwalk that passes through the Canoe Club patio.

Store Street Shore garden near Canoe Club 2

The board walk continues along the shoreline toward Johnston Street Bridge, past a blue oatgrass garden, and up through the parking lot to Wharf Street. The junction of Wharf Street with Johnston Street has several green spaces to enjoy as well as some outdoor art sculptures. At this point the pathway passes through Reeson Regional Park, along the boardwalk past Reeson’s Landing to the Fort Street Wharfs. Bastion Square is up the flight of wooden stairs and across Wharf Street. Or continue past the marina toward the Customs House Green which has a boardwalk that connects the two lower causeway parking areas. Continue along the waterfront past Ship Point Green to the Victoria Harbour Causeway. The David Foster Way continues along the south side of the causeway along Belleville Street. Stroll past the Parliament Building Gardens and Confederation Park to the Belleville Street Lookout, near the Belleville Ferry Terminal building. Quadra Park, Belleville Street Green, Centennial Park, Laurel Point Park, Heron Cove Park, Fisherman’s Wharf Park, the Coast Guard Rooftop Gardens and Green Space, Camel Point Green Space to reach Ogden Point.

See individual parks and green spaces along the way for waypoints along the way.

The downtown area of Victoria has several different means of transport available including bike and car taxis and harbour ferries. The Victoria Harbour Ferry stops are along the David Foster Way and include The Design District, Swift Street Landing – Mermaid Wharf, Hyack Adventure Center – Reeson’s Landing, Harbour Air wharf and Victoria Harbour Causeway – Empress Wharf, Belleville Terminal, Coast Harbourside wharf and Fisherman’s Wharf.

 

The City of Victoria has further information about the David Foster Way on their website.

Customs House Green Space

Garry oak trees along boardwalk of Victoria’s Inner Harbour mark the green space of the Customs House. This board walk connects the two parking areas that are below Wharf Street. The trees and shrubs soften the concrete and rock landscape that surrounds most of the simple brick and stone three story building, also known as the Malahat Building. This building was built in eighteen seventy four for the Dominion government. Designed by the city’s chief architect T.S. Scott, it is considered unadorned even with its mansard roof and oval dormer windows. The perimeter of the building has landscaped hedges, flower beds and a small grass over area with an anchor and a uniquely carved spindle, one of seven signs of the Lekwungen, a Coast Salish family group. Near the edge of the small parking lot north of the building are mooring rings that had been used to secure ships to shore. As a means to accommodate numerous vessels along a shore line, boats could bow anchor and then stern tie to the mooring ring. A small plaque describes this site as the location of Fort Victoria. This space is part of the David Foster Way, a five kilometer harbour side walk. Bastion Square and Reeson Regional Park are north along Wharf Street, where as Ship Point Green Space and Victoria Harbour Casueway are to the south.

 

Geographic coordinates N48° 25′ 29” W123° 22′ 12″

 

Customs House Green Space can be reached Blanchard Street. Turn right onto Broughton Street, pass across Douglas Street, then turn right onto Wharf Street. The green space surrounds the heritage brick Customs House. There is limited roadside parking yet two parking lots are on either side of the green space. City buses travel along Douglas Street.