British Columbia Parliament Building – Rose Gardens

Parliament Building Birdcages chair Parliament Building Rose Garden

The Legislative rose gardens were developed as a relief project in the nineteen thirties on the foundation of the one of the Birdcages of the Parliament Buildings in downtown Victoria, B.C. Rededicated to the nineteen eighty-six Premier of the British Columbia W. Bennett, the garden has several varieties of Souvenir De Baden-Baden hybrid tea roses. Designed by the B.C. Public Works chief architect H. Whittaker, the rectangular shaped rose garden has a conventional perimeter of boxwood hedges and sun dial in the center of the cross shaped concrete walking path. There are several well placed benches to enjoy the fragrance of the rose garden. About fifteen meters to the east of the rose garden, toward the library of the parliament building, is a replicate of the Speaker’s Chair with the tri-cornered hat on a table. Take a seat what has been named the most uncomfortable chair in the house. Just behind the chair is a redwood tree, possibly planted in the mid nineteen forties. Be sure to take in the lawn and birdcage outdoor areas of the BC Parliament Buildings.

Geographic coordinates N48° 25′ 10” W123° 22′ 16″

British Columbia Parliament Building – Rose Garden can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn onto Belleville Street and follow turn left onto Menzies Street. The rose garden is on the right half way along the street. There is limited roadside parking in this downtown area of Victoria.

Maps, photographs and a walking tour of the Parliament Building gardens can be found on the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia website.

British Columbia Parliament Building – Lawn

Parliament Building empress tree 2 Parliament Building sequoia

Lawns with some lovely landscaped garden form the grounds on the north side of the British Columbia Parliament Building and complement the majestic neo-gothic architecture of the building. Several monuments like the Douglas Obelisk, a statue of Queen Victoria and a Knowledge Totem pole are found here as well as the cenotaph and a fountain. The eight meter tall marble obelisk acknowledges the father of British Columbia, James Douglas. The bronze statue of Queen Victoria stands four meters tall and was raised in nineteen twenty one. The totem pole symbolizes the teacher, interpreter and player with a loon, fisherman and frog carves in the cedar pole. The cenotaph, composed of Nelson Island granite, hosts a statue of the Unknown Soldier and honors Canadians who died in the wars. The semi circle driveway has oak trees and an empress tree, or royal paulownia, gifted in nineteen ninety five. A giant redwood tree near the obelisk was planted in the eighteen sixties.

Geographic coordinates N48° 25′ 14” W123° 22′ 14″

Parliament Building Lawn can be reached from Blanchard Street. Stay on Blanchard as it curves to become Belleville Street. Continue along Belleville Street past the building’s lawn and look for parking along side streets. There is limited roadside parking and most of it is pay parking in downtown Victoria.

 

Maps, photographs and a walking tour of the Parliament Building gardens can be found on the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia website.

British Columbia Parliament Building – Birdcages

Parliament Building Birdcages 9 Parliament Building Birdcages 3

The grounds on the south side of the Parliament Buildings in downtown Victoria are a Heritage British Columbia site called the Birdcages. The original five legislative structures, resembling unique birdcages with styles of Chinese pagoda, Swiss cottages and Italian villas, for the British colony on Vancouver Island were used in eighteen sixty. With the growth of the region, four of the buildings were moved, mostly demolished, when the current provincial capital building was completed by eighteen ninety eight. The fifth one survived until it succumbed to a fire in the nineteen fifties. There are numerous trees and shrubs placed in the ground beside the lawns, notable a copper beech tree planted in nineteen nineteen and a stately American elm tree estimated from the Birdcage period. The beech is located along the pathway from the water fountain to the fireman and law enforcement memorials; the elm is closer to the junction of Superior and Menzies streets. The water fountain, a centennial fountain built in nineteen sixty two, commemorates the four colonies that formed British Columbia with animal motifs: gulls and sea otters are surrounded by a raven, eagle, bear and wolf which represent the Haida, Tahltan, Tlingit, Nootka, Salish and interior regions. The fountain is in a circular concrete plaza with several benches and picnic tables. A large ornamental cherry tree provides shade to the southwest side of the small plaza. A pathway from Superior Street leads toward the wide thirteen step staircase to the portico on this end of the building. The lawns are surrounded by a boxwood hedge with several shore pine and other coniferous trees.

Geographic coordinates N48° 25′ 6” W123° 22′ 14″

British Columbia Parliament Building – Birdcages can be reached from Blanchard Street. Blanchard Street curves to become Belleville Street. Continue along Belleville Street then turn onto Government Street. This street in the downtown area of Victoria, B.C., has the gardens for the Empress Hotel, Thunderbird Park, the Royal BC Museum as well as the Parliament Buildings. Turn right onto Superior Street and look for parking along this street; note your parking spot for payment.

Maps, photographs and a walking tour of the Parliament Building gardens can be found on the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia website.

Confederation Garden Plaza

Confederation Park trees Confederation Plaza fountain

Refresh your memory on the Coat of Arms for Canada’s provinces and territories at the Confederation Garden Plaza, maintained by the British Columbia Legislative Assembly. This plaza is often referred to as centennial park. Take a moment to watch the spray of the central tiered water fountain and waterfall before observing the Coat of Arms shields. The shields hang on a concrete and rock wall with a cascading waterfall. Each shield maybe somewhat familiar since most provincial and territorial flags duplicate parts of the symbols. There are also dates for confederation for each region in Canada. The fountain and plaques are lit at night. There is small lawn area near the large plaza with knolls of granite rocks that form the bedrock for much of Southern Vancouver Island. Shore pine trees and other plants are seen near the northern side of the park while a weeping cedar covered entrance is found on the south side. This plaza hosts a couple of other monuments. Learn about the historical agreement for the border of western Canada between Great Britain and Russia from the two sea otters, hunted for their pelts, beside a book-like plaque. Find the female statue lifting an olive branch and bird that acknowledges the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion. This monument honors those Canadians who volunteered to fight in Spain just prior to the second world war (and whose name came from Louis Joseph Papineau and William Lyon MacKenzie, disparate leaders in the eighteen thirty seven rebellion in Canada). Pathways to the plaza of the Confederation Garden are from Quebec Street, Belleville Street and Menzies Street. There are many parks and green spaces near the plaza like Quadra Park, Belleville Street Green, Centennial Park, Laurel Point Point, David Foster Way, Parliament Buildings Gardens, Thunderbird Park, Irving Park, South Park, Empress Hotel Gardens, Cridge Park and Beacon Hill Park.

Geographic coordinates N48° 25′ 14” W123° 22′ 18″

Confederation Garden Plaza can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn onto Belleville Street and follow to past Douglas Street. The plaza is across the road from the Parliament Buildings and next to the Hotel Grand Pacific. It is bordered by Quebec, Menzies and Belleville streets which have limited roadside parking in this area of downtown Victoria, B.C.

 

Quadra Park

Quadra Park 8 Quadra Park 6

Along Belleville Street, near Owsego Street, in downtown Victoria, B.C., is a landscaped park with a statue of an explorer: Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra. Captain Quadra explored the west Coast of North America for the Spanish Royal Navy in seventeen seventies onboard the frigate Sonora. His name has been favored for Quadra Street in Victoria, B.C., and Quadra Island, which lies east of Vancouver Island across from Campbell River. This statue makes this park a popular historical waypoint and geocashe site. The footpath, about a hundred meters, curves and circles throughout the gardens with rhododendrons, birch, Garry oak and other trees. Quadra Park is close to several hotels and many other parks and green spaces including Belleville Street Green, Centennial Park, Laurel Point Park, David Foster Way, Confederation Garden Plaza, Parliament Buildings Gardens, Thunderbird Park, Irving Park, South Park, Empress Hotel Gardens, Cridge Park and Beacon Hill Park.

Geographic coordinates N48° 25′ 17” W123° 22′ 16″

Quadra Park can be reached from Blanchard Street. As Blanchard Street curves to become Belleville Street continue along it to reach Oswego Street. Turn left onto Oswego Street to reach this downtown park which lies on the corner of Oswego and Belleville streets. There is limited roadside parking.

Belleville Street Green

A large anchor rests near this grass covered along Belleville Street. Belleville Street Green lies between the street and the Clipper Ferry Terminal, a passenger catamaran to downtown Seattle, Washington State, USA. There are benches and picnic tables that are useful while waiting for the ferry to arrive or depart from Victoria’s inner harbour. The sidewalk along Belleville Street forms part of the David Foster Way, a pedestrian pathway along the south shore of Victoria’s harbour. There are many parks and green spaces near by such as Laurel Point Park, Quadra Park, Centennial Park, Fisherman’s Wharf Park, Parliament Buildings Gardens, Thunderbird Park, Irving Park, Confederation Garden Plaza, South Park, Empress Hotel Gardens, Cridge Park and Beacon Hill Park.

Geographic coordinates N48° 25′ 19” W123° 22′ 29″

Belleville Street Green can be reached Blanchard Street. As Blanchard Street curves to become Belleville Street continue along past the museum, parliamentary buildings and hotels to reach Oswego Street. The small park is at 254 Belleville Street beside the Clipper Building. There is limited roadside parking along Belleville Street in downtown Victoria, B.C.

Centennial Park, Victoria, BC

Laurel Point walkway from Centennial Park

Centennial Park is nestled between Laurel Point Park and Belleville Street Green, such that these green spaces are often considered one, in downtown Victoria, B.C. Located next to the Admiral Inn on Pendray Street and the paved fire lane access to the Inn on Laurel Point, Centennial Park is a small landscpaed waterfront park with a pathway that splits to connect with the two paths of Laurel Point Park. The lower pathway is near the shoreline, although there is no access to the mud flats of James Bay or the water; the upper pathway is a few meters inland. The walkways are separated by garden beds and trees. The Stores Building, constructed in nineteen twelve, on the Raymond Wharf lies near the shoreline of the park. There are many parks and green spaces near by like Laurel Point Park Quadra Park, Belleville Street Green, Fisherman’s Wharf Park, David Foster Way, Parliament Buildings Gardens, Thunderbird Park, Irving Park, Confederation Garden Plaza, South Park, Empress Hotel Gardens, Cridge Park and Beacon Hill Park to name a few.

Geographic coordinates N48° 25′ 21” W123° 22′ 33″

Centennial Park can be reached from Blanchard Street. Stay on Blanchard as it curves to become Belleville Street. The park is at 200 Belleville Street near the junction with Pendray Street, the Clipper Ferry Terminal and Admiral Inn. There is limited roadside parking along Belleville Street and a small parking lot at the Clipper Ferry Terminal.

*Centennial Square is a different site and is located next the Municipal Building at Douglas Street. Confederation Garden Plaza, often referred to as Centennial Park, borders on Belleville, Menzies and Quebec streets.