Dominion Brook Park, North Saanich

Dominion Brook Park, North SaanichThis park is a gem. Four and a half hectares of parkland developed, in nineteen twelve on the lower eastern slopes of Mount Newton, using imported and native plants. Curiously, hundreds of plants collected worldwide over the last one hundred years are for us to explore, right in our backyards. Originally a public display garden associated with the Dominion Experimental Farms, this park was granted the name through connection with the Dominion Parks Branch, now Parks Canada. In its early years it had several famous visitors and continues to welcome many more, maybe that is you. This parkland was designed and landscaped to take advantage of the rolling and rocky terrain as well as the creek that flows through a series of small ponds. There are rock walls and several rock and concrete stairs that lead to the flowing waters of Dominion Brook. The large ornamental garden with exhibition arboretum is maintained by the Friends of Dominion Brook Park, a for-purpose association working to maintain the plants and parkland. As it is located next to the Center of Plant Health, the old Dominion Experimental Farm, a federal funded quarantine center for Canada, there is a chain link fence lining the southern and eastern sides of the park. There is also a chain link fence barrier around much the ravine for the creek and ponds. Enjoy the view of the ocean waters of Bazan Bay and the islands in the Salish Sea including James, Sidney, Forest and Gooch islands. On clear days the San Juan Islands of the United States and the snowy peak of Mount Baker make a beautiful backdrop for photographs in this park. There are plenty of benches, viewpoints and picnic sites to enjoy on your exploration. This park can be accessed from pathways off Marshall Road yet the best access is off of East Saanich Road. The old experimental farm park is popular and is frequented by hikers, dog walkers, and gardeners.

Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 20″ W123° 25′ 4″

Dominion Brook Park can be reached from Pat Bay Highway. Leave the highway at Exit 26, the McTavish Interchange, a unique and confusing series of roundabouts that make a multi-circle roadway overpass. Take the third exit onto McTavish Road then take the second exit to stay on McTavish Road. Follow McTavish Road to the East Saanich Road intersection. Turn left onto East Saanich Road and continue past the Panorama Recreation Center on the right. Dominion Brook Park is indicated by the large sign to the left. There is roadside parking along East Saanich Road in front of the park along the split-cedar rail fence. Alternatively, catch a city bus to this park from along East Saanich Road.

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