St Marys’ Green Space

The grounds of Saint Marys’ are two separate green spaces that host buildings of the third oldest Anglican congregation on Vancouver Island. Located in Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District, St Marys’ Church heritage site, at 4354, was created in the late eighteen seventies. It is used mainly for periodic events. The newer building and grounds border along Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park, about two kilometers to the east.

The heritage church green space, St Mary the virgin, has a welcoming garden among the final resting areas of the many of the earlier pioneering families of the Metchosin area. The grounds were donated for consecration by the first initiate Mr. John Witty. The garden has several unique trees and shrubs including a weeping Lawson cypress planted in about eighteen eighty eight. A coronation English oak was planted on the 25th of June in nineteen thirty-seven. In the springtime the burial grounds are covered with the flowers of the white lilies. The garden is maintained by volunteers. A second building hosts a preschool with a small playground shaded by the arbutus and Douglas fir grove.

The green space at 4125 Metchosin Road hosts the parish, St Mary the Incarnation, with a large paved parking area. These are surrounded by a grass covered area with a border of large Douglas fir trees to the south. Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park is beside this green space.

Geographical location N48º 23’ 18” W123º 31’ 34”

St Marys’ Green Space can be reached from Highway 1, the TransCanada Hwy. Exit at the Millstream /Veteran Memorial Parkway overpass and head south along the Veteran Memorial Parkway to reach Latoria Road. Turn left onto Latoria Road and continue along to reach Metchosin Road. Turn right onto Metchosin Road and watch for the signs to Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. One church with its large parking area lies immediately beside the lagoon parking lot. The other church grounds is about two kilometers along Metchosin Road. There is limited roadside parking along Metchosin Road near the gated entrance. City buses travel along Metchosin Road.

Further information about the heritage sites can be found at websites for Old Cemeteries in BC, Heritage BC and the church.

Pioneer Square Park

This post is updated here.

Ross Bay Cemetery Green Space

RBC trees 2 RBC pine trees 2 RBC Chilean pine

Eleven hectares along the water front of Ross Bay, Salish Sea, form the Ross Bay Cemetery, and its green space, in the Fairfield community of Victoria, B.C. This cemetery is like a large neighborhood park that has a unique arboretum, amazing sculptures and monuments as well as plenty of benches and pathways. There is even a restroom located near the southwestern corner, off Memorial Crescent. It is a remarkable site to visit as a hiker, history buff as well as a naturalist.Two creeks, East Creek and South Fairfield Stream, once flowed through these lands forming deep ravines that have been diverted into culverts. The ravines were filled during development in this area which now hosts space for over thirty five thousand interments. These consist mostly of double-depth plots. The tombstones vary from ornately elaborate gabled Gothic tablets, obelisk and bi-columnar monuments to simple granite tablets and screens. Thus allowing remembrance of the various historical figures of Victoria, B.C. Numerous trees and shrubs were planted in eighteen seventy two during development and are considered heritage trees for this area. Due to its proximity to the seashore, salt spray tolerant trees and plants form the windbreak and border along Dallas Road and Ross Bay Walkway. These include white pine, Wheatley’s and cork bark elm and tamarisk, a salt cedar, trees. Within the park are several Garry oak trees, black locust and big leaf maple trees. A large Camperdown elm, Ulmus glabra, a form of Scotch elm tree; and atlas cedar tree can also be found along the pathways. The trees that form the length of Memorial Crescent are a mixture of conifer trees including a temple juniper, Austrian pine, Chilean pine, Japanese red pine, and Himalayan white pine. The hedge plants form the park border along Memorial Crescent, Fairfield Road and the alleyway of St. Charles Street include ash, boxwood, English hawthorn, holly, laurel and yew. There are several books and many brochures like those provided by the Victoria Heritage Foundation and the Old Cemeteries Society with burial information in this cemetery. Clover Point Park, Ross Bay Walkway, Little Ross Bay Park, Hollywood Park, Porter Park and Moss Rock Park are nearby.

Geographic coordinates N48° 24′ 39” W123° 20′ 39″

Ross Bay Cemetery can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn east onto Fairfield Road. Look for the cemetery at 1495 Fairfield Road between Memorial Crescent, St Charles Street and Dallas Road. There is limited roadside parking and numerous access trails to the grounds. City buses travel along Fairfield Road from downtown Victoria.

Ross Bay Seawalk

Ross Bay eastern shore 3

Come to Ross Bay to enjoy a wonderful seaside walk along Dallas Road. This is also a spectacular place to see storm waves crash along the beach or, in May of each year, watch the sailing yachts start the Swiftsure Yacht Race. With the choice of strolling over cobble beach stones, beached logs or along a concrete sidewalk, this seawalk suits just about everyone’s mobility. Located between St Charles Street and Memorial Crescent, the six hundred and twenty meter seawalk is right along the shoreline of Ross Bay. The trail is part of the seawall that protects the shores of Fairfield and Ross Bay Cemetery. The wide concrete seawall, built by nineteen fifteen, was redesigned with the addition of the large cobble stones and three long granite boulder groyns to diminish the flow of water along the beach. These projections can be seen along the shoreline at low tides. About fifty years early, in the mid eighteen hundreds, both East Creek and South Fairfield Creek drained into the bay. These creeks would have added small sediment to the waters and replenished some of the beach area. Along the upper areas of the beach. look for beach lupine, a low sprawling pea plant, gum weed^, a yellow flowering aster, and beach grass; plants that help to stabilize the shoreline. The views across the Salish Sea and Strait of Juan de Fuca toward the Olympic Mountains of Washington State, USA, are wonderful. Named for Isabelle Mainville Ross, Ross Bay and part of the cemetery were once her farm land. Ross Bay Cemetery is an interesting place to extend your walk for both the gardenlike setting of the grounds as well as the unique grave stones and monuments. If the winds are light, this area can be used to launch a kayak or paddle board, although the tidal currents are worth paying attention too.


Geographic coordinates N48° 24′ 32” W123° 20′ 39″

Ross Bay Seawalk can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn east onto Fairfield Road and follow along to Memorial Crescent. Turn right onto Memorial Crescent and then turn right at Dallas Road. There is limited roadside parking along Dallas Road near this intersection. The walkway is to the east and Clover Point Park is to the west. City buses travel along Fairfield Road from downtown Victoria.

^ (this plant looks like a dandelion)

Little Ross Bay Green

View of Little Ross Bay Green from Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, BC

View of Little Ross Bay Green from Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, BC

Little Ross Bay Green is a waterfront park on the eastern side of Ross Bay, Victoria, BC. Adorned with a large Garry oak (Quercus garryana) tree, this park commemorates Charles Ross, a former Hudson’s Bay Company Chief Trader. After his death, his wife, Isabella, purchased the land between what is now eastern half of Ross Bay Cemetery and Harling Point in eighteen fifty three and developed a farm for her family. A concrete, granite and slate bench with an embedded placard is found on the ridge above the bay. At the southern end of St Charles Street, a ramp with a gentle slope leads to the cobble beach of Ross Bay. This is picturesque place to start a stroll along Ross Bay Sea Walk toward Clover Point Park or wander into the cemetery where many historical and early pioneers of the area are remembered. There are excellent views across the Salish Sea and Strait of Juan de Fuca toward the Olympic Mountains of Washington State, USA. If the wind is light it can be a good spot to launch a kayak or paddle board. Wildwood Avenue Green Space is to the east and Hollywood Park is north along St Charles Street.

Geographic coordinates N48° 24′ 35” W123° 20′ 11″

Little Ross Bay Green can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn east onto Fairfield Road and follow along to St Charles Street. Turn right onto St Charles and look for the park located across Dallas Road. There is limited roadside parking. City buses travel along Fairfield Road from downtown Victoria.

Pauquachin First Nation Green Space

Surrounded by a forest of Western red cedar, Douglas-fir and big leaf maple trees, this green space is the pleasant burial site of the Pauquachin First Nation community. With views toward Saanich Inlet and sheltered from the east by three hundred and five meter tall Mount Newton, or Lau,Welnew, this is a apt place for a final refuge. The grave markers are mostly wooden crosses adorned with symbols and in a variety of styles. The trail along the McTavish Road Green Space is across West Saanich Road.
Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 48″ W123° 27′ 27″
You can get to this green space from Pat Bay Highway. Leave the highway at Exit 26, the McTavish Interchange, an 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 past the East Saanich Intersection and continue until you reach West Saanich Road (BC 17A North). The cemetery is on the left at this intersection. There is limited road side parking along West Saanich or McTavish roads. While you are here make time to visit Th-kaut, the 1100 year old Douglas-fir tree of Ardmore Golf Course, and Cole Bay Regional Park.