Edwards Park

Edwards Park, View Royal 2 Edwards Park, View Royal view point

Edwards Park is a five and half hectare ‘E-shaped’ nature park in View Royal, B.C. It borders on the eastern slopes of the two hundred and two meter tall Mill Hill in Mill Hill Regional Park. It also borders along Crystalview Park which lies within the municipal border of Langford, B.C. Chilco Road divides the middle section of Edwards Park from the playground in Robin Hill Park. Edwards Park has steep slopes covered with mosses, lichen and ferns. Moss covered stumps show it was selectively logged, perhaps around the turn of the twentieth century. Small groves of arbutus trees intermix with towering Douglas fir trees. A one hundred and fifty meter long gravel trail leads from the summit of Crystalview hill from Bamford Court. The view is toward the southeast where the Salish Sea area called Esquimalt Harbour can been seen. Views of the summits of Mount Douglas, Mount Tolmie and Gonzales Hill can also be seen. Mill Hill Regional Park, Chilco Park, the Galloping Goose Trail, Thetis Lake Park, Nursery Hill Park, Garry Oak Meadow Park, The Galloping Goose Trail and Kelvin Grove Park are nearby. The parks within Langford: Crystal View Park, Rudy Crescent Green Space and Tanzanite Park border along Edwards Park. There is also a pleasant three hundred meter pathway on the southern area of Edwards Park that connects Chilco Road to Tanzanite Place. The green space at Crystal View Elementary School is also nearby. This is a popular area for walking in your backyard.

Geographical location N48° 27’ 23” W123° 28’ 24”

Edwards Park can be accessed from the Trans Canada Highway, Hwy1. Exit onto the Island Highway and stay to the left to merge with traffic going under the freeway and railway overpasses. Exit onto the Island Highway and stay to the left to merge with traffic going under the freeway and railway overpasses. Turn right onto Six Mile Road then left onto Chilco Road. Follow Chilco Road up the hill and along the curves to Bamford Court. The main trail to the summit is on the right near the turnabout. City buses travel along Atkins Road.

Stewart Beach

Stewart Shoreline access 8 Stewart Shoreline access 9

The Town of View Royal, BC, has some unique waterfront beach accesses with views of Fisgard Lighthouse, forested areas, watery reefs and the Olympic Mountains of Washington State in the distance. This is one of those amazing places. Stewart Beach lies along the north shore of Esquimalt Harbour near Victoria, B.C. The uplands area is on a low ridge and has a bench near the road access. The landscaped garden beds of the residential homes on both sides of the park enhance the patch of grass beside the bench which is also next to the Stewart Avenue sewage pumping station. An asphalt trail leads past this bench to a set of thirty three stairs to another view point and bench. Located on a rocky promontory, this bench can be a great place to watch the activity of local fauna and to enjoy the scenery. A short ramp leads the rest of the way down to the pebble and coarse sand beach on the right. There is a small beach to the left and is a good place to launch a personal watercraft like a paddleboard, kayak or canoe. The park is best accessed at lower tides. This is a wonderful place to explore in your backyard.

Geographical location N48° 27’ 8” W123° 26’ 35”

Stewart Beach can be accessed from Hwy 1. Exit onto Helmcken Road (exit #8) and head south down the hill toward Esquimalt Harbour waters across the Island Highway. Turn left onto View Royal Avenue and then right onto Stewart Avenue. Continue to the end of Stewart Avenue. The trail to the beach is near the pumping structures. There is limited parking in this area. The city bus travels along View Royal Avenue.

Francis View Park

Francis View Park

Francis View Park is located on a ridge and overlooks the Trans Canada Highway, the estuary of Mill Stream in Esquimalt Harbour and southward to the Olympic Mountains of Washington State, USA. The park is under the hydroelectric towers that supply electricity to the substation located in View Royal, B.C. The southern border of the park is along an abbreviated section of Watkiss Way and has a cedar split fence and rock wall. A steep rough pathway leads to the grassy area at the top. This trail is bordered by broom, blackberries and small Garry oak trees. The highest point in the parkland is near the concrete and gravel pathway from Francis View Drive. A small grass covered area is near the bench close to the hydroelectric tower.  Evelyn Heights Park, Burnside Watkiss Park, Eagle View Elementary School Green Space, Burnside Road Green Space, Galloping Goose Trail – View Royal, Craigflower Creek Park and Game Nature Park are nearby.


Geographical location N48° 27’ 59” W123° 26’ 53”


Francis View Park can be accessed from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy 1. Exit onto Burnside Road West using exit #10 and follow the road as it curves up to the right. At the intersection with Watkiss Way, turn left onto Watkiss Way. Immediately turn right to access the homes along the northside of Watkiss Way. There is limited street parking along this section of the road. Alternatively continue along Watkiss Way to reach Francis View Drive. The park is near the top of the hill on the right. There is limited street side parking. A city bus route is along Watkiss Way.

Hollywood Place Green Space

Hollywood Place view

Hollywood Place Green Space

A view of the beach from your car is just possible from Hollywood Place. Hollywood Place ends a ridge with a view westward over Ross Bay and toward Clover Point along Dallas Road. There is no access to beach from here but there is a large shore pine and plenty of blackberry bushes. Little Ross Bay Green is around the homes to the east and Hollywood Crescent Green Space, with access to the rock shore, is to the west.

Geographic coordinates N48° 24′ 33” W123° 20′ 9″

Hollywood Place Green Space can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn east onto Fairfield Road and follow along to St Charles Street in Fairfield. Turn right onto St Charles Street then at the junction with Dallas Road, turn left onto Dallas Road which curves to become Hollywood Crescent. Hollywood Place is to the left on the curve in the road about three houses along. Turn right and continue to the end of the Hollywood Place to the white barrier. There is limited roadside parking along Hollywood Place. City buses travel along Fairfield Road from downtown Victoria.

Gonzales Hill Regional Park – Victoria

Gonzales and Ross bays Victoria Gonzales Observatory Gonzales Hill Park 7

This rocky urban wilderness park of the Capital Regional District has amazing views of the Victoria area like Clover Point, Government House, Craigdarrach Castle, Mt Tolmie, Mt Douglas and the Gulf Islands. The highest point of Gonzales Hill is sixty-six meters above sea level and has views of Trial Island and Lighthouse, McNeil Bay, Gonzales Bay and across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Across the waters are the Olympic Mountains of Washington State, USA. Further east are Mt Rainer and Mt Baker. Part of Gonzales Hill Regional Park is in the City of Victoria who shares this hill top with Oak Bay Municipality. There are few benches throughout the park with one located near the summit. The views of the stars from Gonzales Hill once were further enhanced by the unique observatory that was built in nineteen fourteen for the Dominion Meteorological Services and used by Environment Canada for the next seventy five years. There are three trail accesses into the park. The main route, about a hundred meters to the summit or the observatory, is from the parking lot off of Denison Road. It connects with the thirty-five meter pathway up from Fairfield Place. The third pathway, about sixty meters long, is called Centennial Trail and zigzags down between the down the south side of Gonzales Hill to Barkley Terrace. There are stairs along the Centennial Trail access route. This area is frequented by dog walker, hikers and runners. Walbran Park is east along Denison Road and Gonzales Beach is down the hill.

Geographic coordinates N48° 24′ 48” W123° 19′ 30″

Gonzales Hill Regional Park can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn east onto Fairfield Road and follow along to Fairfield Place or Denison Road. At the end of Fairfield Place there is a short trail up to the observatory with a limited roadside parking across from 1968 Fairfield Place. Along Denison Road there is a parking area near the observatory as well as the cairn for Walbran. City buses travel along Fairfield Road between downtown and the University of Victoria.

The Great Trail, or Trans Canada Trail, Parkette

This post is updated here.


Gorge Road Hospital Green Space

Gorge Road Hospital 3Lovely horse chestnut trees line the sidewalk and roadway into Gorge Road Hospital Green Space from Balfour Avenue. This road is shared with the neighboring condominiums. Built in nineteen seventy three, the Vancouver Island Health Authority operates this residential care facility which covers over three hectares along the Victoria Arm section of the Gorge Waterway. Chapman Point, upon which this green space rests, projects slightly in to the waters. For use of guests, staff and visitors, a spacious grassy knoll as well as about many pathways allow exploration of the hospital’s outdoor spaces. It is worthwhile to enjoy the rhododendrons, azaleas and other flowering shrubs that area bordered by lush green cedar hedges. A couple of Douglas fir, willow and maple trees provide shade throughout the area. Across the waters of Victoria Arm are Banfield Park and Burleith Park which can be access using the walking and bicycling trail of the Galloping Goose Regional Trail. Arbutus Park and Cecelia Ravine Park are a block to the east. Harriet Road Green Space is to the west along Lotus Street.


Geographic Coordinates N48° 26’ 36” W123° 23’ 12”


Gorge Road Hospital Green Space can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn west onto Finlayson Street and continue past Burnside Road West to reach Gorge Road East. Follow Gorge Road East to Balfour Avenue and exit into the parking area for the hospital. A city bus travels along Gorge Road East from downtown.