Eventide Road Beach, North Saanich

Eventide Road BeachEventide Road Beach has a rough twenty meter access trail to its sand and cobble beach. It is located the Ardmore neighborhood of North Saanich between Briarwood Place Beach and Bayview Road Beach. Shaded by big leaf maple trees and bordered by a long cedar hedge, the twenty meter trail crosses over the grass covered area to a viewpoint. There are views across to Saanich Inlet to the Mill Bay area of Vancouver Island. This is another wonderful spot to watch sunsets over the water. The trail that leads to sandy and shale stone beach is steep.

Geographic coordinates  N48° 38′ 45″ W123° 27′ 43″

You can get to Eventide Road Beach 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 N) turn right onto West Saanich Road. Follow along this road until you reach Frizell Road. This intersection will be to the left as West Saanich Road curves to the right. Frizell Road is short and curves to become Glenelg Avenue. Turn right onto Glynnwood Park Road as the road curves left. Eventide Road Beach can be accessed from the intersection of Glynnwood Park Road and Glenelg Avenue. There is roadside parking.

 

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Lomond Ferry Green Space, North Saanich

white houseLocated just south of the Institute of Ocean Sciences, the Lomond Ferry, or the White House Stables, is a nine-room home built in 1912 and enlarged over the next five years. This heritage building was built by Andrew Cox, a Scotsman who moved with his children to the Saanich Peninsula. The private farmhouse is a foursquare design with two and half stories. This building has a central dormer on its box shape with symmetrical front entry, boxed eaves and paired brackets. The inviting full-width front porch and surrounding white painted buildings and stables are picturesque. Locally known as the White House Stables, the facility provides farm feed and services to the Saanich Peninsula area.

Geographic coordinates  N48° 38′ 51″ W123° 27′ 11″

You can get to the Lomond Ferry 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 first exit onto Canora Road. Continue onto Willingdon Road and at the next normal roundabout, take the second exit to stay on Willingdon Road. Pass the airport entrance and continue to West Saanich Road. Turn left at the intersection. Continue past the buildings and parking areas to the homestead nicknamed the White House. This is a private residence with a business and can be visited via whitehousestables.com

Institute of Ocean Science Green Space, North Saanich

ios pond 4The gardens bordering the entrance of the Institute of Ocean Science (IOS) are designed with relaxing and contemplation in mind.  The property was formerly one of the Spencer homes and had been landscaped with eastern white, incense and Atlas cedar trees. Norway spruce, Irish yew and a Spanish fir complete the collection of cedars. The large atrium entrance way has a welcoming pond and garden beds. The parking lot is also surrounded by grassy areas and flower shrubs. A series of Russian olive trees, Elaeaganus angustifolia, were planted here. There are few picnic tables and benches as this place is favored for watching the vessels used by the Canadian Coast Guard and used for oceanographic research as they navigate the waters of Patricia Bay and Saanich Inlet. This green space is close to the Lomond Ferry Green Space, Flight Path, Patricia Bay Beach Park and Scoter Trail.

Geographic coordinates  N48° 38′ 59″ W123° 26′ 52″

You can get to the IOS Green Space from Pat Bay Highway.  Exit 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 first exit onto Canora Road. Continue onto Willingdon Road and at the next roundabout, take the second exit to stay on Willingdon Road. Pass the airport entrance and continue to West Saanich Road. Turn left at the intersection and then right to access the parking lot of IOS. This parking lot has some visitor spaces.

Victoria International Airport Green Spaces, North Saanich

There are several enjoyable green spaces that are part of property of Victoria International Airport (YYJ). Dickson Woods is private Douglas-fir and cedar forest located close to the south side of the main airport terminal along Willingdon Road.  There are trails around the woods access off Dickson Road. The Flight Path is a paved walking and cycling trail that circles the entire airport facility. This nearly ten kilometer trail was built by the airport authority and enables its staff as well as visitors to explore the North Saanich neighborhoods. Along the Flight Path are the restored concrete gateposts that mark the access route used in the early nineteen forties by the Patricia Bay Royal Canadian Air Force for its Northwest Camp Operations and Training Facility. This unique reminder is surrounded by garden beds and grassy areas with a few benches to enjoy the view of the airfield as well as waters of Patricia Bay. There is also a drinking water fountain installed here. Be sure to enjoy the lovely garden beds and lawns seen at the entrance to the airport and parking area. There are appealing shrubs and bushes that line the front of the main building. The “Bouquet of Memories” outdoor art greets arriving and departing airport passengers as does the trio of totem poles. The five eight-meter-tall aluminum and steel “flowers” blend their vibrant colors with the garden beds between Electra Boulevard and the short term parking lot.

Victoria International Airport Totems

The Coastal Salish totems that greet visitors depict the orca, thunderbird, raven, wolf and bear.  There are rain water gardens and swale ditches which replaced usual the catch basins and culverts now manage the waters and potential waste products that the airport accumulates. The upland and riparian area of TenTen Creek form another second growth forested area on the western side the airport. Reay Creek watershed drains the airport lands to the Bazan Bay and Sidney Channel of the Salish Sea. The four hundred and eighty five hectares that comprise the lands around the airport are continually monitored to limit damage to wildlife and birds that dwell in this area.

Geographic coordinates  N48° 38’ 14″ W123° 25′ 46″

You can get to the Victoria International Airport from Pat Bay Highway.  Turn at Exit 26, the McTavish Interchange, the unique and confusing series of roundabouts that make a multi-circle roadway overpass. Take the third exit onto McTavish Road then take the first exit onto Canora Road. Continue onto Willingdon Road. At the next roundabout take the second exit to stay on Willingdon Road and onto the airport.

Tsaykum Road Green Spaces

A quiet narrow urban street, Tsaycum Road parallels West Saanich Road near the shores of Patricia Bay in North Saanich. The spelling seems to be both Tsaykum or Tsaycum. A gravel footpath provides the connection between the north and south end of the road. At the northern end of Tsaykum Road tall Douglas-fir and cedar trees shade the hundred and ten meter path that leads West Saanich Road. The beach at Patricia Bay is reached by crossing this busy road. Strolling south along Tsaykum Road leads to the footpath that connects to the south end. This gravel foot path is about fifteen meters long.   The northern end of Tsaykum Road is a paved gated section. Used for emergency  access from Mills Road, this grassy green space is shaded by several Garry oak trees. The green spaces are used by dog walker, hikers, cyclists and horse riders.

Geographic coordinates N48° 39′ 45″ W123° 26′ 57″

This green space can be reached from Pat Bay Highway.  Turn left at Beacon Avenue and follow the road as it curves to become McDonald Park Road. Turn left at the intersection with Mills Road.  Follow Mills Road to the junction of Mills and West Saanich roads. Turn right and continue to Munro Road. Turn right on Munro Road and take the first left onto Tsaykum Road. The trail is at the end of the road with limited roadside parking.

Tapping Road Green Spaces

There are two parts of Tapping Road that provide a lovely step into nature in your backyard.

At the eastern end, a forested green space with a gravel pathway connects the residential neighborhood along Tapping Road with the agriculture lands along Wilson Road. This hundred and seventy meter pathway is well used by hikers, dog walkers and equestrians. The trail is bordered by Himalayan blackberries as well as Douglas-fir and cedar trees. This pathway is close to the Flight Path that circles the Victoria International Airport as well as to Patricia Bay Beach Park and Scoter Trail.

The western end of Tapping Road meets with Patricia Bay along Scoter Trail. This end is along the busy West Saanich Road and has a staircase to reach the trail and beach. At high tides the cobble stone beach is a wonderful place to enjoy the waters and scenery of Saanich Inlet. At lower tides the silty and sandy ocean floor of Pat Bay  is revealed.

Geographic coordinates  N48° 39′ 29″ W123° 26′ 16″ off Wilson Road

You can get to Tapping Road Trail from Pat Bay Highway.  Follow the highway out to Sidney and turn left at Beacon Avenue and continue as the road curves to become McDonald Park Road. At the intersection turn left onto Mills Road and continue along over the hill and look for Wilson Road to the right. Turn right onto Wilson Road and look for the trail to the left. It is between two concrete barriers. There is limited roadside parking along Wilson Road or Tapping Road.

Tseycum Reserve Green Space, North Saanich

Tseycum Reserve Trail bridgeA flat gravel trail alongside a lovely creek makes up the Tseycum Reserve Green Space. Bordered by a long cedar hedge and fencing for the estates to the east, the pathway connects John Road with Munro Road. There is a small green metal bridge across Wsikem (Tseycum) Creek which drains into Patricia Bay near Munro and West Saanich roads. A ten year old stream stewardship program started a riparian area rehabilitation for the hopeful return of chum fry that were released into Wsikem Creek. This program seems to be in stasis as the creek appears overgrown from the bridge.

Geographic coordinates  N48° 39’ 44″ W123° 26′ 39″

You can get to Tseycum Reserve Green Space from Pat Bay Highway.  Follow the highway out to Sidney and turn left at Beacon Avenue and continue as the road curves to become McDonald Park Road. At the intersection turn left onto Mills Road and continue along to the rise in the hill and turn right onto Wilson Road. Take Wilson Road to the junction with Munro Road. Turn left on to Munro Road and look for the trail marker beside the pump facility on the right. There is limited roadside parking.