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.

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Moss Rock Park

Moss Rock Park view Moss Rock Park rocks

Also called Fairfield Hill Park, Moss Rock Park has a great view over Clover Point Park and across the Strait of Juan de Fuca toward the Olympic Mountains of Washington State, USA. Take a turn at one of the two benches with views of the City of Victoria and the Salish Sea in this two hectare parkland. This is a splendid natural rocky area to have a picnic and to scrabble over rocks to the summit at about 41 meters. In the spring, the wildflowers like camas, nootka rose and honeysuckle are spectacular. Garry oak and arbutus trees manage to grow in a few of the few level areas in the park. There is a steep rock route from May Street to the lower bench near the hill top. The park borders along private property, Masters Road and May Street. From May Street, via a rough trail near 204 Memorial Crescent, the eastern side of the park can be accessed where the summit is about 39 meters. The view from this part of the parkland is over Ross Bay Cemetery. Bushby Park, Sir James Douglas Elementary School Green Space, Porter Park and Clover Point Park are nearby.

Geographic coordinates N48° 24′ 45” W123° 20′ 465″

Moss Rock Park can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn east onto Fairfield Road and follow along to Masters Street. Turn right onto Masters Street and drive up the street to near the end where there is a trail to the park. There is very limited roadside parking on Masters Street but parking might be available along May Street. City buses travel along Fairfield Road from downtown Victoria.

 

Sir James Douglas Elementary School Green Space

SJD Elementary School mural SJD Elementary School sign

One of several school grounds in the Victoria School District with a weather station, Sir James Douglas Elementary School Green Space is located in the Fairfield community of Victoria, BC. The green spaces around the school have limited access during school hours. Sir James Douglas was the first governor of British Columbia, a landowner in the Fairfield area of Victoria and interred in Ross Bay Cemetery. Many places in British Columbia are named to recognize Sir Douglas. Garry oak and Douglas-fir trees shade much of the school play areas including part of the two basketball courts and four square game areas. There are a couple of playground areas in this green space. The one next to the basketball courts has a climbing metal dome and multilevel platform monkey bar and climbing apparatus. It is set in a woodchip base. The more elaborate play areas are around the back of the school building. The large multilevel platform climbing set is where everyone can climb, swing, slide and play around. Another small metal rectangular monkey bar is set slight east where the Garry oak trees provide some shade. London plane trees, vine maples and laburnum are also seen on the school grounds. Stream of Dream fish mural lines the chainlink fence along Moss stream has been in place since twenty-o-six. Fairfield Community Garden, Porter Park and Brooke Street Park can be found to the east along Thurlow Street. Moss Rock Park is across Fairfield Road.

Geographic coordinates N48° 24′ 58” W123° 20′ 54″

Sir James Douglas Elementary School Green Space can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn east onto Fairfield Road and follow along to Moss Street. Turn left onto Moss Street and look for the green space to the right. There is limited roadside parking. City buses travel along Fairfield Road from downtown Victoria.

Robert J. Porter Park

Porter Park arch Porter Park tree

A one and three quarters of a hectare Garry oak meadow with several rocky outcrops forms the Fairfield neighborhood park called Robert John Porter Park. R.J. Porter Junior was the mayor of the City of Victoria from nineteen nineteen to nineteen twentyone. The park is mostly a  natural rocky meadowland with two playgrounds on sand bases. It borders along Fairfield Road although the granite rock outcrop partially obscures the view of most of the parkland. Picnic tables and benches are found in the park. The playground area off of Kipling Street has a tetter-totter, climbing arch, a high long metal slide with a curly pole and four swings, two with toddler seats. This play lot has several large granite boulders and an excellent alder forested area as nature play sites. The second playground is slight north of the first one and lies near the corner of Thurlow and Kipling Streets. It has colorful plywood structures shaped like a rig truck, slide, swing and covered shelter with benches. For the imaginative parent and child this space is fun. The western end of the park has a large grass covered field. The Fairfield Community Garden, Fairfield Community Center and Sir James Douglas Elementary School Green Space lie to the west of Porter Park. Just across Kipling Street is Brooke Street Park.

Geographic coordinates N48° 24′ 50” W123° 20′ 44″

Robert Porter Park can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn east onto Fairfield Road and follow along to Kipling Street. Turn right onto Kipling Street and look for the park to the left. There is limited roadside parking. City buses travel along Fairfield Road from downtown Victoria.

Brooke Street Park

Brooke Street Park

A series of birch trees frame the sports fields of Brooke Street Park on the Brooke Street border. This grass covered parkland is four fifths of a hectare in size and lies in the Fairfield neighborhood of Victoria, B.C. There is a backstop for baseball near the intersection of Brooke Street and Kipling Street as well as one kitty corner in the park, off of Clifford Street. London plane and alder trees frame the park along Clifford Street. The fields are used baseball, rugby and soccer. Porter Park, Sir James Douglas School Green Space, Fairfield Hill Park and Ross Bay are nearby. A one and half story heritage home styled as a Craftsman Bungalow was built in nineteen fourteen. It resides at 1440 Clifford Street which is next to this parkland. Robert J Porter Park with two playgrounds and a natural play area lies across Kipling Street.

Geographic coordinates N48° 24′ 50” W123° 20′ 35″

Brooke Street Park can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn east onto Fairfield Road and follow along until Kipling Street. Turn left onto Kipling Street and continue about a block. The park is bordered by Kipling, Brooke, Clifford and Thurlow streets. There is limited roadside parking in this quiet residential neighborhood. City buses travel along Fairfield Road from downtown Victoria.