Reay Estuary Green Space, North Saanich

Reay Estuary Green Space, North SaanichReay Creek flows into Bazan Bay, a sheltered bay located  between James and Vancouver islands. The Reay Estuary Green Space is located near Reay Creek and is a wonderful secluded place to catch the sunrise over James and Sidney islands. The cobble rocky shore is often covered with harvested timbers and other woody debris which makes it fun for beach walks and beach combing. Many of the rocks provide refuge for the young Dungeness and red rock crab that many of us enjoy when they are large enough to harvest. Great blue heron and many other smaller shore birds can be seen along the shoreline too. There are several points along Lochside Drive that allow access to the bay and are easier to find this place that I call Estuary Green space yet this is about exploring your backyard. There is a large willow tree near the gravel trail that leads from the roadside pull off. The trail reaches the beach south of Reay Creek estuary.
Geographic coordinates N48° 38′ 2″ W123° 24′ 27″
You can get to Lochside Drive from Pat Bay Highway. Turn off at Exit 26, the McTavish Exchange, the unique and confusing set of traffic circles designed to deal with the traffic efficiently, and follow the signs at the roundabout to take the second exit onto Lochside Drive. Continue northward on Lochside Drive toward Sidney paralleling the roadside Lochside Trail cycling pathway. This green space located between 9265 Lochside and the estuary of Reay Creek Park. The pathway to the beach is close to the pumping facility. Look for the gravel roadside pull off along Lochside Drive. The unmarked trail leads toward the beach, where there is a rough six step wooden staircase, near this parking site.

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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.

Reay Creek Park – North Saanich

The Reay Creek watershed drains the area on the eastern end of the Victoria International Airport, the southern end of the Town of Sidney and  central areas of North Saanich. Reay Creek flows into Bazen Bay and once again supports a small population of cutthroat trout. The Reay brothers, William and Charles, settled near this creek in the late eighteen hundreds. The residential neighborhoods of both Sidney and North Saanich border on the creek. The north side of creek lies within Sidney and has an established walking trail along the creek. This trail connects with to Peter Grant Park. Fortunately, this means that the two hectare area within North Saanich has remained a wildlife park.

Geographic coordinates  N48° 37′ 48″ W123° 27′ 57″ near Bazen Bay

You can get to Reay Creek Park from Pat Bay Highway.  Turn at Exit 26, the McTavish Interchange,  an unique and confusing series of roundabouts that make a multi-circle roadway overpass. Take the second exit onto Lochside Drive. Reay Creek is the almost immediately to the right along Lochside Drive but continue to Lochside Beach Park in Sidney and walk back along the shoreline to see the estuary. There is limited roadside parking for this wildlife park. See also the information on Reay Creek Park in Sidney.

Reay Creek Park

Reay Creek Park Trail

This is a tranquil oasis in Sidney. Reay Creek is small creek that drains from the southeastern part of the airport property into the waters of Brazen Bay. A section of the creek is bordered by parkland although most of it runs through residential developments and roadways.  A peaceful park, there is lush native vegetation surrounding the tranquil stream. The pathway along the creek bank meanders around the large cedar and cottonwood trees. The trail eventually connects with those in Peter Grant Park  Coho salmon and cutthroat trout can be found in the creek.

You can get to Reay Creek Park from Pat Bay Highway.  Turn left at McTavish Road then right to get onto Canora Road. The park is near Webrook Drive  which is accessible from Northbrook Drive. There are several access points to the creek along Webrook Drive.  There is some street parking.  A bus passes along Canora as it travels through this part of Sidney.