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.

^http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/potd/2009/01/grindelia_integrifolia.php (this plant looks like a dandelion)