Windsor Park, Oak Bay

 

Windsor Park is in the seaside community of Oak Bay, one of thirteen areas of the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Enjoy the large grass covered sports fields that support local rugby, cricket, baseball, softball, tennis, soccer or stroll through the rose garden at Windsor Park, a diversified park in the community of Oak Bay.  The sport fields are beautifully displayed amongst the landscaped laurel, cedar and holly trees that form the hedge rows. The manicured properties that surround the park include several historical homes are found around this four and half hectare green space.  The park was founded in eighteen ninety-six as a terminus for the street car of the BC Electric Company. It became a popular sports arena that once hosted seating for over two thousand spectators. Its evolution into a multi-purpose park now includes a playground with swing set in the western corner of the park. There is a sand box for the young at heart.  The rose garden, on the south eastern corner, has a sun dial in the midst of over 20 different rose blooms.  Dogs are not allowed in the rose garden area of the park. Dogs need to be leashed while sporting events are occurring at the park. The park is dedicated to Heather Gibson (1955- 1992) and Ada G. Beaver (1961-1958).  There are many benches found around the park that are dedicated in the memory of local residents. A two story community space, the Windsor Pavilion, hosts multipurpose meeting rooms and public toilets. It is found along the concrete walkway through the middle of the park. The walk way is about one hundred and thirty six meters while a stroll around the perimeter of the park is about one kilometer. Some enticing British teahouses and pubs as well as boutiques and markets surround the park. Windsor Park is about two blocks from the Oak Bay Marina, along Windsor Road, making it easy to continue to Haynes Park or Turkey Head Walkway.  Several buses provide service near Windsor Park.

Geographic Location N48º 25’ 19”  W123º 18’ 26”

Windsor Park can be reached from the Trans-Canada Highway. Continue along the Hwy 1 into Victoria as it becomes Douglas Street. Turn off Douglas onto Hillside Avenue to head east. Stay on Hillside Avenue as it becomes Lansdowne Road. Continue along Lansdowne Road to reach Foul Bay Road. Turn right onto Foul Bay Road and continue to Oak Bay Avenue. Turn left on to Oak Bay Avenue and continue to the curve of the road as it changes names to Newport Avenue. Continue along Newport Avenue and look for the park on the left.  Windsor Park can be reached from Beach Drive or  by using any of the encircling streets: Transit Road, Windsor Road, or Curries Road.  All of these streets surround the park and provide some off street parking.  Windsor Park is about two blocks from the Oak Bay Marina, along Windsor Road, making it easy to continue to Haynes Park or Turkey Head Walkway.  Several buses provide service near Windsor Park.

Fireman’s Park

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Fireman’s Park is in the seaside community of Oak Bay, one of thirteen areas of the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. A brick building and fire tower house the fire station and police department for the Municipality of Oak Bay.  Across the parking lot is Fireman’s Park.  It includes Jack Groove’s field and baseball diamonds.  The eastern diamond is shaded by a couple of tall giant sequoia trees. There are several tall Garry oak trees near the play areas. Fireman’s Park is a good place for throwing around the baseball or frisbee as well as catching a baseball game during the season.  There is a playground with a slide, swings and sandbox.  A monkey bar completes the play area. Bowker Creek Park is across St Ann’s Street and the Oak Bay Community Garden plots are across the Monteith Road. This is a place to start your walk along Bowker Creek Walkway.

Geographic Location N48º 25’ 46”  W123º 18’ 42”

Fireman’s Park can be reached from the Trans-Canada Highway. Continue along the Hwy 1 into Victoria as it becomes Douglas Street. Turn off Douglas onto Hillside Avenue to head east. Stay on Hillside Avenue as it becomes Lansdowne Road. Continue along Lansdowne Road to reach Foul Bay Road. Turn left off of Foul Bay Road onto Cadboro Bay Road then take the first right turn after the high school onto Canmore Street. Continue along Canmore to reach St Ann’s Street and turn right onto St Ann’s Street.  The park is on the left side of the fire hall and buildings. There is limited street parking. City buses travel along Cadboro Bay Road.

Carnarvon Park

Carnarvon Park is in the seaside community of Oak Bay which is part of the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. This park is a small multifaceted jewel in Oak Bay. In the late eighteen hundreds, this area was developed as the Willows horse racing track, presently, the park hosts two baseball diamonds, tennis courts, fenced hockey rink, water park, and other play areas. It is the perfect place for a family outing.  Oak Bay Lawn Bowling Club and facilities are based here. There is a seasonal concession and washroom facilities. The Peter Pan Outdoor Water Park and Playground operates seasonally. A daycare operates out of the main buildings.

Geographical Location N48° 26′ 22″     W123° 19′ 02″

You can get to Carnarvon Park from Foul Bay Road.  Turn east onto Allenby, Townley, or Carnarvon Street.  There is limited off street parking.  Look for trails to Carnarvon Park between Henderson and Newton Streets.  A trail leads to Carrick Boulevard that provides quick access to the Foul Bay Road and Cadboro Bay Road junction. A couple of city buses travel by this park.

Loon Bay Park

Loon Bay Park is located in the seaside community of Oak Bay, part of the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. This small roadside park is located off Beach Drive and overlooks the marina of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.  The park has a couple of park benches and beach access points.  A short concrete pathway with a couple of sets of stairs leads to the sand and mud beach. The lawn is adorned with a outdoor piano as well as a small monument.  There are Garry oak and Douglas fir trees that provide shade over the beach and the undergrowth of ocean spray, blackberry and snowberry bushes.  The splendid residential area around the park can easily be included as part of your walk.

Geographical Location W48° 27′ W123° 17′ 44″

You can get to Loon Bay Park from Lansdowne Avenue or Cadboro Bay Road.  Turn onto Beach Avenue and look for the park near the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. There is limited street parking available. A city bus travels past this park  along Beach Drive.

Cedar Cadboro Green Space

A green space to photograph is at the junction of Cadboro Bay Road and Cedar Hill Cross Road. The large welcome to Oak Bay sign surrounded by flowers and greenery could make a lovely picture. The well-manicured lawn and plants are shaded by the large Garry oak trees in the small green space. This green space is close to Henderson Park, Uplands Golf  Course, the dog walking area of the University of Victoria and Mystic Vale Park.

Geographical location N48° 27′ 14″ W123° 18′ 10″

You can get to Cedar  Cadboro Green Space from McKenzie Avenue. Follow McKenzie Avenue past the University of Victoria. The street changes names and becomes Sinclair Road. Continue down the hill to the junction with Cadboro Bay Road. Turn right onto Cadboro Bay Road and follow along up the hill. This green space is at the junction with Cedar Hill Cross Road. Continue a few meters along Cadboro Bay Road to use the roadside parking along the Uplands Golf Course. City buses provide service along Cadboro Bay Road.

University of Victoria Trails, Oak Bay

 

Located outside Ring Road, the wood chip trails of the University of Victoria are frequented by joggers and pet owners.  These jogging trails meander through forested areas and grassy meadows.  Slightly off the beaten jogging trails, the University’s Finnerty Gardens are great place to admire the flowers and shrubs.  You can also brush up on your Latin names for the plants, as the gardeners have name cards near the plants. The campus also is a great place to stroll.

Geographical Location N49º 27’ 39” W123º 18’ 58”

You can get to the University of Victoria from Mackenzie Avenue, Gordon Head Road, or Cedar Hill Cross Road.  Turn on to Finnerty Road, University Drive, Gordon Head Road, or Henderson Road to access Ring Road.  The jogging trails can be found by walking along the Ring Road toward a trail post.  Several trail posts are also visible along Gordon Head or Cedar Hill Cross roads.  Parking is available for a fee around the campus.  Some street parking is available on Cedar Hill Cross Road and Gordon Head Road.  Walks around the University of Victoria campus can easily be extend by strolling into Henderson Park.  Finnerty Gardens are located near the chapel, which is across the parking. lot from the Fine Arts Buildings. Many buses provide service to the university area.

Albert Head Beach

 

Albert Head Beach is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Located on the southern end of Vancouver Island, this cobble and sand beach lies along the west side of the Strait Juan de Fuca and the Salish Sea.  The view to the east includes the skylines of Victoria and Oak Bay as well views the distance Cascade Mountain ranges. The Olympic Mountains can also be seen to the south. This beach forms the southern shore of Royal Bay. Lined by Douglas fir and garry oak trees amongst the landscaped acreages, the one and half kilometer stroll along the shoreline leads toward Royal Bay Beach Park. Another three kilometers further is Esquimalt Lagoon Park and the sandy beach that forms Colberg Peninsula in Colwood. The upland area and lagoon is part of the Albert Head Lagoon Regional Park. This neighborhood in Metchosin was named for Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, as a result of the survey in the eighteen forties by the captain and crew of the HMS Herald. The point of land to the immediate south is called Albert Head and has limited access as a seasonal training area for the Department of National Defense.   Migratory birds, river otters, seals and other small animals are often seen in this area.

Geographical Location N48º 23’ 44” W123º 29’ 19”

Albert Head Beach is accessed from the Trans Canada Highway (Hwy 1). Exit Hwy 1 onto the Old Island Highway to drive through the City of Colwood. Follow the curves of the Old Island Highway as it becomes Sooke Road. Turn left onto Metchosin Road. Continue along Metchosin Road to reach Farhill Road, which is just past the junction with Latoria Road and the open gravel site that forms the Royal Bay Community. Turn left onto Farhill Road then right onto Lower Park Road. Follow Lower Park Road as it curves sharply to become Delgada Road. A small parking area is found at the bottom of the hill within Albert Head Lagoon Regional Park. City buses travel along Metchosin Road from which it is about a four hundred meter downhill walk to reach the waterfront.