The gardens at the Craigflower Manor, a provincial and national heritage site, were cleared for agricultural uses in the late eight hundreds. The homestead is located along the picturesque shore of Portage Inlet near Craigflower Bridge. The gardens lie on the east side grand house that was built for the Mckenzie Family. Kenneth McKenzie was the Hudson’s Bay Company bailiff and homesteader for the original three hundred and sixty hectare farm that extended east and south from the manor. Cartographical illustrations show that the route for Craigflower Road led though the property. The two story house with bilateral symmetrical windows and doorways, a style considered Georgian, was completed in eighteen fifty six. This one hectare property has rose beds, pine trees and a grove of larch trees (Larix occidentalis). There are also several raised garden beds used for the community grown vegetables. Portage Inlet borders the property to the north and east. Craigflower Bridge marks the junction of the inlet with the Gorge waterway that connects to Victoria Harbour. Information signs on the property explain the historical uses of this area that spanned green space. Shoreline Community Middle School Green Space, Shoreline Drive Green Space, Craigflower Road Green Space, Portage Park, Glentana Road Green Space and the Gorge Park, in Saanich where the Craigflower Schoolhouse resides, are nearby.
Geographical location N48° 27’ 7” W123° 25’ 27”
Craigflower Manor Gardens can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway (Hwy 1). Exit onto Admirals Road and turn south. Continue across the Craigflower Bridge to the first driveway after the bridge. This leads into the small parking area and just before Craigflower Road. City buses travel along both Admirals Road and Craigflower Road. Additional parking can be found near the shopping complex to the south.
The heritage site is open seasonally with living history interpreters providing information about the lands.
Named and built by Captain J.D. Prentice, a distinguished captain of the Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy, Prentice Pond Park has a shoreline trail along the edge of the fresh water pond. This is a peaceful small pond surrounded by Douglas-fir, western red cedars, alders and black cottonwood trees. It lies the low wetslands of this North Sannich’s Swartz Head neighborhood. The area also has a few blackberries mixed among the ferns and salal. If you are quiet enough you’ll see the ducks and other birds that make use of the shallow muddy waters. The trail connects with Boas Road and Dunne Road to the east and to Tryon Place to the north.
Geographic location N48° 40’ 44” W123° 24’ 28”
You can get to Prentice Pond Park from Pat Bay Highway. Before you reach ferry terminal follow the signs that lead to Lands End Road. Turn east on Kitti Wake Place the south toward West Port Marina to follow the curves and hills of Tryon Road to Prentice Place. Alternatively turn off at Tryon Place from Tryon Road and look for the trail near the end of the street. Or access Dunne and Boas roads from Kitti Wake Place by turning left onto Curteis Road. Continue on Curteis Road to Dunne Road terminus for the trail. Continue past Dunne Road onto Kedge Anchor Road onto Inwood Road. Boas Road branches off near the junction of those roads. The trail is at a green space part way up the slight hill. There is limited roadside parking at all locations.
Visit Iroquois Park to enjoy the beautiful garden displays, playground and water spray area, basketball/hockey court, public toilets, tennis courts and ball fields. Or to just hang out on the grassy knolls to watch the airplanes and clouds. It does really have all this and is close to several other amenities. There is parking for boat trailers that launch near Tulista Park. For those history buffs, the park was named after the SS Iroquois which sank offshore in 1911, the propeller from the vessel is displayed on a memorial flower bed.
You can get to Iroquois Park from Pat Bay Highway then Lochside Drive or Fifth Street. The park is on the corner of Fifth Street and Ocean Avenue. It is across from Tulista Park and the US ferry terminal. Iroquois Park is accessible from a pathway that connects to Northlawn Terrace and Iroquois Way. This park is on a bus route.
If you want to stretch your legs a little more, stroll to Tulista Park around the US Ferry Terminal toward the Port of Sidney Marina. This connects to the Waterfront Walkway that follows the shoreline past the ferry terminal toward the shops and stores. Alternative head toward the highway along Eighth Street and either continue on Lochside Trail or walk past the Skateboard Park toward the Conference Center and Bevan Park. Another longer stroll would be to exit the park toward along the pathway that leads to Iroquois Way, walk toward Northlawn Terrace and turn right on Weiler Avenue. Cross over the Pat Bay Highway, using the pedestrian overpass, to access the trails near the Greenglade Community Center and Reay Park.