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.

Rotary Park – Field of Dreams

Rotary Park is a busy ball park during the spring, summer and autumn months. This well designed park hosts five groomed ball diamonds as well as a small toddler playground. The baseball and softball practices and games are organized by the Peninsula Baseball and Softball Association.  Each diamond is slightly different to accommodate the various baseball and softball divisions. Ball games can be watched from the spectator stands or from one of the many picnic tables in the park.  The concession, washrooms and facility are open during events. The park is set amongst the agricultural lands of Pendray Farms and is located next to the Victoria International Airport. The walking and cycling trail called the Flight Path passes by Rotary Park along East Saanich Road.

Geographic coordinates  N48° 38’ 16″ W123° 25′ 8″

You can get to Rotary Park from Pat Bay Highway.  Turn left at Beacon Avenue and left again onto Stirling Way. Follow the road as it curves around the fence line of the airport to become Ocean Avenue West. At the junction with Canora Road turn left and look for the ball park, on the right, just after passing the sign for British Columbia Aviation Museum. Turn right onto Chipmunk Court and continue onto the large gravel parking area which is well away from the ball diamonds. Rotary Park can also be reached from Pat Bay Highway exiting at the McTavish Interchange, an unique and confusing multi-circle roadway overpass, which leads to the southern section of Canora Road.

Flight Path, Victoria International Airport

flight pathWatch a military helicopter or a 737 land or take off along the Flight Path, a wonderful 9 300 meter paved walking and cycling trail that circles the entire Victoria International Airport property.  There are several excellent places to see the activities of the small flight school aircraft as well as private aircraft. Give yourself plenty of time as further distractions along the trail include the ocean views of Patricia Bay and Saanich Inlet, the historical building and lands around Holy Trinity Church and the rural agricultural lands of North Saanich. The Flight Path is an excellent trail to use to explore your backyard. This path pass by Rotary Park with its four excellent baseball diamonds and Phillip Brethour Park along Ocean Avenue in Sidney which has a baseball diamond. The trail also crosses over two urban creeks. Reay Creek drains eastward toward Bazen Bay from the land around the airport. This creek hosts a population of coho salmon.  TenTen Creek drains westward into Patricia Bay from the Glen Meadow Golf Course and airport areas. TenTen Creek contains coastal cutthroat trout.

Geographic coordinates  N48° 40′ 37″ W123° 28′ 48″ to Pat Bay Beach Park

You can get to the Flight Path from Pat Bay Highway. Follow the highway out to Sidney and turn left at Beacon Avenue and continue as the road curves to become McDonald Park Road. At the intersection turn left onto Mills Road. Continue along Mills Road to West Saanich Road where parking can be found near Patricia Bay Beach Park. Since the pathway parallels Beacon Avenue, Mills Road, West Saanich Road, Willingdon Road, Canora Road,  Ocean Avenue and Stirling Way there are many other options to use as starting point to explore the Flight Path. Such as parking in the gravel parking are near Rotary Park just off of Canora Road.