One of Victoria’s most fun sites downtown is next to the Royal BC Museum (which I blogged about yesterday). And that’s a great location, because it means it’s hard to miss Thunderbird Park. It features many Native American monuments and totem poles, dating back to the 1940s. It’s a beautiful and peaceful place to take in some history and culture, and a great shaded spot for picnics in the summer, too.
Shhhh …… the official opening celebration of Fisherman’s Wharf Park will be held on October 2 from 11 a.m. til noon, and it sounds like a fun family day if you’re able to make it then. But word to the wise – the fence surrounding the park is down, so you’re free to stroll around and explore it now, if you so choose. Just don’t mind the fact that the water hasn’t been filled into the river, and stay off the grass!
My mom came for a visit last week, so a trip to Beacon Hill Park was in order. It was new to her, of course, but I had a ‘first’ there as well, when, while stopping for a photo-op of some flowers, we stumbled on a deer having lunch. I didn’t realize that deer lived in the park, never having seen one before. This little guy was so calm that we were able to walk pretty close to get some pictures, and in doing so discovered a second on the other side of the bush. They’re quite used to people, apparently, and having their pictures taken. So keep your eye out the next time you’re strolling through – there’s wildlife in the park!
I’ve had a few people come to this site wondering when the new Fisherman’s Wharf Park will be opened. The answer is: I don’t know when, but it should be soon. This sign originally said it would be opened in July. That was amended to August, and now, in September, workers are still there each day. But it looks like they’re getting close – they’ve planted most of the trees and grass and they’ve been putting on the sprinklers. So I’ll let you know when they finally do the deed and open up to the public – looks like it’s going to be lovely!
Right across from the Government Buildings (and slightly hidden amongst some trees) is the Confederation Gardens Court, a calming space complete with waterfall, fountain, and plaques representing each of Canada’s provinces and territories and the year they entered the union. It’s maintained by the Legislative Assembly of the province and commemorates Canada’s centennial year of 1967.
Of course, being from that island, I have to show some Newfoundland and Labrador love! Note the date here – despite having one of the longest settlements in the New World, we’re actually the county’s youngest province (we were independent/British colony hold-outs!)
As if Fisherman’s Wharf wasn’t family friendly enough, there’s also a playground on the other side of the parking lot, fun and specially designed to get kids in a sea-faring state of mind. And there’s picnic tables, so parents can enjoy some fish and chips while their children play. Of course right now you’ll have to excuse the blocked off construction just to the left – a big expansion project has been underway that, when completed, will add walking trails, gardens and even a stream to the area, really changing the space from a small playground to a big, (hopefully) beautiful park. I’ll post pictures when it’s completed!
Small but pretty, near the Inner Harbour and unmissable if you take the Port Angeles Ferry, here’s Quadra Park. It’s also a great short-cut when walking from downtown to James Bay. One of my favourite things about Victoria are the number of little (and sometimes big) parks interspersed throughout, so I’m going to start highlighting them on my blog. I think this one, named after the Peruvian-born, Spanish naval officer Juan Francisco de la Bodega Y Quadra responsible for exploring much of the Pacific Northwest, is a good place to start!