Victoria, a city with a rich and lengthy gardening history, is best known for its great showpiece, Beacon Hill Park, situated at the base of Douglas Street.
A pair of masts set on a hill to serve as a beacon and navigational assistance for seafarers approaching Victoria’s inner harbour inspired the name of Beacon Hill Park. It was named a Municipal Heritage Site in 2009.
Visitors can enjoy the natural regions, well-kept flower beds, rocky gardens, pathways, and numerous sports activities here.
Due to its extensive First Nations heritage, Beacon Hill Park is regarded as having archaeological significance.
It has several known and potential sites, including a notable old First Nations Burial Ground on the southeast slope of Beacon Hill.
The 200-acre parcel of land was set aside by James Douglas, the governor of Vancouver Island, in 1858. It was designated as a park in 1882.
Some facts to know about the park are:
Beacon Hill Park is conveniently accessible via Douglas Street, Dallas Road, and Cook Street and is situated south of Victoria’s Central Business District, between the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Strait of Georgia.
The park’s main entrances are east of Douglas Street, between Southgate Street and Dallas Road.
Nearby hotels, motels and tourist destinations in Victoria’s Inner Harbor are easily accessible on foot from the park.
3. Parking and Traffic Management
From Heywood Way to just east of Chestnut Row, Bridge Way is open to two-way traffic and is shared by cars, bicycles, and pedestrians.
Also, they have improved access to central washrooms for people with special needs.
Chestnut Row and Arbutus Way are still only open to service cars and are designated as pedestrian and bicycle lanes.
The park has more than 300 parking stalls available. Around 20 stalls have been upgraded with new designs and infrastructure.
4.1. Flora and Fauna
The park has numerous things to offer. It is filled with beautiful and exotic trees such as Western Red Cedar, Birch, Arbutus, Douglas – fir, Garry oak and Viola Praemorsa.
It preserves and takes care of endangered ecosystems such as Garry Oak, Viola Praemorsa and Yellow Montane Violet.
You can find a couple of Bald Eagles nesting and an active heronry in a copse of Douglas-fir trees.
On the west side of the park, close to Douglas Street, The Moss Lady, 11 meters long and 1.7 meters high, is situated behind the bandshell.
4.2. Beacon Hill Children’s Farm
The Beacon Hill Children’s Farm is one of the attractions in the park. People of all ages enjoy hands-on experience in the historic Beacon Hill Park petting zoo.
Jacob sheep, goats, miniature donkeys, a potbelly pig, alpacas, ducks, chickens, budgies, finches, pheasants, peacocks and doves are the animals you will get to meet there. You can also get to play with some of them.
You can also get to see Fountain Lakes and Pond Lilies of Goodacre in the field. A variety of waterfowl will greet you there.
4.3. Other Attractions
The park also has playgrounds, spray parks, tennis courts, golf, a cricket pitch, a picnic shelter, a baseball diamond, a rose garden and a Cameron bandshell stage.
Sailboarders, paragliders, and kite-flyers can enjoy the clear view across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Remember, it has the world’s tallest free-standing totem pole. Famous Kwakwaka’wakw artist Mungo Martin produced the 38.8-meter (128-foot) work of art in 1956, and the pole was restored to its former glory 46 years later.
Beacon Hill Park is a location manicured with a diverse ecosystem, bridges, lakes, farms and rock gardens for you and your family to enjoy. Beacon Hill park is a special place and home to many rare and endangered ecosystems.