Victoria is a city of parks. We have literally dozens of them! One of the most popular parks is right downtown and has something for everyone – Beacon Hill Park.
This 62 acre park in downtown Victoria features trails, a petting animal farm and wading pool, water fountains, picnic areas, monuments, sports fields and playgrounds, a band pavilion, famous Garry Oaks, and cultural features including what was once the world’s tallest totem pole. All this and only steps away from the Dallas Road waterfront. There’s always something to see in any season.
Beacon Hill Park is one of downtown Victoria’s crown jewels. The 200 acres was officially established as a park in 1882, after being set aside in 1858 by James Douglas, governor of Vancouver Island. Beacon Hill Park was named after a pair of masts strategically placed on a hill to act as a beacon and navigational aid to mariners approaching Victoria’s inner harbour.
The park is beautifully landscaped and manicured with bridges, lakes and ponds, and an alpine and rock garden. It is home to numerous species of ducks, birds and wildlife. A pair of Bald Eagles nests in one of the huge trees and regularly cause havoc for the large family of Great Blue Herons that also nest in a copse of Douglas-fir trees at the west end of the park.
The park boasts wondrous displays of exotic and native trees, including Garry Oak, Arbutus, Douglas-fir, Western Red Cedar, birch, willow and maples – to name just a few.
Amongst the pond lilies of Goodacre and Fountain Lakes, a variety of waterfowl go about their business, enjoying the bread that is fed to them from visitors to the park.
Horse-drawn carriages meander through the park and a putting green offers golf enthusiasts a chance to try their putting skills. And as you walk through the park, you’ll want to pay particular attention to the benches as each one has a different dedication to someone loved and forever remembered.
Peacocks roam freely through the park and a petting zoo gives kids the chance to experience the animals up close and personal.
There is often a concert going on during the summer weekends
A delightful quiet envelops this sunny spot of Victoria, where walking trails link with neighbourhood streets that lead down into the busy hum of commercial activity.
Attractions in the park include the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm, sports fields and playgrounds, a bandshell and what was once the world’s tallest totem pole in the world, a 38.9 metre (128 foot) pole raised in 1956.
If you’re looking for a beautiful yet quiet place for a walk, a summer’s picnic, or you would like get in a bit of bird watching, Beacon Hill Park is the perfect haven for you.