Dominion Brook Park was created by the Canadian Dept. of Agriculture as a demonstration arboretum and ornamental garden for public use.
The land clearing began in 1912 under the direction of W.T. Macoun, son of the famous botanist, John Macoun. He ordered plants from nurseries in Britain, Holland, Germany, France, Japan and the U.S.
Of particular interest is the Rhododendron collection from the Arnold Arboretum grown from seed collected in China by famous plant hunter, Ernest Wilson.
It was meticulously maintained through the years and the park was a popular place for family and community events. When federal funding for maintenance ceased in the 1980’s, the rare plantings began to disappear under the invasive ivy and blackberries.
In the late 1990’s a citizen’s group led to the formation of a volunteer non-profit society “Friends of Dominion Brook Park” and an agreement with the Federal Gov’t., the District of N. Saanich and the ‘Friends’, the rehabilitation and maintenance is on-going on this glorious and historical space.
Of particular interest is the Rhodo Ravine which is currently under restoration. When complete, it will be the ‘jewel in the crown’ of this beautiful park.