They don’t call it the City of Gardens for nothing. From James Bay to Burnside, Victoria is home to over 100 parks and other green spaces, making this city one of the most family friendly in Canada. No matter where you are in Victoria, there’s always somewhere to take the kids or walk the dog. Let’s look at some of the hot spots that contribute towards this vibrant landscape.
Beacon Hill Park
With over 200 acres of accessible park land, Beacon Hill has got to be Victoria’s MVP: Most Valuable Park. Nestled between Fairfield and James Bay, people from all over enjoy its large selection of amenities. Including features such as sport fields, playgrounds, natural areas, and even a petting zoo, Beacon Hill Park has a ton to offer. Along with its breathtaking views of the Juan De Fuca Strait, the park has an incredibly rich history spanning thousands of years - being named a municipal heritage site in 2009.
Located in the Hillside Quadra neighbourhood, Topaz Park is Victoria’s third largest. And much like Beacon Hill, it provides its visitors a variety of activities. If baseball or lacrosse are your cup of tea, come and make use of its diamond and four other sport fields. In fact, Topaz Park has Victoria’s only artificial turf. For those that would rather play with their kids, there is also plenty of open space and a playground for you to make use of.
Victoria West Park
If you’re living on the west side of town, nothing beats Victoria West Park. Another multi-use facility, visitors can find everything from the city’s only skate park to an awesome off-leash dog walking area. If you and your pooch are interested in meeting other friendly furballs, this will be the place for you. Basketball, soccer and baseball players are also all welcome, as Vic West has a recently resurfaced court and versatile sports field.
It may be small - five acres, in fact - but Gonzales Park is perfect for those hoping to take a stroll or soak up the scenic views of the ocean and Olympic Mountains in Washington state. For a little slice of history, check out the Gonzales Observatory, which served as a weather station for 75 years before being converted into a heritage site.
Only five minutes from the observatory, one will find Abkhazi Park. Originally erected by Prince and Princess Abkhazi in 1946 - a Georgian Royal family - the park has since become a prime example of West Coast design. Along with the stunning heritage home that still stands to this day, feast your eyes on an amazing floral display. Visitors will enjoy the sweeping flower beds and Japanese maples which make use of the landscape’s natural features.
Fernwood is littered with public parks, so no matter where you’re at, you are sure to run into something. With nearly 30 acres at your disposal, residents have their choice between Stadacona, Alexander, and a handful of others.