Canada #3 Victoria
At the start, it wasn’t going to be a long walk! From the waterfront in downtown Victoria to Fisherman’s Wharf along the David Foster Harbour Pathway was just one kilometre.
We could have taken a relaxing carriage ride past the elegant buildings on Belleville Street but we were glad we didn’t.
We would have missed seeing the continual arrival and departure of the Harbour Air seaplanes. We marvelled at the skill of the pilots and the lightness with which these tiny aircraft landed on the water.
We wouldn’t have come across the Friendship Bell, symbol of a 30 year bond between the citizens of Morioka, Japan and Victoria.
We wouldn’t have seen these beautiful waterlilies, serenely floating in a water garden along the front of an apartment building.
When we arrived at Fisherman’s Wharf, the cafés, boutiques and tourist shops were all bustling with people enjoying the fine summer weather. We admired the colourful float homes lined up against the jetties and wondered about the lifestyle of the inhabitants. The queues at the cafés were long and the tables were full, so we decided to continue further along the path.
We passed the Canadian Coast Guard and the Victoria Harbour Heliport before arriving at Ogden Point, part of the traditional lands of the Lekwungen peoples. Ogden Point is the busiest cruise ship port in Canada; each year more than 400,000 passengers start their visit to Victoria here.
Ogden Point Breakwater, a 762 metre long concrete wall jutting out into the calm waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, is decorated with Na’Tsa’Maht – The Unity Wall. The mural painted by Salish Nations artists depicts the stories, past and present, of the local First Nations peoples.
After trekking out to the Ogden Point Breakwater Lighthouse and back, it was time for a rest at the Breakwater Café Bistro Bar. We enjoyed steaming hot chocolates served with a view of the snow-capped Olympic Mountains across the water in Washington State.
Continuing along Dallas Road to Holland Point Park, we joined the Waterfront Trail which passes through the park to the Shoreline Trail. Both tracks were lined with delicate pink flowers growing wild on the edge of the cliff. Huge piles of driftwood washed up by the ocean lay in stacks along the shore below.
At Douglas Street we left the Waterfront Trail, stopping first at the Mile Zero Monument which marks the start of the Trans-Canada Highway.
Nearby we paid our respects at a statue of Terry Fox, the inspirational teenager who, after losing his leg to cancer, started a run across Canada in 1980 to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. He never finished the journey, succumbing to the disease after running 5,373 kilometres in 143 days. Today, his legacy lives on in the Terry Fox Foundation.
Further down Douglas Street we entered Beacon Hill Park, where a giant watering can sprays cooling water from its spout on hot days. The ducks at Goodacre Lake didn’t need a hot day to take to the water – they were all bottoms up in search of tasty morsels.
We walked past a local school with a famous name and an intriguing place in Canadian political history and the Royal BC Museum, on our list for another day.
At last we arrived back where we’d started in downtown Victoria. Our walk may have been much longer than we planned, but we saw a lot more than we expected.
Join Jo for more Monday Walks