A jogger passes the Undersea Gardens barge

Undersea Gardens heads to scrap pile at Vic West shipyard

Innovative ideas to keep 50-year-old barge included floating liquor distillery and office space

An aquarium removed earlier this year from Victoria’s Inner Harbour will soon be turned into scrap metal at Point Hope Maritime shipyard.

Undersea Gardens was sited awkwardly along the south end of the Inner Harbour as a popular tourist attraction from 1969 until earlier this year, when owners Oak Bay Marine Group announced the barge would be removed because it was in need of serious repairs.

The dissolution of the Provincial Capital Commission, which owned the area leased by Undersea Gardens, also played a role in its permanent removal.

“We had a few people come up with suggestions for the barge, a few of which I really liked,” said Ian Maxwell, Ralmax CEO, owner of Point Hope Maritime shipyard.

Innovative suggestions for the 150-foot barge included a floating liquor distillery and office space, as the hull remained in good shape.

But this week, a decision was made to break down the barge for scrap metal, Maxwell said.

We’re still taking the asbestos out … but we’re going to dismantle it,” he said.

Undersea Gardens was originally located in Oak Bay from 1964 to 1969. The aquarium played host to thousands of visitors who descended beneath the harbour waters to view West Coast sea life.

A new use for the vacant waterfront property has yet to be determined. The province has extended the lease of the nearby Belleville wharves to Black Ball Ferry Line, which runs the Port Angeles Coho ferry, and Clipper Navigation Ltd. until 2017 while it develops a longterm plan for the area with the City of Victoria.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cook Street Village grocery icon closing, new owners plan major renovation

Louie family has operated Oxford Foods and predecessor for five decades at Cook and Oxford streets

WorkSafeBC investigating death at Victoria Customs House construction site

Prevention officer will ensure all safety issues addressed before work starts again

Three years for serial bank robber who hit Sidney branch

Lucas Bradwell was wanted for robberies in Sidney, Abbotsford and Vancouver

PHOTOS: Gallery explores ‘broken promises’ during Japanese Canadian internment in 1940s

‘Broken Promises’ to acknowledge the thousands of Japanese Canadians who faced dispossession

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Rare fish washes onto Whiffin Spit in Sooke

Deep water fish identified as ‘King-of-the-salmon’

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Island Corridor Foundation launches survey on importance of Vancouver Island rail

“ICF remains 100 per cent committed to the restoration of full rail service on Vancouver Island”

Island RCMP remind drivers not to text after 19 tickets handed out in 90 minutes

The $368 fines were handed out Tuesday on Norwell Drive and Old Island Highway in Nanaimo

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Most Read