Millicent Hughes with her scooter on Esquimalt Road in front of Hughes Confectionery store in 1931. The site was later the location of 4-Square Gospel Church and the Elks Hall.

Millicent Hughes with her scooter on Esquimalt Road in front of Hughes Confectionery store in 1931. The site was later the location of 4-Square Gospel Church and the Elks Hall.

Township celebrates Esquimalt Road

The historic roadway, which transects Esquimalt, celebrated during B.C. Heritage Week.

Historic Esquimalt Road is getting its just rewards this week.

The roadway, which transects Esquimalt, will be celebrated during B.C. Heritage Week.

This year’s Heritage Week theme is Main Street: At the Heart of the Community, which pays tribute to the history of main streets and the revitalization of traditional downtowns throughout B.C.

Being the main route between CFB Esquimalt and downtown Victoria, Esquimalt Road has a long history as a transportation route, a commercial centre and as a community gathering place.

“Esquimalt Road has played a vital role in the history of our community,” said Esquimalt Mayor Barbara Desjardins.

“With plans underway for the new Esquimalt Village and corridor revitalization, it will be crucial to our future as well.”

During Heritage Week, historic photographs depicting the corridor will be displayed in Esquimalt Road business windows. Residents are invited to stop by the businesses, take a look at the photographs and say hello to local business owners.

The photographs will also be available for viewing at Municipal Hall.

In addition, a photographic gallery will be posted to esquimalt.ca and residents are invited to submit their photos, old or new, of events and sites on Esquimalt Road.

The corridor has two commercial centres: one established around the Head Street area and the second near Constance Avenue and Admirals Road. The Admirals Road centre has slowly moved east over the years and now extends to Joffre Street and the Archie Browning Sports Centre.

Esquimalt Road has been the site of many events and parades over the years, including a visit by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Centennial 2012 celebration events, annual events such as Esquimalt Days, Buccaneer Days, and Celebration of Lights, and several military parades, including the Freedom of the Township Parade for CFB Esquimalt in 2012.

As part of a pilot beautification and revitalization project for Esquimalt Road, the township is currently working on a revitalization tax exemption program for Esquimalt Road businesses.