Two forested properties and a road next to Mount Douglas Park (highlighted) were created in 1912

100-year-old lots added to Mount Doug park

Saanich has added two tiny lots to Mount Douglas, but the purchase could have an outsized influence on keeping the park pristine.

Saanich has added two tiny lots to the vast forest of Mount Douglas, and the purchase could have an outsized influence on keeping the park pristine.

On Friday, the municipality announced it bought two undeveloped single-family properties, about one third of an acre total, for $298,000. Both are indistinguishable from parkland, and are curious relics of history.

Saanich created properties in 1912, but they’ve never been touched. They’re attached to Cordova Bay Road via Westbank Street, a 200 metre long, 20 metre wide strip of property that is more forest and rock bluff than road.

Last spring, survey flags appeared on Westbank Street and the two properties, prompting concern from the Cordova Bay Association and the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society. Both organizations called on Saanich to buy the land.

The Friends of Mount Doug also conducted a “soundscape survey” of Mount Doug this year, and determined the Westbank property abutted one of the quietest areas of the park, mainly due to the cliff, forest and terrain blocking noise from the road.

“It’s fantastic. I’m jumping for joy,” said Darrell Wick, president of the Friends of Mount Doug and who led the soundscape survey. “That is an important acquisition. If you developed (Westbank) road you’d make a sound channel right into the park. We are delighted council saw fit to do this.”

In a press release, Saanich acknowledged the land purchase is significant in preserving the “natural quiet” of the park, as determined by the soundscape survey.

“(Friends of Mount Doug) brought the land to our attention and brought the sound study to our attention. It’s a factor, but I think we would have acquired the land regardless,” said Mayor Frank Leonard. “It’s not a lot of land, but it’s consistent with what we’ve been doing for at least 20 years in terms of land available on the slopes of Mount Doug.”

The purchase of the two lots effectively ends any purpose to the theoretical Westbank Street. That acre of land will also become part of Mount Doug park, Leonard said, although it may technically remain a gazetted road for the near future.

Saanich used $298,000 accrued from income from the telecommunications tower atop Mount Doug to buy the two properties.

editor@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

War bride’s oversea voyage to Canada took a leap of faith

More than 45,000 women immigrated to Canada after the Second World War

One woman’s scrapbook uncovered at Fort Rodd Hill tells story of thousands during Second World War

Joyce Margaret Whitney served in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps from 1942 to 1946

Thousands line the streets around the Legislature for Remembrance Day ceremony in Victoria

Over 70 wreaths placed around Cenotaph, honouring those who lost their lives, currently fighting

Son of Second World War veteran returns to Norway to see site of rescue, repatriation

Six-man crew crash lands in Nazi occupied territory, only known instance of entire crew surviving

Colwood house helps homeless veterans get back on their feet

Cockrell House has helped more than 100 people since it was established in 2009

VIDEO: Pups in the pool: West Shore rec centre’s Dog Swim a success

West Shore Parks and Recreation goes to the dogs Sunday night

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Mexican culinary celebration fills Victoria Public Market

Taco, Tequila and Margarita Fiesta takes over the Victoria Public Market the evening of Nov. 16

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Most Read