Old Esquimalt Road deserves heritage status: township staff

Oldest planned road in Western Canada dates back to 1851

Old Esquimalt Road

In 1852, Capt. Augustus Leopold Kuper and the crew of HMS Thetis were ordered to carve out the first overland connection between Esquimalt harbour and the Hudson Bay Company fort in Victoria.

The men spent months cutting through Douglas fir and Garry oak trees in the untouched forest, creating what local historians call the first planned road in Western Canada.

At the time, it served as the dividing line between the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, Constance Cove and Viewfield farms.

Adjoining land was cleared for St. Joseph’s Mission, built in 1858 as the first Roman Catholic church in B.C., as well as the Halfway House, which was built in 1861 as a safe haven for those travelling north during the gold rush.

In recognition of Old Esquimalt Road’s claim to historical fame, township staff are considering its inclusion on Esquimalt’s heritage register.

“It doesn’t put any restrictions on the road, it just puts it on an official list of properties that Esquimalt sees as significant,” said Karen Hay, planning technician and staff liaison to the heritage advisory committee.

The heritage register differs from the more formal designated heritage sites, Hay said.

While heritage designation creates a number of incentives and restrictions for homeowners, the heritage register is only an official recognition of historically significant properties.

“The B.C. Assessment authority has determined that there would be no impact to the property values of lots adjoining Old Esquimalt Road by placing the road on the heritage register,” Hay said in a letter to residents.

“Also, placement of the road on the heritage register in no way encumbers the local government. The engineering aspects of the road could still be changed for safety or development.”

The public consultation process continues until Nov. 30, after which a statement of significance will go to committee of the whole on Dec. 10. Council will likely consider the matter in January.

For more information, contact Hay at 250-414-7179.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

Just Posted

New orca calf in Salish Sea ‘healthy and active’

Birth cause for celebration but things still dire genetically, expert says

Busted water main floods Esquimalt home

Construction crew struck main during CRD wastewater facility construction

Saanich Police nab drunk driver who passed out at two red lights, kept driving

Hot rod motorcyclist, excessive speeding part of busy start to 2019 for Saanich Police traffic

Famous Peninsula chickens adopted out in days

CRD Animal Control re-homed 101 chickens corralled on the Peninsula

Langford cadets top podium in regional biathlon competition

Provincial Biathlon Competition set for Mount Washington on Feb. 9 and 10

VIDEO: Excessive speed on the Malahat captured by dash cam footage

Poster calls driving ‘dangerous, obnoxious and disrespectful’

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Letters on way to all homeowners in B.C. speculation tax communities

Property owners have to register to avoid vacant-home tax

BREAKING: At least one person has died in a motor vehicle accident in Port Alberni

Burde Street closed as emergency personnel wait for collision analysis team

Good Samaritan rescues cat found in heaps of garbage at B.C. landfill

The cat was abandoned and left to die at the Foothills Boulevard Regional Landfill, the BC SPCA says

Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna home to Canada’s most expensive rentals: report

According to PadMapper, units in larger B.C. cities cost $1,300 to more than $3,000

B.C. home sales drop 25% in 2018

The B.C. Real Estate Association points to the federal government’s mortage stress test

Canada asks China for clemency for B.C. man sentenced to death, Freeland says

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was sentenced to 15 years, but after new trial, was sentenced to die

B.C. surgery wait list has ballooned, group says

B.C. Anesthesiologists’ Society says surgical waits have risen by three times the rate of population

Most Read