The pause that refreshes in Victoria

Victoria's outdoor water fountains offer refreshing break for walkers, joggers – and dogs

  • Aug. 23, 2012 7:00 a.m.
Tristie Pugh takes a long drink form the water fountain at the top of Ross Bay Beach.

Tristie Pugh takes a long drink form the water fountain at the top of Ross Bay Beach.

Tristie Pugh slows the churning of her legs.

In the midst of a 25-kilometre run she halts the pumping of her arms, slowing down just enough to wind down in front of a grey water fountain over looking Ross Bay Beach. Bikers and fellow runners glide by as she fills her water bottle and takes a long gulp from the fountain.

“My runs are longer so I need the fountains to stay hydrated,” she said wiping the sweat from her forehead.

“I actually run this route because of the cold air from the beach and the water fountains.”

Pugh makes between three to five fountain pit stops during her 1.5- to 2.5-hour runs, depending on how hot it is, stopping at fountains she knows are well used.

She doesn’t vary her route often because hydration opportunities along Dallas Road are frequent, as opposed to other routes with limited offerings and less pleasant water.

“I find the ones in Oak Bay have a rusty flavour,” she said. “I would love to run the (Galloping) Goose but they need more fountains.”

Up the road at Clover Point, Reilly quenches her thirst by plunging her face into the water fountain. Cool water drips from her face, water gluing facial hair to her cheeks before her owner tugs on her dog leash and leads the golden doodle away.

Many of the fountains in Victoria include an attached dog bowl that fills with fresh water every time the fountain is activated.

Allison Green’s dog, Cal, is next in a line longer for dogs than humans and laps up the water down below, while Green takes a sip of her own from above.

“They are a godsend for everyone, for the dog as well,” she said smiling. “Fresh water is survival.”

The two of them walk Dallas Road and Clover Point as often as they can, and the Esquimalt resident appreciates the  fountains that keep her and her dog cool amidst a hot, cloudless sky.

In addition to dog walkers, runners, bikers and even practitioners of hot yoga, Green believes Victoria’s 33 water fountains serve a social need as well.

“We should be helping the elderly and homeless. We have to look out for them in hot weather or provide them with water,” she said. We have to take care of each other.”

Back at Ross Bay Beach, Stephanie Spicer and her husband Tye pace themselves through their weekly five- to 10-kilometre jog. They don’t use the fountain very often but are glad to see them there.

“We have experienced some hot weather recently and having it available for the public is a good idea,” Tye said. Given the off leash dog parks it I think it is a great thing for (dogs), walkers and kids,” he said, before Stephanie adds, “It is part of healthy living.”