Esquimalt First Nation dancers Marcus Goldsmith

Uptown unveils plaza, centerpiece fountain

The town plaza at Uptown is now officially open to the public.

The town plaza at Uptown is now officially open to the public.

An area once blocked off to both pedestrians and cars was unveiled to the public during a ceremony on Wednesday morning.

“Those of you who remember the old Town and Country remember that four years ago if you were standing in this location, you would’ve been slightly south of Peter’s Ice Cream… and standing in an actual parking lot with about three trees in sight,” Geoff Nagle, director of development with Morguard Investments, the owner of Uptown, said at the unveiling.

In the boulevard now sits a grassy square lined with pink and blue flowers, and benches for the public.

The centre of the square holds a large, almond shaped mosaic representing traditional Coast Salish art with four thunderbirds and two human heads; one male and one female.

The opening of the boulevard and unveiling of the artwork, done by artist Joe Wilson, is the latest milestone for the upscale shopping centre.

It also marks the start of Uptown’s phase two – getting retailers and businesses into the empty storefronts set to open by next spring.

At the unveiling, Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard was more than pleased with the latest phase of the project. “I think the best thing I can say is that it looks better than the drawing – it’s that good,” he said.

“There’s no disappointment with what’s happening here at Uptown.”

A public celebration, with live music, kids activities and cupcake decorating, followed the unveiling.

The town plaza was designed for community use and events such as these.

“This is a central part of Uptown, the plaza here. We’re looking forward to our community gathering here on many occasions,” Leonard said.

The First Nations mosaic, which acts as the base of a fountain in the boulevard, has been a year-and-a-half in the making, according to Wilson.

Wilson designed the artwork with Chris MacDonald of Eagle Feather Gallery.

The mosaic contains more than 4,000 pieces of blue, green and yellow glass tile. At night, the bottom of the fountain lights up.

Standing in front of the mosaic after the ceremony, Wilson laughed as a little boy ran through the fountain.

Seeing the final product is totally exhilarating, he said.

“I just hope that it will bless everyone that sees it, that’s what I want, is the children to be blessed … and moms and dads,” Wilson said. “And I hope that it’ll bring everyone some joy.”

reporter@vicnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Canadian Coast Guard breaks ground on permanent search and rescue station in Victoria

Victoria-based SAR will do all rescues in local harbour and parts of the Strait of Juan de Fuca

Police actions under investigation following Langford arrest

IIO investigates officer-related incidents that result in serious harm

Victoria woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

Victoria council looks to self-impose carbon tax on staff airfare

A new carbon pricing fee would put additional funds into the city’s Climate Action Reserve

Gas stations could push to 167.9 cents a litre this week

Analyst says high prices are due to supply and demand

WATCH: Cougar saunters through Metchosin yard

Spring cougar sighting caught on camera

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Island Cup set for East Sooke on May 3-5

Off-road racing event expected to attract over 50 racers

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Most Read