Beacon Hill Park
The crowning jewel in Victoria's park system, Beacon Hill Park is an oasis of both natural and landscaped beauty.
Unparalleled views mark every season, from wildflowers blanketing the slopes in spring to spectacular waves on stormy days. Its open vista across the Strait of Juan De Fuca and its unique features draw people time and time again.
Beacon Hill Park has an important status as the western terminus, the Mile "0" of the 8,000 kilometre Trans-Canada Highway. The Mile "0" marker is a very popular tourists' photo opportunity! The history and character of Victoria are so closely intertwined with Beacon Hill that no visit to the City would be complete without a visit to the Park.
Click here for the Beacon Hill Park Map [PDF - 708 KB]
The sports fields, miniature golfing green, childrens' petting zoo, playgrounds, cricket pitch, water park and lawn bowling club provide recreation for all ages. On summer evenings and weekends, music drifts from the Cameron Bandshell. The landscape of Victorian flowerbeds, a rose garden, graceful trees, lakes and bridged streams has a life all its own. The Story Pole, erected in 1956, overlooks the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
However Beacon Hill Park is probably best known for its natural features, including the fragile, native Garry Oak ecosystem that provide spectacular spring shows of blue flowering camas and native wildflowers. Other natural areas include large grasslands, Douglas-fir woods and a Black Cottonwood Semi-swamp in the southeast corner of the Park. Kite enthusiasts, paragliders and sailboarders can also take advantage of the distinctive landscape here.
Wildlife abounds in Beacon Hill Park. More than a hundred bird species occur here, including nesting herons, along with a number of mammals such as river otters, raccoons and squirrels. Sunfish, painted turtles and crayfish make their homes in the waterways.
For thousands of years, Beacon Hill has been a place of historical, cultural and sacred significance to the Lekwungen People (now known as Esquimalt Nation and Songhees Nation). The Lekwungen People's activity shaped the landscape in this area, by cultivating camas and other native plants for food.
Beacon Hill Park is considered to be archaeologically significant due to the rich First Nations history in the area. With the guidance and support of the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations, an existing ancient burial ground in Beacon Hill Park has been identified as a potential special place to rebury First Nations human remains.
Beacon Hill Park was formalized in 1882, when the Province of British Columbia granted 75 hectares to the City of Victoria to be held in trust. Beacon Hill Park defines the very essence of Victoria and was designated a municipal heritage site in 2009. Read more about the History of Beacon Hill Park.