Songhees Park Opening Celebrates Unique Partnership with City and Songhees Nation

The newly expanded Songhees Park has opened along the Inner Harbour, becoming the first park developed in partnership between the City of Victoria and the Songhees Nation. The new park area connects people with Lekwungen art and culture and offers places to relax, gather and connect with nature.

The new park area is located at the site of the former Songhees Village and Reserve until 1911. The Songhees Nation identified priorities for the park, including the importance of environmental revitalization and stewardship, the expression of Lekwungen identity and culture, and the education of visitors about the Lekwungen.

New seating walls in the park feature a Lekwungen canoe paddle design created by the City’s Indigenous Artist-in-Residence, Dylan Thomas, working in collaboration with representatives of the Songhees Nation. Coordination between the City and the Songhees Nation will continue over the coming year to create additional artwork and an interactive educational program for park visitors to enjoy.

The 0.76 ha (1.8 acre) expansion increases the size of the existing park by 25 per cent and transforms a former roadway into a hillside greenspace, consisting of a Garry oak maritime meadow and coastal bluff gardens, accessible pathways, elegant lighting, extensive seating and gathering spaces. A new timber viewing platform offers dynamic views of the Inner Harbour. The park also includes 55 new trees and 55 species of indigenous plants that will provide habitat for pollinators and wildlife.

Songhees Park is a key connection point in Victoria’s active transportation network, linking the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, the E&N Rail Trail, the Songhees Walkway and the Johnson Street Bridge.

The $3-million project has been completed on budget.

Photo from Opening