Peter Pollen Waterfront Park Remediation Project

Right now, neighbours, the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations, and the entire community are involved in designing the new park and its amenities, in keeping with the vision and objectives of the City’s Parks and Open Space Master Plan.

The goal is to create a high-quality waterfront park that will provide health and wellness benefits for citizens. Considerations will be made to the following key opportunities identified for the park through past planning and engagement activities:  

  • Strengthen pedestrian connectivity within the site and to adjacent sites 
  • Create an inviting and safe space
  • Support recreation, including play opportunities 
  • Support the well-being of local wildlife 
  • Support the health and function of the harbour 
  • Explore Green Shores approach with the shoreline 

The concept design phase is anticipated to be complete by Winter 2020. Following Council approval of the concept design, the detailed design and park construction will begin. In the interim, the City has reopened the site now that the grass has been established.

How to Get Involved
There will be many of opportunities to get involved and help shape the future of Peter Pollen Waterfront Park throughout the concept design stage. Learn more and sign up to review project updates.

Background

The Peter Pollen Waterfront Remediation Project was a partnership project between Transport Canada and the City of Victoria. The remediation area includes a City owned park and sections of the David Foster Harbour Pathway. 

 

Between fall 2018 and summer 2019 Transport Canada remediated the soil from the site. Workers removed contaminated soil, treated it off-site, refilled the area with clean soil and are re-turfing the park.


Site History

This site has important and rich cultural history and is a central feature in the Inner Harbour. Locally, the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations used this area for traditional harvesting and access.

Between 1906 and 1975 Laurel Point was home to the British American Paint Company, operating as a paint factory.  During this time, the site was also periodically infilled with unknown materials.

 

 British America Paint Co. (BAPCo) at Laurel Point.  (City of Victoria Archives M06564)

Why is this remediation project important?

Following a multi-year investigation and environmental assessments, the Government of Canada has classified the Victoria Middle Harbour Fill Site (which includes the park) as a contaminated site.  Although the contaminants do not pose a risk to park users, it is important to move forward with remediation in order to mitigate marine and terrestrial ecosystem risks.

Transport Canada previously completed Phase One in February 2018 and successfully remediated the underwater contaminated sediments in Victoria Harbour adjacent to the park.

The work being undertaken is important for the well-being of marine wildlife, will improve the overall health and function of the harbour and reduce the risk of recontamination in the future. 


Timelines

The project started in September 2018. Transport Canada completed the remediation as quickly and sustainably as possible in order to minimize disruption to this public space.

The site was restored by late 2019. The City is now undertaking a separate process to determine a future park improvement plan and pathway investments.

  • September 2018:  Site preparations including the temporary removal of benches, public art, and other city assets. These features were temporarily relocated and/or stored during the remediation project.
  • October 2018: Remediation project starts.  All trees were removed from the site to complete the soil remediation.
  • Summer 2019: Transport Canada’s completed the project and the City re-turfed and installed a gravel pathway
  • 2020: Peter Pollen Waterfront Park Improvement Plan: The City will be developing a Park Improvement Plan for the site. This process will have opportunities for the public to be involved and will include new trees and landscaping, furniture, public art and upgrades to the pedestrian pathway.