Songhees Park Expansion
The Songhees Park Expansion is a park improvement project constructed in 2022 as part of the City’s waterfront public realm revitalization. The project has developed 0.76 hectares (1.8 acres) of new parkland next to the Inner Harbour as an expansion to the existing park.
The park has been designed in collaboration with the Songhees Nation and includes feedback from community groups such as the Victoria West Community Association. The site is located on the homeland of the Lekwungen and was the first Songhees Reserve from 1844 to 1911.
The new park is now open and features:
- Places to sit and enjoy spectacular views of the Inner Harbour
- Lekwungen art
- Additional trees, as well as indigenous and adaptive plantings that will thrive in our climate and provide habitat for birds and other wildlife
- Accessible circulation routes
- Features that encourage play and exploration
- A waterfront viewing platform
- Upgraded lighting, seating, picnic tables and other amenities
Interpretive signage and audio to share information about Lekwungen culture is in development and will be added when completed.
Songhees Park is located at an important hub in the City’s active transportation network, connecting to the Johnson Street Bridge and the downtown core, the Songhees Walkway, the E&N Trail and the Galloping Goose Regional Trail.
The planting in the park combines ecology with horticulture and is inspired by our local landscapes, including the Garry oak meadow. A variety of indigenous plants of the maritime meadow, rock outcrop and coastal Douglas fir habitats have been planted and seeded throughout the park to respond to the different site conditions in the urban context. Newly planted trees include Arbutus, Garry oak, Douglas fir and Shore pine. As a dynamic living system, the species composition of the park landscape will change over time to gradually become a biologically diverse and robust landscape to benefit people, pollinators and wildlife. The meadow and planting areas will take a few years to establish with additional seeding planned for fall 2022.
The park celebrates the theme of Land, Sea and Air, which are connected as a holistic web of life. The health and well-being of people connects with all life in the plant, mineral and animal kingdoms.
Indigenous Artist in Residence, Dylan Thomas, collaborated with representatives of the Songhees Nation on the Canoe Paddle artwork in the new Bridge Plaza. Dylan is a member of the Lyackson First Nation and has family ties to the Songhees Nation through his late great-grandmother.