Unveiling and First Nations Blessing of New Wayfinding Signage Downtown

The unveiling and First Nations blessing ceremony of the City's new wayfinding signage took place today at Victoria's Inner Harbour, near the Visitor's Centre.

Mayor Lisa Helps was joined by Esquimalt Nation Chief Andy Thomas and Songhees Nation Chief Ron Sam and his son, Elder Mary Ann Thomas, and Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, who participated in the ceremony.

The wayfinding sign is one of 11 signs to be installed as part of the first phase of the City’s new wayfinding system, which focuses on downtown and the David Foster Harbour Pathway from Ogden Point to the Johnson Street Bridge.

A key feature is the incorporation of Lekwungen place names, demonstrating that Victoria is located on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen People. Adopted by City Council in 2017, the Victoria Citywide Wayfinding Strategy is designed to assist visitors and residents navigate their way to key attractions and destinations in the Capital City.
(Photo below: Elder Mary Ann Thomas blessing the wayfinding sign.)

The ceremony provided an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of Dr. Elmer Seniemten George, the Chiefs and Councils of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, and the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, who have worked closely with the City on this initiative.

The Lekwungen place names featured on the 11 large wayfinding signs include:

  • Inner Harbour – xʷsey̓’əm  (two signs)
  • Chinatown – čeymən tawen
  • Douglas Street – xʷənitəm siʔem saɫ
  • Old Town – kə’siŋ’aləs
  • City Hall – siʔem tawen’ewtxw
  • James Bay – sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ
  • Ogden Point – čən’it taŋ’exw   (two signs)
  • Fisherman’s Wharf – sq̓e̓ʔqeq̓ wa’əp
  • Belleville Terminal – xʷey'qʷəlʔəɬ   

Phase 1 of the wayfinding system consists of 68 signs, which includes the 11 large wayfinding signs, in addition to complementary flag, fingerboard and fingerpost wayfinding signs that have already been installed along the David Foster Harbour Pathway. The remaining large wayfinding signs will be installed downtown over the next few weeks.

The second phase will focus on extending the wayfinding system into neighbourhoods and village centres in late 2018 and early 2019.

Creating a positive wayfinding experience reinforces Victoria as an inclusive, walkable and welcoming city. The new wayfinding system is designed to help guide pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users around Victoria and will enhance the experience of visitors.

Phase 1 of the wayfinding system is funded by the City of Victoria with support from the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and a Trans Canada Trail grant.