Once upon a time (way back in the 90’s) I went to the park on the corner of Superior and St. Lawrence streets to enjoy a game of softball. The sun was shining, the game was fun, but the temperature was several degrees below the rest of town. Despite the gorgeous site at Fisherman’s Wharf, it was one of my least favourite parks to hang out in.
Recently this park has climbed up several notches in my esteem. The city of Victoria has completed a massive makeover.
Now it’s a leap to imagine the flat sports field. Brand spanking new hills block views of the urban streets & buildings. The varied landscape creates a feeling of privacy. It makes the green space seem larger than it really is.
Wandering pathways lead to several garden rooms. I especially like with the emphasis on native plants & trees. A walk along one of the trails feels so much more peaceful than one on the sidewalk just a few yards away.
Part of the new design is a rain garden. By coincidence the same folks that created the Atrium rain garden that I like so much, also came up with this design.
The James Bay project has a much larger retention pond than the little boulevards at Yates and Blanchard streets.
It’s engineered so that the local streets & parking areas provide the runoff water for the large rain garden. Notice how deep the pond can get before excess water flows into the raised storm drain. I’m so curious to come back to see the ponds in the peak of rainy season.
A stone wall winds around the park, showing where the natural shoreline used to be. In one place, The Victoria Parks Department has even gone to the length of adding sand, grasses and logs reminiscent of the past beach. Isn’t it charming?
Being near all the boats at Fisherman’s Wharf, it seems suitable that the playground matches with a shipwreck at its entry gate
And for folks that really do want to throw around a baseball, there still is a wide open grassy area. My imagination has an active game of Frisbee tag keeping me warm against the cool sea breeze.
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