With the remediation work complete, the design of the new three acre Peter Pollen Waterfront Park will occur between late 2019-2020. The goal of this project is to create a high-quality waterfront park that will provide health and wellness benefits, and consider key opportunities identified through public engagement, including:
Next Steps: We look forward to community participation in this park design process. The concept design phase is anticipated to be completed by mid-2020, which will be followed by detailed design and construction. Stay tuned for upcoming engagement opportunities for the new Peter Pollen Waterfront Park on this website.
Peter Pollen was a four term Mayor of the City of Victoria (1971 – 1975 and 1981 – 1985). Pollen championed the preservation of the City’s unique beauty and was dedicated to enhancing its livability. One of his proudest accomplishments was the beautification of the Inner harbour, creating an accessible public space for all to enjoy.
Peter Pollen Waterfront Park has an important and rich cultural history and is a central feature in the Inner Harbour and is part of the Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary. The City owns property at the park which is bordered to the north, east and west by additional federal green space under the custodianship of Transport Canada.
The Songhees and Esquimalt Nations used this area for traditional harvesting and access. In 1850 when First Nations conveyed the peninsula, with other land, to the Hudson’s Bay Company, one of their burial grounds with mortuary poles still stood in the waterside park at Laurel Point. The archeological records for the site indicate that mortuary poles and burial sheds were observed in 1854 however current records indicate that no evidence or deposits remain and the archaeological site is identified as destroyed.
Between 1906 and 1975 Peter Pollen Waterfront Park 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.
Following a multi-year investigation and environmental assessments, the Government of Canada has classified the Victoria Middle Harbour Fill Site (which includes the Peter Pollen Waterfront Park) as a contaminated site. 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 completed this summer, 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. Development of the conceptual design provides an opportunity for further enhancement of the shoreline by using a Green Shores approach.
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