sč̓əmaθən | Peter Pollen Waterfront Park

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sč̓əmaθən | Peter Pollen Waterfront Park, the City of Victoria’s expanded waterfront park, is undergoing redevelopment following the remediation of contaminated soil completed in partnership with Transport Canada.

The goal of this project is to create a high-quality waterfront park that will provide health and wellness benefits, and deliver key objectives identified through engagement, including:

  • Creating a welcoming and inclusive space
  • Acknowledging Indigenous connections to the land
  • Strengthening pedestrian connectivity within the site and to adjacent sites
  • Supporting recreation and play
  • Supporting ecological health

Virtual Open House Complete

The City hosted its first virtual open house in June 2020 to receive public feedback on the concept design for this park. This new approach was a creative way for the City to continue to advance this major project while complying with current public health guidelines. The feedback collected will help inform the final design concept.

For more detail, view the park concept document.

Next Steps

Further engagement with the Lekwungen regarding the final design concept is currently underway. Once complete, the design concept will be shared online here with the public and presented to Council for approval. The park is currently open to residents and visitors while the planning work continues.

Sign up to follow the project to receive project updates.

About the Project

Named sč̓əmaθən | Peter Pollen Waterfront Park in 2019, the newly remediated and expanded waterfront park is located along the Harbour Pathway and contributes to the story of environmental revitalization along Victoria's waterfront. This site has an important and rich cultural history and continues to be a primary feature of the Inner Harbour.

Peter Pollen was a four-term Mayor of the City of Victoria (1971-1975 and 1981-1985). Pollen championed the preservation of the Victoria’s unique natural beauty and was dedicated to enhancing its livability. One of his proudest accomplishments was the beautification of the Inner Harbour, which included creating an accessible public space at Laurel Point for all to enjoy.

sč̓əmaθən is the Lekwungen name for the area occupied by the park. The name refers to the waters around the point, describing the shape of the bay. Located in the Lekwungen Homeland, the site and surrounding waters are of cultural significance to the Lekwungen. A Lekwungen burial ground with mortuary poles and burial sheds was observed in 1854 at the northern tip of the point, which was then a narrow, rocky peninsula. Arbutus trees (Laurel) were described in historic records to be growing in the area at that time. Unfortunately, records indicate that no evidence or deposits from the burial ground remain and the archaeological site is considered to have been destroyed.

The point has since been extensively modified by development and was expanded by infilling of the land. Between 1906 and 1975, the park site was home to a paint factory operated by the British American Paint Company. During this time, the site was also periodically infilled with imported materials.

Following a multi-year investigation and environmental assessment, the Government of Canada classified the Victoria Middle Harbour Fill Site, which includes the park, as a contaminated site. Phase One of the remediation project, which addressed the underwater contaminated sediments in areas adjacent to the park in Victoria Harbour, was completed in February 2018. The remaining remediation work was completed in summer 2019. The work undertaken is important for the well-being of marine wildlife as it will improve the overall health and function of the harbour and reduce the risk of recontamination in the future. Development of the concept design provides an opportunity for further enhancement of the park.

For more detail on the remediation project, visit: https://www.victoria.ca/EN/main/residents/parks/harbour-pathway/laurel-point-park-remediation-project.html



sč̓əmaθən | Peter Pollen Waterfront Park, the City of Victoria’s expanded waterfront park, is undergoing redevelopment following the remediation of contaminated soil completed in partnership with Transport Canada.

The goal of this project is to create a high-quality waterfront park that will provide health and wellness benefits, and deliver key objectives identified through engagement, including:

  • Creating a welcoming and inclusive space
  • Acknowledging Indigenous connections to the land
  • Strengthening pedestrian connectivity within the site and to adjacent sites
  • Supporting recreation and play
  • Supporting ecological health

Virtual Open House Complete

The City hosted its first virtual open house in June 2020 to receive public feedback on the concept design for this park. This new approach was a creative way for the City to continue to advance this major project while complying with current public health guidelines. The feedback collected will help inform the final design concept.

For more detail, view the park concept document.

Next Steps

Further engagement with the Lekwungen regarding the final design concept is currently underway. Once complete, the design concept will be shared online here with the public and presented to Council for approval. The park is currently open to residents and visitors while the planning work continues.

Sign up to follow the project to receive project updates.

About the Project

Named sč̓əmaθən | Peter Pollen Waterfront Park in 2019, the newly remediated and expanded waterfront park is located along the Harbour Pathway and contributes to the story of environmental revitalization along Victoria's waterfront. This site has an important and rich cultural history and continues to be a primary feature of the Inner Harbour.

Peter Pollen was a four-term Mayor of the City of Victoria (1971-1975 and 1981-1985). Pollen championed the preservation of the Victoria’s unique natural beauty and was dedicated to enhancing its livability. One of his proudest accomplishments was the beautification of the Inner Harbour, which included creating an accessible public space at Laurel Point for all to enjoy.

sč̓əmaθən is the Lekwungen name for the area occupied by the park. The name refers to the waters around the point, describing the shape of the bay. Located in the Lekwungen Homeland, the site and surrounding waters are of cultural significance to the Lekwungen. A Lekwungen burial ground with mortuary poles and burial sheds was observed in 1854 at the northern tip of the point, which was then a narrow, rocky peninsula. Arbutus trees (Laurel) were described in historic records to be growing in the area at that time. Unfortunately, records indicate that no evidence or deposits from the burial ground remain and the archaeological site is considered to have been destroyed.

The point has since been extensively modified by development and was expanded by infilling of the land. Between 1906 and 1975, the park site was home to a paint factory operated by the British American Paint Company. During this time, the site was also periodically infilled with imported materials.

Following a multi-year investigation and environmental assessment, the Government of Canada classified the Victoria Middle Harbour Fill Site, which includes the park, as a contaminated site. Phase One of the remediation project, which addressed the underwater contaminated sediments in areas adjacent to the park in Victoria Harbour, was completed in February 2018. The remaining remediation work was completed in summer 2019. The work undertaken is important for the well-being of marine wildlife as it will improve the overall health and function of the harbour and reduce the risk of recontamination in the future. Development of the concept design provides an opportunity for further enhancement of the park.

For more detail on the remediation project, visit: https://www.victoria.ca/EN/main/residents/parks/harbour-pathway/laurel-point-park-remediation-project.html