sč̓əmaθən | Peter Pollen Waterfront Park

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sč̓əmaθən/Peter Pollen Waterfront Park, the City of Victoria’s expanded three-acre park, is undergoing development following the remediation of contaminated soil completed in partnership with Transport Canada.

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 progress this major project, while complying with the current public health guidelines. The feedback collected will help to inform plan revisions to finalize the design.

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 public engagement, including:

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

For more detail, view the park concept document.

Next Steps

The concept design is anticipated to be completed and presented to Council in fall 2020. Sign up to follow the project to receive an update once a Council date is set.

The park is currently open to residents and visitors while phase two planning work continues.

About the Project

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.

This expanded 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, the park site 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 classified the Victoria Middle Harbour Fill Site (which includes the park) as a contaminated site. Transport Canada completed Phase One in February 2018 and successfully remediated the underwater contaminated sediments in Victoria Harbour adjacent to the park.

The remediation work was completed in summer 2019 and is important for the well-being of marine wildlife, improving the overall health and function of the harbour and reducing the risk of recontamination in the future. Development of the concept design provides an opportunity for further enhancement of the shoreline.


sč̓əmaθən/Peter Pollen Waterfront Park, the City of Victoria’s expanded three-acre park, is undergoing development following the remediation of contaminated soil completed in partnership with Transport Canada.

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 progress this major project, while complying with the current public health guidelines. The feedback collected will help to inform plan revisions to finalize the design.

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 public engagement, including:

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

For more detail, view the park concept document.

Next Steps

The concept design is anticipated to be completed and presented to Council in fall 2020. Sign up to follow the project to receive an update once a Council date is set.

The park is currently open to residents and visitors while phase two planning work continues.

About the Project

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.

This expanded 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, the park site 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 classified the Victoria Middle Harbour Fill Site (which includes the park) as a contaminated site. Transport Canada completed Phase One in February 2018 and successfully remediated the underwater contaminated sediments in Victoria Harbour adjacent to the park.

The remediation work was completed in summer 2019 and is important for the well-being of marine wildlife, improving the overall health and function of the harbour and reducing the risk of recontamination in the future. Development of the concept design provides an opportunity for further enhancement of the shoreline.