Beacon Hill Park, located in the heart of Victoria, is named after two beacons that were used by sailors on the Strait of Juan de Fuca to avoid hazards in the area as early as the mid-1800s. It has been a part of the City of Victoria since 1882. Rich in cultural history and natural beauty, the park is within walking distance to downtown and is a must see for any visitor to Victoria.
In the 1950s a cedar totem pole was carved by Chief Mungo Martin and other members of the Kwakiutl tribe. It was erected in the park in 1956, and at that time it was the world’s tallest free-standing pole at almost 130 feet (39 meters). Still considered one of the five tallest in the world, the Story Pole’s impressive stature and intricate carvings are a unique addition to the park.
In 2009 the park was designated a municipal heritage site because of its rich history and significance to the city of Victoria.
Today there are gardens, walking paths, the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm, ponds, sport fields, playgrounds, and a large variety of birds to see. Peacocks roam freely throughout the park, and many other birds such as owls, bald eagles, and great blue herons can be seen amongst the trees. The park also hosts a variety of events throughout the summer months.