Among Victoria’s least known gardens, yet one of the area’s most beautiful, are the gardens found at Hatley Park National Historic Site home to Royal Roads University. Situated on the shores of Esquimalt Lagoon with a spectacular view of the Olympic Mountains across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, these gardens have been in existence for almost a century. Built by James Dunsmuir, son of coal baron Robert Dunsmuir, they are among the finest surviving Edwardian gardens in Canada. “I don’t care what it costs, just build it”, were James Dunsmuir’s famous words in the early part of the last century. In 1910, the Dunsmuir family moved into their grand castle. Set in a farm nestled in a 565-acre forest of Douglas firs, there was also a dairy operation, sheep, a tannery and a sawmill.
In the mood for more gardens? Check out the Inside Guide To Southern Vancouver Island’s Secret Gardens and explore garden offerings only the locals know.
Tip: Did you know Hatley Park also offers wedding packages?