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Uplands, Greater Victoria

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Uplands, Victoria (known locally as "the Uplands") is a 465-acre neighbourhood located in the north east part of the District of Oak Bay, a suburb adjacent to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and situated between the neighbourhoods of Cadboro Bay and North Oak Bay. Uplands is a prominent example of a garden suburb designed in the early part of the 20th century.

In 1907, the developers of Uplands, John A, Robert and Dawson Turner previously cattle and horse ranchers from Turner Valley Alberta and originally Scotland purchased the area for the sum of $275,000 and hired the leading landscape architect John Olmsted as the designer. Olmsted designed famous neighbourhoods and parks in North America. The Uplands of today is faithful to Olmsted's vision: an elegant neighbourhood with estate-sized lots, serpentine streets and the signature green, globed, ornate lamp posts. The houses are built to impress and the sprawling gardens are carefully manicured. For John Olmsted personally, of all his subdivision projects, Uplands was “unquestionably the best adapted to obtain the greatest amount of landscape beauty in connection with suburban development.”[1]

Uplands has a seaside setting and has within its boundaries the large Uplands Park. Uplands Park is not the manicured park of flower beds and walks that might be expected in such a meticulously designed garden suburb. Rather, it is a wild, seaside expanse of jagged rock crags, trees stunted and shaped by the wind, lonely heaths and dramatic ocean vistas. The wildness of Uplands Park contrasts sharply with the manicured lawns and flower beds in front of the mansions that line Beach Drive, the main road through Uplands.

In keeping with its seaside location, the Royal Victoria Yacht Club is located within the Uplands, and is the oldest yacht club in British Columbia.[2]The Songhees continue to allege the original Douglas Treaty was violated. In 2009, the First Nation filed a lawsuit against the federal and provincial government over broken promises over the use of the Uplands land.

“Under the treaty, the Songhees ancestors were promised that their village sites and fields would be protected for their use and the use of future generations, and that their villages and fields would be properly surveyed,” Rory Morahan, lawyer for the Songhees First Nation, told the Times Colonist in 2009.

But this didn’t happen. Instead, the land title was issued to other parties; “that is, non-aboriginal colonists,” said Morahan. These colonists, who built the homes that make up many of Victoria’s historic neighbourhoods, often did not appreciate that their houses sat atop the ruins of vast settlements built by the ancestors of the Songhees, but they did start to notice the bones.

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Physical environment

The bedrock under Uplands is quartz diorite gneiss.[3][4] Soils are well drained sandy loams of the Cadboro and Langford series (Cd-L or Lsl), or poorly drained sandy clay loams of the Tolmie series (Tscl); all have thick dark topsoils. In near-shore areas the soils are more stony and are mapped as Langford-Rough Stony complex(L-Rs).[5]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "A Brief History of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club".
  3. ^ Geology of the Victoria and Saanich Map Areas, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. C.H. Clapp, 1913
  4. ^ Geology, Victoria, west of sixth meridian. J.E. Muller, 1983
  5. ^ Soil Survey of Southeast Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, British Columbia. J.H. Day et al, 1959

External links

This page was last edited on 26 October 2020, at 22:06
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