Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes said it would be nice if the land around Bowker Creek between Haultain Street and the Royal Jubilee Hospital could be restored and improved as a usable greenspace for patients and visitors at the hospital. The land is known in the community for its path that acts as a serviceable shortcut from Haultain, through the hospital, and down to Fort Street. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Saanich explores potential of unused land behind Jubilee hospital, connects to Hydro field

Triangle tract best known as a community cut-through

With Saanich’s recent purchase agreement in place for the 5.5-acre B.C. Hydro land between Kings Road and Haultain Street, some are already looking at the triangular parcel of land that connects Haultain to the Royal Jubilee Hospital campus and St. Patrick’s elementary.

The land is owned by the Island Catholic Schools Diocese and is mostly centred on Bowker Creek. It can be divided into two sections, the ‘triangle,’ which has a well-trodden foot path and connects the hospital to Haultain, and the ‘school side.’

RELATED: Saanich in agreement to purchase Kings Road land for $5.5 million

A spokesperson said there is a plan to create a school garden on the plot next to the school. However, there is little that can be done with the land along the creek other than protect it, as it falls within Saanich’s rigorous streamside permit area.

The triangle tract is best known as a community cut-through. People at the hospital use it, staff, families, patients, and more. It’s not marked and around the creek it’s mostly overgrown, except for the trail.

Which is why Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes said it’s worth protecting, possibly to create a natural corridor from the hospital all the way to Kings Road.

RELATED: How the Kings Road BC Hydro field narrowly missed becoming a 500-car parking lot

“With the B.C. Hydro land in play as a Saanich acquisition it would be intriguing what more could be done with this extra piece of land that goes from Haultain to the Jubilee hospital,” Haynes said. “I’d like to see if this could be integrated, it could be quite nice with the greenspace restored. It’s a beautiful, natural corridor from the hospital.”

It would take a bit of an investment in terms of resources – but one of the main benefits is that it could be a much better asset for the patients at the hospital, Haynes added.

By default, the land is part of the 100 year plan of overall restoration of Bowker Creek, which is being daylighted as much as possible.

“It’s all about setting in motion a long term enhancement of our natural capital,” Haynes said.

For now, Saanich and the Kings Road advocacy community are focused on raising $2.75 million to ensure the entirety of the Hydro land can be protected as greenspace or a park.

reporter@saanichnews.com


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