Esquimalt First Nation dancers Marcus Goldsmith

Esquimalt First Nation dancers Marcus Goldsmith

Uptown unveils plaza, centerpiece fountain

The town plaza at Uptown is now officially open to the public.

The town plaza at Uptown is now officially open to the public.

An area once blocked off to both pedestrians and cars was unveiled to the public during a ceremony on Wednesday morning.

“Those of you who remember the old Town and Country remember that four years ago if you were standing in this location, you would’ve been slightly south of Peter’s Ice Cream… and standing in an actual parking lot with about three trees in sight,” Geoff Nagle, director of development with Morguard Investments, the owner of Uptown, said at the unveiling.

In the boulevard now sits a grassy square lined with pink and blue flowers, and benches for the public.

The centre of the square holds a large, almond shaped mosaic representing traditional Coast Salish art with four thunderbirds and two human heads; one male and one female.

The opening of the boulevard and unveiling of the artwork, done by artist Joe Wilson, is the latest milestone for the upscale shopping centre.

It also marks the start of Uptown’s phase two – getting retailers and businesses into the empty storefronts set to open by next spring.

At the unveiling, Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard was more than pleased with the latest phase of the project. “I think the best thing I can say is that it looks better than the drawing – it’s that good,” he said.

“There’s no disappointment with what’s happening here at Uptown.”

A public celebration, with live music, kids activities and cupcake decorating, followed the unveiling.

The town plaza was designed for community use and events such as these.

“This is a central part of Uptown, the plaza here. We’re looking forward to our community gathering here on many occasions,” Leonard said.

The First Nations mosaic, which acts as the base of a fountain in the boulevard, has been a year-and-a-half in the making, according to Wilson.

Wilson designed the artwork with Chris MacDonald of Eagle Feather Gallery.

The mosaic contains more than 4,000 pieces of blue, green and yellow glass tile. At night, the bottom of the fountain lights up.

Standing in front of the mosaic after the ceremony, Wilson laughed as a little boy ran through the fountain.

Seeing the final product is totally exhilarating, he said.

“I just hope that it will bless everyone that sees it, that’s what I want, is the children to be blessed … and moms and dads,” Wilson said. “And I hope that it’ll bring everyone some joy.”

reporter@vicnews.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Nexii roof panel is lifted during construction of a Starbucks in Abbotsford. Alexzi Building Solutions will be building a manufacturing plant in Langford or North Cowichan to produce the sustainable construction panels. (Photo courtesy of Alexzi Building Solutions)
Langford eyed for facility to make green building alternative to concrete

Langford, North Cowichan possible sites for plant to create sustainable construction panels

Local MP Elizabeth May says the public has a right to know the identity of the company that plans to operate the massive warehouse proposed for Sidney on airport lands but residents who want to stop the project would probably have to go through the courts. (Black Press Media File)
MP Elizabeth May says public has right to know identity of Sidney warehouse operator

Residents wanting to stop the project would probably have to go through the courts, said May

Bukwila by Art Thompson, set at the steps of Lansdowne campus’ Wilna Thomas Cultural Centre, has been welcoming students to campus since 1997. (Photo courtesy of Camosun College)
World-renowned artist’s legacy lives on at Camosun College

Art Thompson made untold contributions toward Indigenous education, art and advocacy

Did you know, according to the CRD, every person produces an average of 185–200 litres of wastewater per day? Here’s where most of it gets treated, at the new wastewater treatment facility at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt. (CRD image)
View Royal signs on to wastewater funding plan

Capital Regional District requesting to borrow up to $34.3 million to upgrade infrastructure

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Island Health has confirmed COVID-19 exposures at Ecole des Deux Mondes in Campbell River on May 4 and 5, and at Mill Bay Nature School in Mill Bay on April 28, 29, 30 and May 3. (Metro Creative photo)
Two new COVID-19 school exposures confirmed by Island Health

Health authority contacting anyone exposed at Ecole des Deux Mondes, Mill Bay Nature School

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Most Read