Mayor’s Grove in Beacon Hill Park
Above: Mayor’s Grove is #5 on this map of a portion of Beacon Hill Park. Courtesy of City of Victoria
By Robert Hawkes
The newest addition to Mayor’s Grove in Beacon Hill Park was a Garry oak planted in honour of Gretchen M Brewin. She was the first woman elected as mayor of Victoria, serving from 1985 through 1990. Gretchen Brewin also served two terms as Member of the Legislative Assembly for Victoria Beacon-Hill including as minister in several departments. The tree was unveiled in a ceremony held July 6 with Gretchen Brewin in attendance at the ceremony.
Why not spend a little while this fall exploring Mayor’s Grove? It is a great way to explore a variety of tree types as well as a reminder of historical figures who have visited Victoria or served this area.
The easiest way to find Mayor’s Grove is to start from the children’s play area in the central part of Beacon Hill Park and walk past the nearby picnic tables and along a path in the direction toward downtown. That path is parallel to Arbutus Way. Mayor’s Grove is alongside the soccer fields and is number 5 on the map.
You will come to a kiosk with a map showing all of the trees of Mayor’s Grove. Most of the trees in Mayor’s Grove will be on your right, although the tree honouring Gretchen Brewin is just to the left of the path. Each tree has a marker that shows the type of tree, who it honours and the year of planting.
The grove was established in 1927 when Victoria hosted a conference for western Canadian mayors and the first trees planted honoured those mayors. Trees were later added recognizing visiting foreign leaders including Winston Churchill and the King of Siam (now Thailand), several Governor Generals and Lieutenant Governors as well as a variety of municipal leaders. The twin relationships that Victoria has with several cities around the world are also recognized.