THE UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA ENJOYS A KIND OF DUAL CITIZENSHIP: bisecting campus is the border between Saanich and Oak Bay, two municipalities which this year celebrate their centennials. The Torch enlisted Prof. Larry McCann, a 1966 graduate of the university and urban geography guru, to provide a snapshot of some of the milestones in the history of Saanich and Oak Bay.
Saanich and Oak Bay incorporated as “rural” municipalities to foster orderly growth. North Saanich, Central Saanich created 50 years later. Uplands becomes the first planned subdivision in Canada.
Oak Bay Arena hosts 1925 Stanley Cup finals as the Victoria Cougars defeat the Montréal Canadiens. Shelbourne Street is designed as treed-boulevard in the style of City Beautiful planning.
Three airfields mark Saanich: Lansdowne, Gordon Head and Patricia Bay. Streetcars fade from the landscape; tracks are still visible at Midland Circle in the Uplands.
1950s – 60s
Robert Blandy, long-time municipal clerk of Oak Bay (aka “Blandyville”), retires. Improved water supply from the Sooke Hills feeds post-war building boom. The “Army of Anti-High Rise Housewives” stop apartment construction near UVic.
Nellie McClung, the country’s best known early feminist and Gordon Head resident from 1934 until her passing in 1951, graces a Canadian stamp. The Guiness family takes control of finishing Broadmead, the “new Uplands.”
1980s – 2000s
Abandoned rail beds become the Galloping Goose and Lochside regional trails. Oak Bay records the highest ratio of financial outlets per 1,000 population in Canada. (And no gas stations).
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