Saturday June 18: Community welcomed to new pavilion

June 16, 2022
Esquimalt News

Esquimalt, BC—Mayor & Council invite the public to the grand opening of the Gorge Park Pavilion at Esquimalt Gorge Park.

Visitors will enjoy the renewed grounds and have an opportunity to tour the building. Sitting at 6,000+ sq ft, the pavilion covers two floors, each with stunning views of the water and surrounding gardens.

The ceremony will include the Lək̓ʷəŋən Traditional Dancers, Uminari Taiko drummers, a garden tour and special guests.

  • Where: Esquimalt Gorge Park
  • Address: 1070 Tillicum Rd
  • When: June 18, 2022 - 12:00PM to 2:00PM

The pavilion and grounds are intended to be a community gathering space. The township is providing programming like art and yoga classes, in addition to renting the building for events.

The building’s design influence comes from the original tea house that was located on the site. The Japanese Tea Garden was originally designed and built in 1907 by Isaburo Kishida for his son, Yoshihiro Kishida and Yoshihiro’s business partner, Hayato Takata who had contracted with the B.C. Electric Railway Company to provide the park with an authentic Japanese Tea Garden. In 1942, members of the public vandalized the tea house when Japanese Canadians were forced into internment.

The garden is the oldest Japanese Garden in North America. Isaburo Kishida also designed the Japanese Gardens at Royal Roads and Butchart Gardens.

After public consultation indicated that there was community support for a new facility on the site, the pavilion was funded through a portion of the $17M McLoughlin Amenity Funds. Esquimalt received the funds from the Capital Regional District in exchange for the use of McLoughlin Point for the region’s wastewater treatment plant. Pavilion construction began in summer 2020.

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