Esquimalt Gorge Park is located on the Gorge Waterway in historic Esquimalt, British Columbia. When the park was developed more than 100 years ago, a key attraction was the establishment of North America’s first Japanese Garden. The Garden was originally designed by Isaburo Kishida in 1907. The Takata family operated a very successful Tea House in the gardens for many years until 1941 when Canadian citizens of Japanese ancestry were sent to internment camps. Sadly few elements of this great Japanese garden remain today.
The Township of Esquimalt has taken the first steps in recreating North America’s oldest Japanese Garden, the original Kishida/Takata Gardens. The refurbishing of the ornamental stream, the construction of a traditional Japanese bridge over it is now complete and a traditional Japanese entry gate has now being installed. These are small but very important steps in returning the spirit and soul of this important historical garden back to the community.
In October 2009 the Township held an official re-opening ceremony with members of the Japanese Community and a representative from the Government of Japan attending. The ceremony consisted of a Buddhist garden blessing and performances by the Uminari Drum Group and the Furusato Dancers.
The Township of Esquimalt continues its work on the site and encourages your support for our community’s revived Japanese Garden in Esquimalt Gorge Park.
For more information please contact Rick Daykin, Manager of Parks Services @ 250.412.8508.