Places of Interest
1964 Fairfield Road
In 1946 Peggy Pemberton-Carter acquired this undeveloped lot, married the exiled prince Nicolas Abkhazi of Georgia, and the couple developed and maintained the gardens and their home over the next 40+ years. When Peggy Abkhazi could no longer care for the property, she sold it to her head gardener who in turn sold it to a developer. In 2000, The Land Conservancy of BC, with community support, purchased the property to save it from being developed into townhouses. The site is now operated year-round as a garden, teahouse and gift shop.
The Abkhazi Garden depends on volunteer support for many aspects of its operation. For information about volunteer opportunities contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about visiting the Garden please visit The Land Conservancy website and/or the Abkhazi Garden Facebook page.
Margaret Jenkins School
1824 Fairfield Road
This school is in the heart of Gonzales. It is roughly in the centre of the neighbourhood and the catchment is bigger than the school. Thus all children within the Gonzales borders go to the school. The striking brick building was built in 1913-14 in response to large increases in school enrolments in Victoria. The building design has been described as "... a dignified Dutch gable theme, with much decorative brickwork, including recessed panels, and an imposing central front entrance."* Some of the qualities of the original buildings have been lost or obscured by additions and/or maintenance activities.
École Margaret Jenkins School currently operates as a dual-track English and French Immersion Elementary School. For more information about the school visit their website.
1700 Fairfield Road
This neighbourhood park features a ball diamond (home to Beacon Hill Little League), a children's playground, tennis courts, and a public washroom.
1855 Richardson Street
This neighbourhood park features a ball diamond (part of the Beacon Hill Little League), children's playground, public washroom, and a dog off-leash area. The park still retains some large trees and features a short path through the forest that locals often walk to look for Barred Owls. The park is connected to Margaret Jenkins School via the Chandler Avenue - Gonzales Avenue cut through, which provides a safe alternative walking or cycling route to school for children living north of Chandler.
Gonzales Beach is a site that is used by residents from throughout the city, and visitors from across the country and beyond. The small city park above the beach near the corner of Ross and Richmond features grassy lawns with a few picnic tables and benches, a public washroom, and a bicycle rack. The park beach is open to on-leash dogs between September 1st and May 31st each year.
Gonzales Regional Park
302 Denison Road
The Gonzales Observatory sits atop one of Victoria's most prominent hills. It was constructed as a climate station for the Dominion Meterological Service in 1912-13 but also served as a site for seismological recordings and astronomical observations, and for providing accurate time measurements to mariners. Today there are no staff on site to record measurements, but automatic recording equipment still measures weather and seismological activity. The weather station has been well known as the only site in Canada which had experienced entire years without a freezing temperature.
The 1.8 hectare grounds of the facility have become a park operated by the Capital Regional District (CRD), and provides habitat for Garry Oak trees and a variety of rare plants and animals. The observatory building has been leased to The Land Conservancy.
For more information about the park, visit the CRD website.
For more information about the history of the observatory, click here.
Hollywood Crescent & St. Charles St.
Ross Bay is a pebble beach along the Dallas Road pathway, with views across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Olympic Mountains. The eastern end of the beach is in the Gonzales neighbourhood. In recent years Ross Bay has become popular as a site for cold water immersion.