(Photo by Jim Sutherland)

A historic Victoria landmark has been moved from its spot facing the harbour to storage for safe keeping. The move is a part of the City of Victoria and Transport Canada’s Laurel Point Park Remediation Project.

Announced earlier this year, the remediation project aims to clean up the former industrial area that used to house the British American Paint Company factory.

(The British American Paint Company factory, from the city of Victoria website)

The factory, active from 1906 – 1975, manufactured paints, varnishes, and lacquers, and used to store paint and raw products in underground and above ground storage tanks.

Park goers are not expected to be in any danger, but park and construction workers may be at risk of exposure if they come into contact with repeated soil disturbances. They have been warned to take extra safety precautions.

The city is spending up to $3.1 million on the project, while Transport Canada is contributing an estimated $20 – $25 million.

Further costs up to $300,000 may incur for the city as soil samples and site risk assessment analyses will have to be conducted.

The Timeline

Transport Canada completed “phase 1” of the project in February 2018. The rest of the project was scheduled to begin this month, September 2018, and is expected to finish some time in late 2019.

This phase of the project includes “the temporary removal of benches, public art, etc.”, explaining the disappearance of the Laurel Point cannon.

The History

The Laurel Point cannon was donated to the City of Victoria to commemorate the opening of Delta’s Laurel Point Inn. The cannon was first fired on Friday, March 31, 1978, at noon.

Historically, the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations used the area for traditional harvesting and access to the water.