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|Town of View Royal|
Location of View Royal in British Columbia
|Regional district||Capital Regional District|
|• Governing body||View Royal Town Council|
|• Mayor||David Screech|
|• Total||14.36 km2 (5.54 sq mi)|
|Elevation||20 m (70 ft)|
|Population (2013)BC Stats|
|• Density||653.3/km2 (1,692/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|Waterways||Strait of Juan de Fuca|
View Royal is a town in Greater Victoria and a member municipality of the Capital Regional District of British Columbia, Canada. View Royal has a population of 10,858 residents. With over 700 hectares (1,700 acres) of parkland, View Royal includes McKenzie, Pike, Prior and Thetis Lakes and portions of the Esquimalt Harbour and Portage Inlet.
View Royal's history is closely linked to the entire region. The Esquimalt First Nation, a Coast Salish indigenous people, have occupied View Royal since time immemorial. It began when early inhabitants of today's Esquimalt Harbour crossed an isthmus, now Portage Park, to harvest seafood in Portage Inlet. European settlement began in the 1850s by Kenneth Mackenzie who established a farm known as Craigflower Manor. In the mid-19th century, Dr. John Helmcken, Vancouver Island's first doctor and later speaker of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly, paid the Hudson's Bay Company $5 per acre for hundreds of acres of land between Esquimalt Harbour and what is now Victoria General Hospital. Land was cleared for Victoria's growth. In 1912, the Island Investment Company bought 80 acres (32 ha) of land below Four Mile Hill, fronting on the harbour, from Dr. Helmcken’s son James. They marketed lots as “View Royal” because of their "royal view", which gave the town its name.
View Royal remained unorganized for over half a century. By the 1950s, things had begun to change. In 1959, a group of residents in the Shoreline Drive area circulated a petition urging annexation by Esquimalt. Several studies and referenda came and went but View Royal continued with its unorganized status. In 1966, the Capital Regional District emerged bringing with it regional approaches for delivery of some services such as sewage collection. Then a Price Waterhouse study presented three options: status quo, union with Esquimalt, or incorporation as a town. The town’s incorporation became official December 5, 1988.
Many historic sites can still be found in View Royal including:
- Four Mile Pub & Six Mile Pub: two historic "road houses" or pubs that have existed for approximately 150 years.
- Craigflower Manor & Schoolhouse: one of Canada's National Historic Sites. Completed in 1856, the Manor site was one of four original farms set up by the Hudson's Bay Company as part of their obligations in settling Vancouver Island. The site housed the McKenzie family in the Manor as well as twenty other dwellings, a saw mill, a flour mill, a blacksmith's shop, a brick kiln, slaughterhouse and a general store. The Craigflower Schoolhouse, the companion adjacent site to the Manor, is located across a municipal border. The two properties are located at the intersection of Admirals Road, Craigflower Road and Island Highway.
View Royal is divided into eight neighbourhoods based on topography, transportation corridors, natural environment and the age of housing stock. These neighbourhoods are Atkins, Burnside, Craigflower, Harbour, Helmcken, Hospital, Thetis and Wilfert. In 2011, there were almost 4,140 housing units in the town with a median population age of 44.1 years, which compares to the CRD's of 44.8.
View Royal is not unlike other cities, with a growing drug problem and in 2014 the largest Meth lab in the town was busted just 100 meters from a local school.
View Royal has 70 municipal parks and 25 kilometres (16 mi) of trails. View Royal's shoreline includes sandy beaches with small caves, large driftwood and rocks, which are home to starfish, crabs, seals and other marine life.
Several changes have gone on in View Royal in recent years, including the completion of the Island Highway Improvement Project in 2011, which included new cycle lanes, sidewalks, turning lanes, and planted medians. Beginning in 2013, the Town of View Royal and District of Saanich replaced the 80-year-old Craigflower Bridge and approach roads, and construction began on the new Public Safety Building, scheduled to be complete in fall 2014.
- "British Columbia Regional Districts, Municipalities, Corporate Name, Date of Incorporation and Postal Address" (XLS). British Columbia Ministry of Communities, Sport and Cultural Development. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
- Craigflower Manor and Schoolhouse, B.C. Ministry of Tourism and Culture website retrieved 21-09-10
- Annual Report - Year Ended 2013
- Annual Report - Year Ended 2011
- Craigflower Bridge Replacement Project Archived October 21, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
- New Public Safety Building