The gate posts beckon visitors, but offer no clue to newcomers.
The pair of stone pillars on Mills Road mark Hospital Hill heritage, without providing any information, a situation the Victoria Airport Authority, District of North Saanich and its Heritage Advisory Commission would like to change.
The crest of the hill near Mills and Meadland roads is locally referred to as Hospital Hill after the Royal Canadian Air Force hospital that stood there during the Second World War. The VAA wants to complete the public recreation area with historical information on the site.
“This will cost the North Saanich municipality and taxpayers zero,” said councillor Cairine Green, council liaison to the heritage commission. “This is being taken on completely by the Victoria Airport Authority … and the full $16,000 will be funded by them.”
The VAA asked the heritage commission to take on the project; the commission provided an estimated cost of $16,600 for research, installation, design, printing and bronze plaques to mark the area. The information will focus on the airport and air force hospital history.
“We want to make it attractive and to explain the significance of where those buildings were because there’s nothing left there except those gates,” said Susan Banas, chair of the Heritage Advisory Commission. The gates were moved there from what was the east gate near Canora Road.
“The more of these around the community the better. Parks did a fantastic one at Lillian Hoffar Park,” said councillor Anny Scoones. “This is the kind of thing that makes community, showing people our roots.”
Council agreed to the plan between its heritage group, municipal staff and the airport authority.
“We’re very, very enthusiastic about it,” Green said. “I think it reflects the best of the partnership with the Victoria Airport Authority.”