BC is home to many beautiful gardens and parks, and one of them just so happens to be the first Japanese Garden in North America!

Developed over a century ago, Esquimalt Gorge Park is located in the historic Township of Esquimalt, which has taken great strides to recreate the historic Kishida/Takata Gardens. While the original 1907 garden developed by Japanese gardener Isaburo Kishida no longer exists as it once did, there are remnants of this historic garden that remain today.

Upon its completion in the early 20th century, the garden was home to a successful Tea House for many years, run by the Takata family until the internment of Japanese Canadians began in 1941.

In 2009, a traditional Japanese entry gate was completed along with the refurbishing of the ornamental stream and its bridge. In October of that year, the Township held an official re-opening ceremony alongside members of the Japanese community and a representative from the Government of Japan.

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Esquimalt Gorge Park
Photo via Township of Esquimalt

Visitors today can also visit the newly completed Esquimalt Gorge Park Pavillion, which boasts panoramic views of the Gorge Waterway.

With over 6,000 square feet of space available for public use, the Pavillion is a great option when it comes to weddings, reunions, and special occasions, and is available for booking online.

In addition to large banquet halls, the space offers visitors the chance to roam a “delicate cherry tree forest” and relax by the reflective pond.

So there you have it, Vancouver! While the historic garden is still being revived to this day, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Esquimalt Gorge Park 

Where: 1070 Tillicum Road, Esquimalt