Re-Locating the orchards of Victoria, BC: Re-connecting with the land
Zoom in, turn (blue) layers off/on, and read more text below the map. AirPhoto BA24_37, 1926 reveals a remnant orchard; Turn off the AirPhotos and Map clips. AirPhoto BC5091_266, 1964 also reveals a remnant orchard but planted sometime between 1956 and 1964.
Some of Victoria's early orchards are revealed utilizing clips from the first aerial photos over Victoria in 1926 and 1928.
Orchards can be recognized by ...regular spacing and alignment of trees...near human occupancy... Aerial Photography and Image Interpretation (Paine & Kiser, 2012)
Canada Census of Agriculture of 1921 and prior recorded acres of fruit trees by agriculture district but did not record specifically where the acres where. Other orchards existed but were gone by the time of the 1926/1928 aerial photos. Some orchards were planted later than the 1926/1928 photos as in the case of the orchard now on UVic property. Apples, pears, cherries and plums were prominent. The 1931 Census of Agriculture recorded 1350 acres of fruit tree orchards in the Victoria/Saanich peninsula. The 2011 Census recorded 346 acres of fruit trees which is an increase from the low of 11 acres in 1961.
If you have tree fruit that could be harvested, contact LifeCycles Fruit Tree project.
If you know of other former orchard locations or have photographs of early orchards to share, please use the contact information below.
To know a place is also to know the past. Place...is the past and the present...Every row of trees... Place...is sustained...by the quality of human awareness.
Yi-Fu Tan, 1975. Place: An experiential perspective. Geographical Review 65(2)