Park’s mysteries continue to enthrall

Re: Mount Doug Park still holds a few mysteries (News, Nov. 21)

Re: Mount Doug Park still holds a few mysteries (News, Nov. 21)

This article on Mount Douglas Park has sparked a lot of interest in other historical mysteries within.

Former Saanich mayor Hugh Curtis phoned with information about the large water tank at the Churchill Drive summit and the fire hydrants along the upper half of the drive. According to his recollection, there was an extremely large fire on the south and southeast slopes of Mount Douglas in the late 1960s.

Lacking access to water, the Saanich Fire Department battled the fire for at least three days and the municipality had significant fears of a wind change that might spread the fire into populated areas.

As a result, council at the time had the water tank installed (it’s on the east side of the parking lot faced with stone) and a water pipe installed from Cordova Bay Road (near the old quarry) to fill the tank.

The height difference and subsequent water pressure requires the water lift be done in two sections. Filling the tank requires a fire department pumper truck at the base and a second one two-thirds the way up Churchill to provide the final lift.

UVic professor Dante Canil also informed us about a rock outcropping in Mount Douglas Park where his group age dated some igneous rock (a “diorite”) that is 181 million years old. He is writing an article for our newsletter.

We still want to know about what was at the main summit many years ago.

Are there more mysteries? Let us know at

Darrell Wick, president

Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society