Grave Situation

posted on Feb 17

Graveyards (cemeteries) are not usually considered to be "points of interest", but there are two of them in Victoria, which I consider to be very special and they?re both located just minutes from each other.

The Ross Bay Cemetery is settled next to the bay, after which it got its name. Located in the Fairfield district, about a 5 -10 minute drive ( a 25 minute walk) from downtown Victoria, it is the final resting place of many of Victoria?s most prominent citizens. Among them are Sir James Douglas (the founder of the Colony of Victoria) and Emily Carr, the renowned Victoria artist whose works still inspire awe around the world.

The cemetery is absolutely beautiful, somewhat secluded and dotted with lovely trees, many of them "one of a kind" and all serenely placed to complement the headstones and grave sites that lie beneath. On a quiet day you can hear the waves crashing on the pebbles in the bay and listen to the sea birds while watching the sun filter through the trees to gently illuminate the resting places of the dead, and the living scattered throughout the cemetery.

A two minute drive away (about a 10 minute walk) is the Chinese Cemetery where dozens of Victoria?s original Chinese immigrants are laid to rest. The cemetery is perched right on the edge of the ocean and looks out across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Washington States? Olympic Penninsula.

The Chinese Cemetery is a tranquil and relatively unknown place, even to many local Victorian?s. On a warm, spring day it is a wonderful place to go and sit on the rocks while listening to the lapping of the ocean waves and meditating on the snow-capped Olympic Mountains across the water.

So, if you come to Victoria and wish to spend a tranquil afternoon take the Fairfield bus and ask the driver to drop you at the closest stop to the Ross Bay Cemetery, or the Chinese Cemetery. A visit to either cemetery will help you to learn lots about Victoria?s history while you relax and while away the afternoon.