We have a a few treats left to intrigue and temp you with yet….here is one: Our Destination – The Japanese Garden at The Gorge.
Did you know that it was the 1st Japanese Garden in North America?
Did you know that its designer was the same chap who designed Butchart Gardens?
“In 1907, Japanese garden designer Isaburo Kishida, then in his 60s, was asked by his son, Yoshitaro, to take the long and difficult sea journey to Victoria B.C. and join him in setting up a Japanese tea garden in Victorias Esquimalt Gorge Park. It was the first Japanese gardens in British Columbia and it soon started a trend of them amongst Edwardian high society.
With the highly successful opening of the tea garden, which drew a record breaking attendance of 5000 people in three days, many people desired a private Japanese garden of their own, and it was soon after the opening that three very influential families of the time commissioned Kishida to design gardens on their estate grounds. Of the three, two remain intact today, one being the Butchant Garden, the other the Japanese garden at Hatley Park, which was commissioned by coal baron and politician James Dunsmuir and his wife Laura in approximately 1909 and believed to have been completed the following year.”
Taken from: http://www.recreatingeden.com/index.php?pid=8&season=05&episode=55
In the 1920′s and 30′s, Victoria’s Gorge Waterway was the place to be in the summer. Along with swimming and boating, one of the most popular attractions was the Japanese Tea Gardens.
The Garden was operated until 1941, when the Takada family who ran it, were sent to a Japanese internment camp in the Kootenays – never to return.
The Gardens and Tea House were destroyed by vandals.
The Township of Esquimalt and Volunteers have done Yeoman’s work in restoring the site.
…and Mr. Takada still gardens in Toronto:
…and is a Master of the Art of Bonsai:
Kensuke Takata: A Pioneer of Bonsai in Canada
So, we offer up a bit of our local history to the Riders and hope that they enjoy the Kishida-Takata Gardens while on the picnic.