Turkey Head, Oak Bay

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Turkey Head, Oak Bay

by | Oct 4, 2020

Turkey Head is a small peninsula that forms a natural harbour on the southern shore of Oak Bay, 3 miles (4.8 km) east of downtown Victoria, British Columbia. Since 1906, Oak Bay is also the name of a municipality surrounding the bay and a member of the Capital Regional District, one of the 13 municipalities of Greater Victoria. Oak Bay takes its name from the Garry oak which is found throughout the region.

For many centuries, aboriginal groups camped or lived on lands surrounding Oak Bay. The Lkwungen First Nations lived on the bay from approximately 100 BC to 1911. Two families, the Chilcowitch and Chekonein, traditionally lived in temporary settlements along the waterfront between Turkey Head and Cordova Bay. The first European explorers arrived in the late 1700s, and the British established Fort Victoria in 1843. Afterward, these small villages were largely abandoned for the security and trading opportunities gained by being closer to Fort Victoria. At this time the Hudson’s Bay Company had control over most of the land surrounding Oak Bay, followed by several family farms established through the second half of the 19th century. In 1850, John Tod built a house on a 109-acre (44 ha) farm that today is the oldest continuously occupied home in western Canada.

In 1912, the farmlands of the Hudson’s Bay Company were subdivided to create housing tracts, but development was stopped by World War I. In 1959, a breakwater was built on Turkey Head and on Mary Tod Island to provide additional protection for the harbour. The Oak Bay Marina was built in 1962 and opened in 1964. Read more here and here. Explore more of Oak Bay and Turkey Head here:

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