Gorge Waterway

The Gorge Waterway, known to locals as simply “the Gorge,” is a narrow inlet that connects Victoria Harbour to Portage Inlet. The Gorge has a history of being an important spiritual/fishing site for First Nations, a vibrant swimming spot for locals from the 1980's to 1930's, and an area befallen to pollution in the past 60 years, only to be cleaned-up and re-claimed in recent years by concerned Victoria residents and organizations. For more than 4,000 years, the body of water, and the areas surrounding it, was an important spiritual place and fishing area for First Nations. The Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations’ connection to the waterway remains strong today. From the 1890's to the 1930's, the Gorge Waterway was a place for swimming schools and competitive swimming for national titles. In subsequent years, residential and industrial development along the Gorge lead to questionable water quality and hopelessly littered shorelines. However, in 1994, a father and son began cleaning up the Gorge waterway. This action quickly gained momentum, and since, a number of community projects have contributed to the removal of pollution from and the protection of the Gorge. While ship repair and other industries in Victoria Harbour may still affect the water quality of the Gorge, since the Gorge clean ups began, Vancouver Island Health Authority,who regularly tests the water, has never had to issue a health advisory, and the water is some of the cleanest in the region.


Latest stories about this location


Location type: 


Victoria, BC