Saanich rededicates Memorial Avenue on Shelbourne

September 13, 2018

Information bulletin
For immediate release


Saanich, BC – The District of Saanich and the Memorial Avenue Committee will rededicate Memorial Avenue on Shelbourne to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Armistice that ended the First World War as well as the 1921 Dedication of the Memorial London Planetrees. 

Memorial Avenue on Shelbourne Rededication Ceremony 

Members of the public are invited to attend the Pipe Band Procession and Rededication Ceremony. The community will join together to remember and honour the courage and sacrifices made by brave men and women 100 years ago. 

  • Date: Saturday, September 29, 2018
  • Procession: 10:30 a.m.
  • Location: Along Shelbourne Street, starting at Mount Douglas Park to San Juan
  • Ceremony: 11 a.m.
  • Location: Corner of Shelbourne and San Juan 

The procession will feature a pipe band and the Naden Band. 

The ceremony will include a traditional First Nations blessing. Ceremony speakers include the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia; MP Murray Rankin; MLA Andrew Weaver; Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell; and Memorial Avenue Committee Chair Ray Travers. 

Sign toppers recognize memorial trees 

In advance of the event, Saanich will install 30 sign toppers to recognize Memorial Avenue on Shelbourne. The signs were one of the actions of the Shelbourne Street of Unfinished Dreams Project approved by Saanich Council in March 2018. The signs will be placed on top of existing signs along Shelbourne Street between North Dairy Road and Mount Douglas Park. 

The sign depicts the leaf of a London Planetree, which represents the memorial trees planted along Shelbourne. The leaf is coloured red, symbolizing the deep respect for the many who gave their lives for Canada, British Columbia and Greater Victoria during the First World War. The leaf is flanked by two poppy symbols, which area registered trademark of The Royal Canadian Legion, Dominion Command and used under licence. 

The Shelbourne Street of Unfinished Dreams Project was initiated by the Memorial Avenue Committee. The sign toppers were approved by Saanich Council to preserve, enhance, maintain and recognize the London Planetrees along Shelbourne Street. The trees were planted as a memorial to those who sacrificed their lives during the First World War. The trees were initially planted on October 2, 1921 with the intention to plant one tree for every soldier from BC lost during the war. Approximately 600 trees were planted, but that number proved insufficient: ten times as many men and women of BC died in the First World War. Memorial Avenue on Shelbourne, a Road of Remembrance, is Canada’s oldest memorial of this type. 

Road closures 

Shelbourne Street will be closed from Mount Douglas Park to San Juan from 10:30 a.m. to approximately noon on September 29 for the event. Saanich Police will provide traffic control. 

Parking is available at Lambrick Park Secondary School, Gordon Head Middle School, Gordon Head Recreation Centre and Majestic Park. Attendees are encouraged to travel by public transit or bicycle and bring their own chairs if needed. 



Media contacts 

For information about the event:

Rob Phillips
Community Events Specialist

For information about the sign toppers:

Eva Riccius
Senior Parks Manager

For historical information about the event:

Ray Travers
Memorial Avenue Committee Chair