Saanich marks 100 years of the Cedar Hill Golf Course

December 23, 2021

Saanich marks 100 years of the Cedar Hill Golf Course

Golfers of all abilities enjoy the natural beauty and playability of the Cedar Hill Municipal Golf Course, the only 18 hole municipal golf course on Vancouver Island. The course is an asset to the community, available to all ages and abilities of golfers. The elevated playing environment makes it comfortable for all levels of play and works in harmony with the natural surroundings.

We have marked 100 years of history with a plaque and planting of a Japanese Snowball Tree.

History of the course

The Cedar Hill lands 150 acres was purchased in 1886 from the Hudsons Bay Company by George and Elizabeth McRae. George was originally born(1860) in New Zealand but had moved to Oregon. George was a racehorse enthusiast and his dream was to start a race track, as there was none on Vancouver Island at the time. You can notice signs about horse racing in some of the street names nearby like Doncaster, Derby, Ascot, Epsom, Queensbury etc.

In 1918 Elizabeth signed a lease with Harry Eve, a golf professional who wanted to start a golf course for the public player because the only options were private courses(Colwood and Victoria). With the pandemic (Spanish flu)in full force, Harry did not get the 9 hole course open until 1921, and he would run it until 1937.

The only Mcrae child who took up golf was Kate Mcrae(who was the first public health nurse in Victoria), and also the only trustee for the lands after Edith passed away. Kate leased the golf course to Harry Young for $75 a month from 1937 to 1958. During that time Harry Young added another 9 holes of golf, and eventually Lyle Barnes and his son Greg took over the lease in 1958, and the land was purchased in 1968 by Saanich.

We look ahead to the future years of play as a time to build public access and maintain high quality playing conditions.

Watch for a full video outlining the history and beauty of the course in the new year!