Management Plan Being Developed for Truro’s Victoria Park
The Town of Truro has hired consultants with CBCL Ltd. to develop a plan which will provide strategic direction for the future planning, management, development and operation of Victoria Park over the next 10 to 15 years.
“Victoria Park has been treasured by Truro and area residents for over 125 years,” says Brian Kinsman, a Truro town councillor and co-chairman of the Victoria Park Management Plan Committee.
“The planning process will ultimately define a vision for Victoria Park that will guide management decisions for years to come,” Kinsman says.
Residents will have opportunities to express their views, including public sessions and an on-line survey which is currently being developed. They are also welcome to write to the Town of Truro Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture at 40 Douglas St., Truro, N.S. B2N 2E7.
The 160-hectare Victoria Park was established in 1887 for the benefit and enjoyment of Truro’s citizens. A request for proposals was issued by the Town of Truro earlier this year due to a growing realization by town councillors that a more strategic, proactive and long-term approach to park management is required to systematically address challenges and opportunities.
These challenges and opportunities include: Increased residential development adjoining the park; proposals for park development and use that some may view as inconsistent with traditional uses and values; concerns over forest fire prevention and suppression; loss of ecological integrity; diminished visitor experiences; an enhanced role for outdoor education; an expanded park boundary; and increased efforts to improve complementary management of the park and the town’s watershed lands.
The town hopes to have a completed plan by the end of March 2014.
A True Gem in the heart of Truro
Victoria Park is one of Truro's greatest assets - a natural woodland park of roughly 400 acres in the centre of town. Lepper Brook, with its two sets of waterfalls, flows through a steep tree covered rocky gorge. Several walking trails follow along the brook allowing a close view of this unique setting. The first set of falls is named after the distinguished Joseph Howe who admired them during a visit in 1830. The next are the Waddell Falls, named after Susan Waddell Stevens, who donated the first land in 1888 containing the falls and gorge, thus beginning this park for the enjoyment of Truro citizens.
Sir Adams G. Archibald, a Father of Confederation and a former Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, was the first chairman of the Victoria Park Committee. James Ross, a local barrister at the turn of the 20th Century, is recognized by a monument for his many devoted years of enlarging and improving the park.
What you'll see when you visit
Birdwatchers' Check List
Victoria Park can be a birdwatcher's paradise.
One avid birdwatcher recently submitted this preliminary list of bird species seen and recorded in various areas of the park over the past decade.
For a preliminary list (May 20, 2011), click the PDF file below.
Can you add to the list? The Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture welcomes your input.
Victoria Park has an extensive trail system for visitors to use and enjoy. All trails are designated as multiple-use.
Cyclists are urged to use caution when using park trails and to yield to pedestrians as required. Cyclists are also reminded to stay on defined hard-surface trails to prevent damage to environmentally sensitive areas of the park.
Sport and Recreation
Just inside the entrance to the park off Brunswick Street are tennis courts, an outdoor swimming pool, a little league ballfield, the Kinsmen Club Playground with water spray park, a bandshell, picnic tables, and a picnic pavilion. The Lower Park is the focal point for many town gatherings and festivals.
The playground and washroom facility were built in 1994, with the Truro Kinsmen Club committing to one-third of the estimated capital cost. This was followed in 1998 with the construction of the very popular water spray park. Once again, this capital initiative was a joint project between the Truro Kinsmen Club and the Truro Parks, Recreation and Culture Deprtment. The final phase of the revitalization took place in 2000 when two major playground structures were purchased and installed. The approximate overall costs of this venture was $50,000.
A cool fresh water spring, known as the Brandy Spring, was also found in the Lower Park. The name originated from soldiers keeping their brandy bottles cool in the spring while training in the park for threatened Fenian Raids. Many local citizens used to get their drinking water here. Unfortunately, recent concerns across Canada about water quality have led to the closure of the spring and a popular community tradition.
Beyond this area is the natural parkland with its rustic walking paths along the top ridges of the gorge, all leading to the falls.
Along the lower path on either side, wooden steps lead from the bottom to the top of the steep cliffs. Don't miss Jacob's Ladder, a 175-step popular destination for park visitors.
The ravine area also contains the Holy Well, a replica of a well in Bible Hill where early Acadian settlers baptized their infants, and a Wishing Well.
The park boasts interesting geological formations in the gorge and river bed area, and beautiful stands of hard and softwood trees, particularly hemlock, on the cliffs and uplands. All these natural features are in the heart of Truro's business and residential area, offering walkers, joggers, photographers, birdwatchers and nature lovers a chance to enjoy a quiet retreat from the busy town.
The upland area beyond the gorge contains the Dr. Jim Vibert Trail. It is approximately 1.6 kilometers in length.
A must-see for visitors, is the spectacular view from the lookoff at the top of Wood Street. From there, view the valleys of the Salmon and North Rivers around which Truro and surrounding villages were built. These two rivers join and then flow into the Cobequid Basin, home to the world famous Bay of Fundy. On a clear day, the view extends down the bay to Five Islands, a distance of about 60 kilometers.
Parking, Facilities and Bookings
Victoria Park offers ample parking for all. Parking is available in the main parking lot off Park Road and near the swimming pool off Adam Street. There is also limited parking at the Wood Street entrance to the park.
The bandshell, picnic pavilion and other park facilities can be reserved free of charge for special events such as weddings, concerts and family gatherings. Call 902-893-6078 or email: Parks, Recreation and Culture for more information.
The picnic pavilion is located in the Lower Park and is well used for a number of different activities, ranging from family or school reunions, birthday parties, food preparation for special events or as a registration area for events taking place in the park. Reservations are required. Reservations are done on a first come, first served basis.
Holy Well Gazebo
The Holy Well Gazebo is used for a variety of functions, including weddings and wedding photos. Reservations are required. Reservations are done on a first come, first served basis.
J. Arch Fraser Band-shell
The J. Arch Fraser Bandshell is used for a variety of activities. Reservations are required. Reservations are done on a first come, first served basis.
Victoria Park Canteen
Town of Truro Parks, Recreation and Culture staff operate the canteen in Victoria Park. It is located in the main playground/washroom facility in the Lower Park and is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily during the summer months, weather permitting.
Parking is available in the main Victoria Park parking lot, located on Park Road. This area is usually very busy. There is additional parking available at the Victoria Park Pool parking lot on Adam Street. This area is always less congested and is conveniently located within walking distance of most facilities in the Lower Park.
Anyone with special physical needs who may require vehicle access Victoria Park is asked to contact the Parks, Recreation and Culture office at 893-6078 to obtain permission.
Truro Parks, Recreation and Culture has purchased a one-wheeled vehicle that looks like a cross between a wheelbarrow and a rickshaw to allow people with mobility challenges to explore Victoria Park. The Bible Hill Kinsmen Club paid half of the $3,000 cost. It has a large inflatable tire and two handles each front and back, so that it can be pushed and pulled by friends or family. Anyone interested in borrowing the Trailrider please contact the department at 893-6078 or email: Parks, Recreation and Culture. Click here for more information about the Trailrider. Trailrider (151.58 kB)