Roadwork in the capital region is leading to the discovery of artifacts that offer a look into Victoria’s past.
Remnants of Victoria’s streetcar network that date as far back as 1890 have been unearthed at a construction site near Oak Bay, BC
A Saanich police officer with an interest in local history posted a photo of a recent discovery.
Victoria Archives staff say these findings reveal how much our local landscape has changed over the 75 years since the last streetcars were in operation.
“In some of those photos, for example like in James Bay, I think we saw a neighborhood that wasn’t as developed as we know it today,” said Sarah Rathjen, an archivist with the City of Victoria.
“There’s a lot of empty fields around where we saw that street car coming through,” she said.
“I think it’s lovely to find these surprises and little glimpses and gifts from the past.”
Victoria had street cars in operation until 1948, so the discovery of rail spikes and segments is not uncommon.
The city says its crews are trained and that procedures are in place if more significant archaeological discoveries are made.
If you would like to learn more about street cars in Victoria, you can find original maps and photos at the Victoria Archive in Centennial Square.