Shelbourne Memorial Trees

The next time you drive north on Shelbourne towards Mt. Douglas Park take special note

of the London Plane boulevard trees. These trees are a living memorial to the soldiers from this area who fought and died in World War One.

The initial plan was to plant one tree for every soldier lost. At first, these memorial trees extended south from Mount Douglas to Bay Street, but today are found only from Mt Douglas to Torquay in Saanich and from Hillside to Haultain inVictoria.

Shelbourne was the first “Road of Remembrance” in Canada. These stately trees were intended to be a remembrance of the long tree lined roads of France and Flanders where young men from Canada marched off to the battlefields.

The Shelbourne Memorial trees were dedicated October 2, 1921 with Lieutenant Governor Walter C. Nichol officiating. In attendance were Premier John Oliver and more than 5,000 Victorians, most of whom had felt the personal impact of the war.

Today there is marker on the central boulevard on Shelbourne Street at Elnido Road recognizing the historical significance of these trees.

A number of Saanich Citizens have formed a committee, the Memorial Avenue Committee (MAC). Their aim is to commemorate and continue the work that began nearly 100 years ago.

They are planning a rededication ceremony to be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, September 29 at the location in the photo above.

For more details on the ceremony, please click HERE