Cadboro-Gyro Park is a Saanich British Columbia Canada municipal park and beach located within the regional district of Victoria, British Columbia. It was the traditional home of the Lekwungen First Nations who lived on the bay from approximately 100 BC to 1911. It is also known today for its unique playground of cement marine sculptures, beautiful sandy dog-friendly beach (dogs are welcome all year if they are kept on a leash) and it is also a place of mystery, the home of the elusive Cadborosaurus and a resting place for a lost shipwreck.
This six hectares Saanich municipal park is adjacent to the seashore and is a wonderful playground for children. The cement marine sculptures of Cadborosaurus, Octopus, Salmon and Shipwreck built in 1957, remain among the newer additions of swings, zipline, and small child play area that was added in 2014 when the park was updated. The park has benches, picnic tables and picnic areas, washrooms, drinking water fountains and tennis courts. The sandy beach has a boat ramp and stairs and pathways leading into the local community of Cadboro Bay Village and 10-Mile Point. Cadboro-Gyro Park is also the location of the annual summer Cadboro Bay Festival and sand sculptures. The nearby stores,restaruants and coffee shops of Cadboro Bay Village offer hot and cold beverages, sandwiches, bakery items, and ice cream. In fact, if you forget your picnic basket you can find everything you need right in the village.
Cadborough was the name of the Hudson's Bay Company's ship that first sailed into the bay in 1837, and Gyro is the name of a social club that entered into an agreement with the Municipality of Saanich to convert the marshy area into a park in 1953. The Club eventually donated the land to the municipality when the property became a tax burden to their organization. The cement sculptures were created in 1957 and remain popular with children who love to climb and race around them. This park is also known informally as "Octopus Park" due to well, I think you can guess!
Cadboro-Gyro Park in Saanich, British Columbia, is a great place for a family picnic, a game of ball, tennis, water sports such as paddleboarding and kayaking, and there is a boat launch for larger recreational craft. There is a paddleboard rental store across the street from the park in Cadboro Bay Village and sailboats are often anchored in the bay.
Cadborosaurus or "Caddy" is a mythical sea serpent who was first sighted in Cadboro Bay in the 1930's and was said to be 25 m long, it made the local newspaper headlines at that time and has been mentioned in books and featured as part of a children's television show called "Mystery Hunters". While there haven't been any sightings for a while "Caddy" remains a beloved climbing sculpture on the shore. Climbing up on Cadborosaurus' head, it is fun to run along the back, only to jump off near the tail or to climb up on the tail for a view of the beach and park.
The Octopus slide sculpture at Cordova-Gyro Park in the Saanich Municipality of BC is popular with children due to the slides and the fun of playing hide-n-seek around the arms. For those adventurous, children, sliding down the non-slide arms is also fun and children can plot adventures within the body of the octopus just out of sight of watchful parents. Painted bright orange to Pepto-Bismol pink over the years, the octopus has always been a landmark and respresents the diversity of the marine life found in the area.
The salmon sculpture is the most challenging to climb and best left for older children to achieve fame by climbing into the mouth or carefully reaching the tail.
The boat has been improved over the years to allow for maximum accessibility. One can now not only steer the land locked vessel while gazing out to sea, but also to the delight of many a child, gleefully walk the plank.
The playground shipwreck points to the story of an actual shipwreck in Cadboro Bay. In 1885, a sidewheel paddlesteamer named the Enterprise collided with another boat. Luckily most of the passengers and crew were rescued by the other boat as it was not damaged as badly as the Enterprise. In fact the Enterprise was so badly damaged it had to be towed into Cadboro Bay where it remained until salvaged. However, mysteriously the hull was left intact and into the early 1900's it could still be seen at low tide in shallow waters. Then it disappeared from the record. Today, local dive clubs continue to search for any remaining parts of this long ago wreck left in the waters of Cadboro Bay in Victoria, British Columbia. Alas, the only shipwreck that can still be seen is the one built onshore.