The Victoria Experience

The Complete Guide to Victoria, British Columbia

Fort Rodd Hill

Time to Explore: 1+ Hour

Price: Free!

Originally built in 1850, Fort Rodd Hill was part of an overall initiative by the British government to reinforce Victoria and the local area from invasion, specifically from Russia. Following a flux in international politics in Europe and Asia with the Ottoman Empire, Russia was seen as a potential aggressor. You can read more about the Great Eastern Crisis in 1877–78 here.

As well as the construction of the Macaulay Point battery, Fort Rodd Hill had three coastal artillery guns installed. Each followed the same unusual design with three 6-inch artillery pieces used disappearing mounts enabling the gun could be concealed from attack. 

The guns were never fired in combat, but the artillerymen responsible for garrisoning them did take part in competitions and won peacetime awards for their marksmanship. 

Today, Ford Rodd Hill is a rich pocket of military and local history. The remaining fortifications have been supplemented by other military exhibits in the form of more modern artillery pieces. It leaves visitors of the impression of the area being an open-air museum. 

 

Another attraction is the Fisgard Lighthouse which stands on the site of the first ever lighthouse in Western Canada. Built in 1860, the lighthouse is named after the HMS Fisgard which spent extended time in the area. 

It is still in operation to this day, but no longer requires a live-in lighthouse keeper. The old residential home of the last keeper is open to the public for viewing.