Since 1925, the Crystal Garden has been an integral part of the community of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and its surrounding area. Each person who learned to swim, donned a wool bathing suit, ate ice cream, danced, took tea and met friends at this building holds a little piece of Victoria's past in their memory. The Garden allowed adults and children a little bit of luxury and relaxation in busy lives impacted by the Depression, The Second World War and the growth of Greater Victoria.
The Crystal Garden opened June 26th, 1925 surrounded by fanfare and a great Carnival featuring balls, swimming competitions and other events. Over the next few decades, the popularity of the saltwater pool and its surrounding Tea Room would encourage Victorians to visit this amusement centre on a regular basis as well as for special occasions. The uses of the building extended to flower shows, meetings, training of the Canadian Naval forces and even displays of art by European master painters such as Titian and Murillo.
postcard of crystal garden
"Promenade & Tepid Seawater Swimming Pool"
postcard of Crystal Garden
Architects F.M. Rattenbury and Percy James created a steel and glass roofline that allowed light to enter the building; the magical 'glass palace' effect delighted the public. The construction was a matter of civic pride, as the citizens of Victoria had voted in favour of the project after a prolonged debate over whether or not the Canadian Pacific Railway company should finance the building. The Crystal Garden was approved and became a Victoria landmark.
Listing last confirmed: Nov. 19, 2018