Victoria's Burnside Gorge neighbourhood in 1912: A community heritage project

This public history project focuses on the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood in Victoria, British Columbia. It was developed in conjunction with the Burnside Gorge Community Association [BCGA], to mark the 150th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Victoria (1862-2012). The project is still active in 2016.

We identified, photographed, and described the architectural features of residential dwellings that were built in 1912 or earlier.

In addition, we created created biographies for over one hundred households using nominal data from the 1911 census and other historical records.

For a comprehensive list of the building biographies, with photographs and information who lived in these places a century ago, see the index of Burnside Gorge heritage properties.

We also presented information about these properties on an interactive map. We now have a heritage geographical information system [GIS] that can be used by residents and researchers.

I used mapping software from ESRI Canada, ArcGIS Online, to create the Burnside Gorge heritage map.

ArcGIS Online was also used to create a Virtual Walking Tour of Burnside Gorge. Brigitte Clark of the Victoria Heritage Foundation created this feature.

If you have suggestions on how to develop this public history project further, or examples of similar projects in other cities, please contact me at

Patrick A. Dunae
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Victoria/
Volunteer, Burnside Gorge Community Association