Mid-Block Walkways of Victoria - Round Three

It's time for another mid-block adventure downtown. If you haven't read my other two posts, you can find them here and here. This time we are going to cut through the 900 block of Harris Green from Yates Street to Burdett Avenue. If you are good at parkour or have a secret set of keys for two buildings, you could start on Johnson Street, as there is a complete mid-block walkway, but it is locked shut with gates. 

To start this walk head up to the Manhattan Building at 930 Yates Street and you will see a crosswalk that heads towards Harris Green Village (Our little bit of suburbia, if you recall). Once you cross you need to veer to the right and cut into a small plaza next to the Cobb's Bakery. This little plaza ends with a staircase that will bring you down to View Street at the bottom of View Towers, perhaps Victoria's most infamous rental building, though I think its reputation is likely at least a little undeserved. More likely a visceral reaction to its size and slab like style. 

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At this point, there is a crosswalk on View Street and once across go to your left and enter the large surface parking lot towards Fort Street. With all of the construction going on in Harris Green, I would expect that this lot will likely get a proposal soon. Still, this lot, is in my mind, the location of one of the biggest missed opportunities in Victoria. Have a look at this page on Vibrant Victoria and you can see the amazing design we missed out on. 

When you have made your way through the parking lot, in the very southwest corner, there is a small wooden staircase that takes you up to Fort Street. 
The micro-square behind the Blue Fox.

You will now be on Fort Street if you look across the street you should see the Blue Fox Cafe. It is usually distinctive due to its long line-up out the door. Make your way safely across Fort Street. Once you are across Fort Street, walk down to the brick archway next to the cafe.

Through the archway you will go up some stairs into a tiny but beautiful little courtyard, follow along to the left and out the back of the passageway. You will now be on Meares Street looking across to Pioneer Square. 

Pioneer Square was one of the original burial grounds for Victoria. When Ross Bay Cemetery was opened, many of those buried here were moved, yet I have heard that there are still several hundred people buried in this park. 

With Pioneer Square's proximity to downtown and its picturesque layout and setting, I think it has the opportunity to be one of the great urban gems for the city ( likely the subject of a future post). Still, even now it is worthy of some time. Walk around the war memorial and take in some of Victoria's earliest settler history. Once you have had a look around make your way to the south-east edge of the park. You will now be at the end of Rockland Avenue and right next to one of the City's newest projects, the Rockland Greenway. 

As you cross the street make your way to the back of Christ Church Cathedral, you will be walking through a small parking lot and will come out to another one, next to some park-like grounds on the south side of the church. This is the end of the walkway, if you still have some time, take a look at the spiral labyrinth on the grounds here or go inside for a look at the cathedral. 

The spiral labyrinth