We tend not to think about it, or maybe it is just not something anyone has ever noticed, but Victoria may have the worst naming convention ever for its various neighbourhood centres. Cook Street Village, James Bay Village, North Park Village, Quadra Village, Oak Bay Village, Cadboro Bay Village... There is likely one or two that I have forgotten but either way it is boring, bordering on disturbing. The city of Victoria does have one exception, Haultain Corners.
Haultain Corners is a small neighbourhood centre that sits along Haultain at Belmont Avenue. It is a perfect example of how a small centre can provide services, be a focal point for a neighbourhood and still not impose on the surrounding character of the residences. In this case almost all the homes surrounding Haultain Corners are mid to early 20th century single family homes. Many of them have been duplex-ed or have a suite in the bottom so it is a mixed density neighbourhood, but still quite quiet.
Sponsor message: Find out who's building what, where and when by using Citified.ca to research all upcoming and underway development across southern Vancouver Island.
Haultain Corners has quite a few services given its size, there are two small convenience stores (though one I have never been in) a small boutique general store, a very nice coffee shop, a barber, a yoga studio, an art studio and a couple of offices as well (I likely forgot something else...).
When you first come across Haultain Corners it seems a little out of place for Victoria. It is not a destination for those outside of the neighbourhood, yet it has an urban feel. While other neighbourhoods may have the one off convenience store or even a couple more like Moss and May in Fairfield, there is nothing else like this.
|Get a mocha at Koffi, they are so good!|
The birth of the Corners was when it became the location for the neighbourhood post office at a time when the surrounding area was mostly farm land, and as such a collection of businesses grew up around it. There was even a stagecoach line to downtown from here in the late 1800's.
Though not obvious now to the north along Belmont was a large swamp fed by Bowker Creek which would sometimes flood the area. After a major flood in the 1930's, Bowker Creek was diverted into the culverts it flows through now.
|The historical sign with a photo showing the 1935 flood.|
While many don't think about the Oaklands neighbourhood or Haultain Corners as a destination, you should. Come down get a coffee or a haircut; visit the general store and take a walk around the neighbourhood!