The Bowker Gates
2200-block Beach Drive, Oak Bay, British Columbia, Canada
The Bowker Gates
Bowker Place Gates
Willows Park Gates
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Bowker Gates, located at the entrance to Willows Beach Park in Oak Bay, British Columbia, are a set of two gateposts of rock-faced granite blocks, joined to curved apron walls of rock-faced polygonal granite blocks, and terminating in rock-faced granite block piers. Each gatepost is capped with a single granite capstone. The wall and outer piers are topped with alternating blocks and rustic crenellations, with a mortar capping in the centre. The two attached wrought iron gates have an oriental Arts and Crafts motif.
The Bowker Gates are valued for their historic association with the early settlement of Oak Bay and their association with the noted architect Samuel Maclure.
The property, known as Oak Bay Farm, was the home of John Sylvester and Mary Tod Bowker (daughter of John Tod) and later their son J.S. Bowker Jr. The land was part of John Tod's 406 acre holding, purchased from the Hudson's Bay Company in 1851. A row of Austrian pines dating back to the Maclure landscape plan, and the partial remains of a stone wall with entrance gateposts at 1881 and 1891 Beach Drive still define the western boundary of the original property. The gates were originally located on the Bowker estate (house extant at 1931 Bowker Place) and were designed by architect Samuel Maclure in 1913, as part of a major landscaping scheme for J.S. Bowker Jr. They were moved to their present location on Beach Drive when the estate was subdivided in 1932.
The gateposts and wrought iron gates are valued as a rare example of the work of noted architect and landscape designer Samuel Maclure.
The Bowker Gates are valued as a landmark defining the entrance to Willows Beach Park and for their contribution to the character of the streetscape.
Source: District of Oak Bay
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Bowker Gates include:
- Two granite stone piers with stone supporting apron walls
- Symmetrical design and elegant proportions
- Two rare wrought iron gates with oriental Arts and Crafts motif, designed by Samuel Maclure
- Landmark location on Beach Drive
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.967
1932/01/01 to 1932/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Park Fixture
Architect / Designer
J.S. Bowker Jr.
Location of Supporting Documentation
District of Oak Bay, Municipal Hall
Cross-Reference to Collection