Cormorant Point, Gordon Head

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Cormorant Point is a headland located between Cordova Bay and Margaret Bay in the Gordon Head neighborhood of Saanich, British Columbia. The neighborhood is named after Admiral John Gordon, who in 1845 commanded HMS America in the North Pacific. Cordova Bay was originally called Cormorant Bay until 1842 when the name was changed to honor Don Antonio de Cordova the Viceroy of New Spain (Mexico) in 1790. Margaret Bay was possibly named by Dr. John Ash for Margaret Pollock whose family had lived in the area since 1874.

For over 4,000 years the Songhees people inhabited the Saanich Peninsula including the area of Gordon Head. In 1852, a series of agreements called the Douglas Treaties were signed between some indigenous groups and the British Colony of Vancouver Island. That same year, James Todd was the first pioneer in the Gordon Head area and made a living by selling cordwood cleared from the land. Farmers soon followed and by 1860, the land was being cultivated. The first school at Gordon Head was built in 1889 on land above Cormorant Point donated by William Dean. In 1890, William C. Grant planted the first strawberries and this became a very successful commodity.

Grant built a house on the property above Cormorant Point called “Craigellachie”. This house burned down in 1918 and was rebuilt as the “Strangewood” house starting in 1921. In 1915, William T. Edwards became the first commercial grower of daffodils. He also taught swimming lessons at Margaret Bay, possibly for the Gordon Head school children, and local lore attributes the construction of a salt water swimming pool at Cormorant Point to this time. The pool was created by a concrete dam with holes near the bottom that allowed salt water to flush the enclosure with every tide. The pool still exists but has fallen into disrepair. Read more here and here. Download the latest version of the CoastView app and explore more of Cormorant Point here: