British Columbia

Victoria's cruise ship terminal to be renamed Breakwater District

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has announced a name change for the city's cruise ship terminal area, which was originally named for a fur trader who allegedly killed an Indigenous man.

Currently known as Ogden Point, named for colonial fur trader and alleged murderer Peter Ogden

Ogden Point in Victoria was named after the fur trader Peter Ogden, who was known for being violent and was accused of murdering an Indigenous man. (Shutterstock / Daniel Bruce Lacy)

A popular promenade along the waterfront in Victoria is getting a name change.

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has announced Ogden Point, the harbour area where cruise ships pull into the city, will be renamed the Breakwater District. 

"It's really tough to keep a secret in this town," said Ian Robertson, CEO of the Harbour Authority, who had planned on announcing the change in mid-September.

"It's really about launching a new visual identity for Ogden Point to better reflect what residents and visitors know about that area."

The authority has been working on the name change for months and Robertson said that during that time some unsavoury facts about who Ogden Point was named after came to light.

"We found out that while Mr. Ogden contributed a lot to the history of this area, he wasn't a great guy," said Robertson.

An aerial view of Ogden Point, which will be known as the Breakwater District, and Victoria's Inner Harbour. (Sterling Eyford/CBC News)

Peter Ogden was a fur trader who died in 1854. Born in Montreal, he had a reputation for violence and was indicted for the murder of an Indigenous trader in 1817 but evaded the law by fleeing west.

Losing the Ogden name, said Robertson, is "a positive outcome" of researching the region but was not the original impetus for the change.

"This is not about erasing history but really about celebrating what the place is now and what that area can become," explained Robertson.

Robertson said the area is designated as marine industrial land and in the next 20-30 years the Breakwater District could see a mix of marine businesses with cafes and shops to attract visitors and residents year round.

To hear Ian Robertson interviewed on CBC's On The Island, click on the audio link below:

Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour authority, on renaming Ogden Point as the Breakwater District. 7:09

With files from On The Island

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