Gate at Mount Douglas Park smashed on Wednesday night

It is suspected that a motorist drove through after being locked in after 11 p.m.

The orange gate at the Churchill Drive entrance to Mount Douglas Park stands out with it’s unique colour and large oak leaf design. Now, there is only half a gate.

Sometime on Wednesday night, the gate was smashed. One half was cracked and the other sustained extensive damage.

The half of the gate with the most damage was removed and sent to be repaired by the company that fabricated it, says Andrew Burger, manager of parks operations with Saanich Parks and Recreation. The break was clean, so he thinks it can be fixed with some welding and won’t need to be replaced. A temporary chain was put up and he plans to have the gate re-installed by the end of next week.

The crack in the other half of the gate will get repaired on site later, he says.

READ ALSO: Garbage piles up at Mount Doug Park in Saanich

Darrel Wick, President of the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society, speculates that a motorist crashed through the gate upon getting locked in the parking lot after 11 p.m. The gate is locked by the contracted security guard in the evening.

Wick isn’t hiding his disappointment.

“This was straight vandalism,” he says.

Wick arrived at the park early on Thursday morning and someone from Saanich Parks and Recreation was already on site.

Broken glass was found scattered on the ground near the broken gate. The tint of the glass leads all involved to believe that it came from the window of the car. Wick speculates that the gate swung back and smashed the window as the person drove through.

Burger says damage to Parks property isn’t uncommon, but Wick says to his knowledge, an incident like this has never occurred at the park and he has been part of the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society for 30 years.

“The sad part is, this becomes an expense to Saanich Parks that would be better spent on improving the trails or on other parks,” he says. “We’re all losers in this.”

READ ALSO: Saanich teams up with BC Hydro for bike park

There is a number posted in the parking lot for people to to call if they get stuck behind the gate after the park closes, or people can leave their car until the morning, Wick explains. He hopes there will be a fine for the driver when they’re found. Security photos from the park may help track them down, he says, and if their window was indeed smashed, then they could be caught when they go in for a repair.

Burger says Saanich Parks and Recreation is working with the security company to gather the details of the incident. He says they do suspect someone drove through the gate because a large force would be required to break the gate, but nothing is concrete.

Burger is meeting with the Saanich Police Department later today to discuss and to figure out if a criminal offense was committed. This will guide the consequences, he says.

The Saanich Police Department says it cannot comment on the incident as there is no media release yet.


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BREAKING: Protesters block access to Swartz Bay ferry terminal

Motorists unable to access 7 a.m. sailing

Decline of Canadian manufacturing hurts men, according to new study

A five per cent drop in manufacturing drops the weekly wages of men by at least 6.9 per cent

Number of U-Hauls entering Victoria plummeted in 2019

Data compiled from two million one-way U-Haul transactions

Esquimalt explores creating portage beach for choppy Gorge waters

The portage beach would add safety to the Victoria Waterways Loop

Six months to Francophone Games, 600 volunteers needed

Online applications open on Jan. 14

Itska back in owner’s arms after Island man returns dog taken from Tofino

Shannon Boothman reunited with lost dog Itska on Sunday

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

How to beat Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year

Multiple factors can play a role in seasonal depression, says Fraser Health psychiatrist

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read