I'm looking for info on Ganges Creek- pictures or stories. Do you remember seeing anything?

Thanks, Stella


There is a description by Laurie Goodman of Swanson Creek.
There should be lots of aerial photos in the Marshall Sharp collection(still under construction)

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Usha writes:

Behind the library - you can see its wiggle before the Creekside development obscured its path:  Marshall photo 220156
I follow its path by coming from its outflow (549972), across the Fulford-Ganges Road (foot of Ganges Hill), through Creekside (549976 - now beside Barb's Buns - the smoker's bridge crosses Ganges Creek),

this (hand-coloured) photo (postcard) is handy - a view of the outflow of the creek, right across to Booth Canal


I am SO disappointed in the Islands Trust Committee Zoning Map (sheet 5) covering Ganges!

Apparently tracking waterways like Ganges Creek is/was considered of no importance to zoning considerations...

I thought scanning my copy was going to be SO helpful! So It Goes.
(I thought the two routes (behind library, and through United Church meadow) might prove to be a stranding of the one creek, as it approached its eventual end, en route to the outflow point(s?); and I hoped that we'd find the point at which the creek was still one, before a significant point where it divided into two - guessing that this might be Swanson's Pond itself, which, in my fictional re-enactment, might even have created the stranding-into-two)

For those who like maps, and may go hunting, I'd now advise the taking along of the Lions Club telephone book, and a blue pen to map the spotting of flowing water...
Page 85 of last year's edition.

Swanson's Pond was a natural swampy bit:

The Building Of Swanson's Pond, by Rocky Sampson: 2007
"My father, the late Bruce R. Sampson (passed away at Port Alberni, January 12, 2007) had made the roads and pond at that subdivision. He was a cat operator, and (logger/fisherman). He made several roads in the islands, including Montague Harbor Rd. on Galiano Island. When he worked for 'Old Man Swanson' (as dad always called him), he made the roads in the subdivision as well as the pond. Dad said he made it on a whim one day when he saw the swamp grass and the low swamp already there. Dad simply spent his lunch hours digging the pond with the cat (owned by Swanson), so he dug the swamp deeper, til it became a pond. When Mr. Swanson saw it, dad justified it, as it would attract purchasers to come in to a pond, rather than a swamp, Mr. Swanson agreed and let dad continue to build the pond (on Dad's time, but with Swanson's cat). I will check my notes to see what time-frame in the 1950's for Mr. Swanson."

Source: 3 pages: http://friendsofswansonspond.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/Swansons-history.pdf

- and Swanson's Pond (and the swampy bit it was before?) DID drain into a creek (2007 letter - the writer, and owner of the property bordering the creek could be contacted?):

Leave Swanson's Pond Alone, by Geoff Hanilond, BOX 304 Crofton B.C. VDR 1R0 246 1430
"I was born on Salt Spring in 1928 and lived on McPhillips avenue in Ganges soon after world war II. I am not in favor of interfering with Swansons pond as I feel it is a natural feature that should be preserved. I knew Bill Swanson who the pond is named after and I am familiar with the drainage from it as the creek bordered my property at the back."
Source: http://friendsofswansonspond.com/?p=137

In April 2002, Kathy Reimer, of the Island Stream and Salmon Enhancement program, recommended to the Parks Planning Committee that PARC consider purchasing property known as Swanson's Pond as an addition to the community park and trail network. It was generally agreed that the Committee supported, in principle, the acquisition of lands with the characterstics of Swanson's Pond, but did not have the financial resources to pursue the suggestion at the time. Staff were directed to determine the 2002 market value of the subject property, if possible, for the record.
Source: www.crd.bc.ca/minutes (April 15th, 2002)

February 5th, 2009
- the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee met, and 3 objections were heard, to "the issuance of a development permit" for the Lot 10, Park Drive, Swanson's Pond area.

April 1, 2009
Then, in the 2009 April Fools Day issue of the Driftwood (along with news of Bush buying up property here, and a photo of the joining up of the two ends of the Ganges Harbour boardwalk), came a letter from Kelsey -

"Many of us thought that the issue of Swanson's Pond development was over and the battle for conservancy was lost, but we still have one final chance to make a difference.
As a member of the Gulf Islands community I believe that each of us has the responsibility to contribute to maintaining the natural beauty and biodiversity that we have come to enjoy. This may be our last chance for input into the Swanson's Pond development.

As many of us know, plans are in place to construct condominiums on top of what used to be a wetland. Originally, we were led to believe that Swanson's Pond was a man-made-pond, however, we have now discovered that it has always been a wetland area.

If there is any chance of saving this wetland to any degree at all we really need everyone's support. Last year we collected over 400 signatures from students alone in protest to this development, and the Trust seems to be disregarding this completely.

So please, for the frogs and the birds, the neighbours and the school children, and the fish and the trees, and ultimately for us all, take a moment to phone or e-mail the Islands Trust and the local trustees on Wednesday and Thursday morning to urge them to slow their decision-making and provide for a proper public meeting on this issue.

Kelsey Mech,

Salt Spring"

June 3rd 2009
- for an update of Swanson's Pond, see "Stream group pursues Swanson's battle" by Gail Sjuberg, Gulf Islands Driftwood, June 3rd, 2009


Ganges Creek IS the one behind the library:

The Ganges Sewer Local Service Committee refers to "the path along Ganges Creek behind the CRD Ganges wastewater treatment plant " - in the vicinity of the Japanese Garden.
"The current path and creek are on CRD Ganges wastewater treatment property" so they should know?

Source: www.crd.bc.ca/..._/hdm212439v1gangesmin/HDM-212439-v1-GANGES__ MINUTES_OF_12_OCTOBER_2007.pdf

Fulford-Ganges Road crossing Ganges Creek:
"The (Creekhouse) property was designed to give a street front feel and to accommodate the Ganges Creek which passes through the middle of the development."
Source: http://www.yardleyarchitect.ca/edu/creekhouse.html

"Ganges Creek runs under many parts of the village"

I don't know if that bit of a map will work, but hopefully it's a PDF to zoom in on - using a zoom tool (+ plus sign)

The red bits are "60-metre riparian area strips".
Clearly, there's a lot of creekiness running around Ganges! However, the map is drawn up by Eric Booth, during a June-July 2008, and includes ditches.

(The greenery is all watershed)

Source: http://www.salt-spring.com/MAP21PROPOSED.pdf
and http://www.salt-spring.com/Reimer.htm


"Ganges Creek at Drake road—steep ravine down from Wilkie Way, outflow into Park and fish habitat downstream at estuary."

Source: page 25 of May 2009 Micro Hydro Feasibility Study for Salt spring Island

The map on page 16 of this document shows Ganges Creek with its source up Wilkie Way, travelling down through Mouat's Park, behind the library - Booth Canal (of course, now I come to think of it!) is not connected to Ganges Harbour.

(PDF - with map - is available at <http://www.saltspringenergystrategy.org/docs/Microhydro.pdf)


Some thoughts....

Ganges Creek comes off the hillside, then flows approximately parallel to,
but well south of, Rainbow Road. It appears in the low swale between the
Auto Parts store and the ArtSpring lower parking lot. It then crosses under
Jackson Ave, past the library, to the foot bridge behind Barb's Buns.

The second arm (let's call it Swanson's Creek for clarity) starts in
Swanson's Pond, and goes underground (in a culvert) the full length of
school's playing field that is between the Elementary School and the school
bus maintenance yard. It re-appears to the east side of Jackson Ave. just
opposite the gas station, and flows from there through the United Church
Meadow, past the Credit Union parking lot, under McPhillips Ave just at
Barb's Buns. The junction with Ganges Creek is right beside the footbridge
behind Barb's Buns.

The height of land between Ganges Harbour and Booth Canal is just at the
driveway that enters the swimming pool grounds. The water collection pond
at the swimming pool and the low point on Atkins Road are both in the Booth
Canal watershed.

I can recall two anecdotes
-- in a heavy rain Swanson's Creek used to overflow Jackson Ave at the gas
station, and local young drivers would take great delight in driving through
it to make, literally and figuratively, a big splash.
-- soon after Swanson's Pond was dug the dam let go in a winter rain, and
the resulting flood did considerable damage to the newly-made school playing
field (around 1955??).

Regards, Duncan


Photos of Swanson pond http://saltspringarchives.com/marshallsharp/549/pages/549966.htm

with enlargement http://saltspringarchives.com/marshallsharp/549/pages/549966i.htm


The 1926 "downtown" routing of what is now called Ganges Creek, and the other one that comes from the Swanson's Pond area, were plotted on subdivision plan number 3321. (It also shows that Fulford-Ganges Road still crossed the creek with a bridge).
They were referred to as "streams", rather than "creeks".
By way of background, this 1926 subdivision created 28 lots. The property being subdivided was owned by W.H. McAfee (the blacksmith whose shop was where Gasoline Alley is now). It was bounded by (a) Fulford-Ganges Road, (b)the full length of McPhillips Ave., and (c) roughly where the Ganges Bypass and Artspring are now. The whole area was a swamp, sometimes referred to as McAfee's Pond.



Am I anywhere close?


The Ganges Creek system has undergone quite a few changes in the swampy areas around Ganges over the years. My drainage map shows Ganges Creek as rising from a couple of spots above my place on Mount Belcher. These creeks then coalesce near the end of Cudmore Rd, and run as Ganges Creek across the Bishop's Walk area, across the near part of Drake Rd, thence to the sea near what was Quadratic Solutions (under the gratings). The creek system is somewhat like a bird's foot, and it may be that the name Ganges Creek has also been applied to the creek from Swanson's Pond which joins the aforementionrd creek just before it goes under the gratings into the sea, and also to the larger creek which rises on the north side of the peak of Mount Belcher west of Upper Mount Belcher Heights, cuts across Wilkie Way, then across Drake Rd just west of Bonnet Avenue to join the creek from Swanson's Pond hear the west end of McPhillips. This all sounds complicated, but makes sense on the map. What I don't know is how much of this system has been called Ganges Creek over the years, even as it has dived into various culverts. Perhaps all of it?

I have been following your various quests with interest, though busy on some other projects for the last little while.


I would let you know that the creek is still running because of the springs up near the end of McPhillips- the mainspring is called ben bough spring and it is close to the midden in the park it is about 50nfeet up from the GIFT building. Above Swasons Pond the Swansons creek branch is also still running but the water cannot reach the lower creek behind the United Church because of all that diverting etc. Its amazing when you hear about other communities where the streams are all comp-letely dry this year. Also the fish in these creeks dont need year round water- the sea run trout and chum salmon rear in estuaries, not the stream. They dont need water in the creek after June. Kathy

Well I cant get to the link yet and it probably is this laptop I am using. So I cant see the map. But the source of the creek is the Swamps of Mt Belcher.Near the end of Mt. Belcher Heights road. On the right hand side of the road, up a long driveway. They were dug out into huge trout ponds by the previous owner- I will try to remember his name- but the ladies who own Spindrift Resort know the new owner of the swamps . They have a protective covenant on them and are spring fed, and to me it is strange to have springs up so high but there are others on Mt Belcher that are the water supply for the area- those do not drain into Ganges Creek. (Tom Wright knows about them_ we used to call them Cudmore springs) Anyway Ganges creek flows down to the East from the lovely swamps and crosses Wilkie Way -almost at the end- there are some Rhodos planted near the road. From there it heads in a steep ravine to Drake Road where it cuts along a 10 acre lot owned by Al Indridsen, the same guy who owns some of the main Salt Springs (YES THE SALT SPRINGS OF SSI) on his North End Road property- he bought the old Garnet Young property. -On Indridsons Drake Road land there is a large man made reservoir and year round spring. The other side of the creek is owned by some locals and has been recently logged-it is the very end of Drake Road, and there area lot of homeless people camped along the creek, it is near Mouat Park- there is also a spectacular waterfall which is not running right now but it should have a trail into it. --Then the creek runs through an old chicken coop near Drake Road and Bonnet, (the John Smith property) and into the park. It is in a very bad eroded state in the park-NO vegetation left on the banks-It leaves the park and heads down to Rainbow Road and you know the rest. It flows west toward Artspring when it crosses under Murakami Gardens housing project- they were susposed to put in a skylight for the fish but did not do it!! and then back through the old Quesnel land to meet the other smaller channel at the old funeral parlour-the GIFT building. The other smaller channel along the edge of the park that runs down to the end of Mc Phillips, is a winter flood control channel built by us to hold only 1/3 of the flow. -it is the one that is coneected to the runoff from Ben Bough spring.  I love telling people about the creeks , the owners and the history, so feel free to ask for more details- Kathy