Victoria Park originated as a garrison for British troops in the early 1800’s, their barracks later to be used to house escaped slaves from the U.S. The British returned in 1861 as a precautionary measure during the American Civil War. In 1874 the park was transferred to the city and renamed Victoria Park, after Queen Victoria.
Although designated for recreational activities, the park was still used as a military garrison when necessary. Troops were stationed in the park during the Second Boer War, World War I, and World War II; there was some minor rioting in the park during the Conscription Crisis of 1944, when conscripts demanded to be sent to Europe.
Reminders of it’s military past are scattered throughout the park in the form of monuments, cannons, centotaph and a tank.
Today the park is used extensively for festivals, tournaments, concerts, ice skating and just a great place to relax.