History of Triangle Mountain reservoir - contributed by email
I just heard the news article on CBC 1 Radio at around 4:15 Friday, 29 November 2019 with Michael Tymchuk. He was talking to one of the Colwood City officials who called in requesting information and photos about the history of the Triangle Mountain "lake', which was originally built as a water reservoir.
I used to live at the base of Triangle Mountain in the late 60s and early 70s at 943 Latoria Road. Back then the reservoir was the local swimming hole and the land around it was mostly wild and untouched with virgin forests. There was no development on the top of the mountain then, other than a rough road from Sooke Road that led to the top where the old Canadian military observation post was located overlooking the waters surrounding Victoria. The Triangle Mountain observation post was about 100 meters or so up the hill from the reservoir and situated on the east side of the mountain pointing to the east and south. It was part of a larger network of observation posts and gun emplacements that were installed around Victoria and along parts of Vancouver Island just before and during World War II, to observe and hopefully repel any kind of attack from Japan at the time.
As for the Triangle Mountain reservoir, the stories I was told as a boy growing up there was that it was built to provide a ready source of water for the soldiers in the observation post. As a kid I used to play around the observation post that was built like a bunker of reinforced concrete and very similar to the design of the ones at Fort Rod Hill, Macaulay Point and Mary Hill. I believe at the time there were still some vestiges of the water pipes that lead from the reservoir to the observation post, but can't recall. We were told in the 70s that the land around the post was owned by a wealthy American who was holding it to eventually build a home on it. However, with the passage of time there has of course been tremendous development all over the mountain now, and any traces of the observation post and reservoir waterworks are probably long gone now.
I don't unfortunately have any historical photos of the reservoir or of us kids playing and swimming in and around it back then, but am sure some of our old neighbours may have some, even though most have long since moved away now. The one family that still lives on Latoria Road who used to own at least 40 acres of land on the west side of the mountain are the McCormicks. They owned this land jointly with their relatives, the Gards and the Coutts families. Unfortunately the Gards and Mr & Mrs Coutts have passed away, but Gaye McCormick still lives at 940 Latoria Road and I'm sure should be able to corroborate my story about the reservoir and provide more information, as required.
I also recommend getting in touch with the curator at the Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site and/or the curator at the Naden Museum at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt. They should have more accurate and detailed historical information and photos of the history of the observation post and reservoir, and why and how it was built.