Uplands is an area of luxury homes on large properties ranging from a quarter of an acre to three acres and an average size of half an acre in size, featuring some of the finest Real Estate on Vancouver Island and containing only a handful condos and townhomes. The subdivision was originally planned in the 1920's by the Olmstead brothers of Chicago. John Olmstead was a famous landscape architect who would spend days walking the expansive 450 acre Uplands Farm property to map out it's intricate road network. Even then, it was said to the most beautiful property in Victoria, getting sun all day, studded with Oak trees throughout, and shielded from wind on all sides.
Today, the Uplands is reckoned to be Greater Victoria's finest residential neighborhoods, but back in 1923 strangely enough it made heavy going and the developers owed Oak Bay Municipality $79,000 for taxes. When the municipality tried to foreclose it discovered that all the taxes were in default except those on lot 1. Lot 1 covered all roads within the Uplands estate. If the municipality had foreclosed it would have had no readily available access to the property. Unfortunately early records of its transactions and of land deals in Oak Bay generally were reduced to pulp when the basement of the old Municipal Hall, corner Hampshire and Oak Bay Avenue and now the location of the Bank of Nova Scotia was flooded in 1955.
French capital presented by the Credit Foncier promoted the now beautiful Uplands development. Full page advertisements in that year were asking $2,500 to $5,000 a lot but there were no takers and for many years there was only one resident, Andrew Wright, in the Uplands. His home at 3175 Beach Drive is now that of Hubert Wallace.
Victoria in its early years was a very scattered and largely pastoral settlement. The farms were very different from those in crowded Europe; they consisted of a comparatively small area of cultivated land and much waste land over which cattle roamed. Uplands Farm, for instance, which was started in 1851 in what is now part of Oak Bay Municipality, consisted of a few farm buildings while cattle grazed in an area bounded by Cedar Hill Cross Road in the north, Camas Lane in the southeast, above Allenby Street in the south, Richmond Road in the west and the shoreline in the east.
What is now the Uplands Golf Club and the Uplands Park were part of the grazing lands. Cattle Point is so named because cattle were landed there to fatten in the Uplands prior to slaughter in what was then called ro-Mile Point, but is more probably the site of the Royal Victoria 5 Yacht Club moorings on Beach Drive where, even today, cattle skulls and other relics of a slaughter house are seen in the water. First manager of the Uplands farms was Charles A. Bailey.