In less than three kilometres this stretch of roadway changes its name from Harriet to Boleskine to Saanich to Tattersall. It’s one of many similar scenarios that visitors have to learn and that locals grow used to in Greater Victoria. (Google Maps)

Victoria: where the streets have four names

Find out why so many capital region streets change names as the roadways twist and turn

Welcome to Greater Victoria, where the streets change names.

Examples A, B, C, D and E: Cloverdale Avenue turns into Cook Street, Johnson Street into Begbie Street, Richardson Street becomes McNeil Avenue, Fort Street becomes Cadboro Bay Road, Pandora Avenue turns into Oak Bay Avenue, and there’s more, so many more.

How about multiple name changes within a short distance? In a two-kilometre span through the Gordon Head neighbourhood Ferndale Road becomes Grandview, then Ash, then Cordova Bay Road (and then Royal Oak Drive). Incidentally, in that same spot, Shelbourne funnels into Cedar Hill and then Cordova Bay Road, all in 500 metres.

Or, how about the three-kilometre connection starting in Oak Bay where Lansdowne crosses through a block of Saanich, enters Victoria and becomes Hillside, and then becomes Gorge as it re-enters Saanich again (although Hillside technically continues it is disconnected at the Government/Douglas intersection).

Even better, Tattersall becomes Saanich Road, becomes Boleskine, and then becomes Harriet.

READ MORE: Victoria street repatriated with proper spelling after a century-long mistake

The reality is most of the streets were originally farm roads, trails and accesses to the rail lines and were all well established once they were finally connected.

For example, North Dairy was only connected to Finlayson in the 1970s.

There are other oddities, such as the north entrance to Mayfair Shopping Centre is from Tolmie Avenue while the road up Mount Tolmie is called Mayfair Drive.

READ MORE: First Nations heroes and Spanish beauties: a history of Vancouver Island place names

reporter@oakbaynews.com

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