East Lillooet Memorial Garden, Japanese Canadian Internment Site - Historic Places Days

East Lillooet Memorial Garden, Japanese Canadian Internment Site

Lillooet, British Columbia
Archaeological Sites
560 BC-12, Lillooet, BC V0K 1V0, Canada
Get directions
Municipal park, open throughout the year
(250) 256-4289

On May 7, 2022,  the Renewal Opening of the garden was held to celebrate the transformation of the garden into a ‘Lillooet style’ Japanese rock garden.  The garden overlooks the original East Lillooet self-supporting Internment Site, which is now a private farm.  East Lillooet was one of 10 Internment camps and 7 official self-supporting sites where Japanese Canadians were forcibly relocated to in 1942 with the outbreak of World War II. Deemed a national security threat, over 22,000 Japanese Canadians were forcibly uprooted by the federal government to 100 miles east of the coast. Their homes, boats, cars, businesses and properties were confiscated by the government and sold in order to finance the Internment.

Phase II was a partnership project with the E. Lillooet Seniors’ Garden Committee and the District of Lillooet. Located on new Ministry of Transportation land created by infill over the old highway, it is a historic tribute to the families of the East Lillooet Self-supporting Camp (population. 309).

Garden features include:  a stone memorial monument listing  Internee families, an Interpretive Sign, Stop-of-Interest sign, Japanese mini-bridge over a rock waterfall (Fraser River); seven tall pine trees within the garden symbolizing the severn years of the Internment (1942-49); border granite rocks from nearby Duffy Lake slide, and gravel representing water; wood arbour overlooking the original Internment site.   The Senior Garden Committee came up with the garden theme of 心の光 – Kokoro-no hikari – ‘light in the soul’.  It is their hope that the garden will bring ‘light to the soul’ to all who visit, inspiring beauty, serenity and peace.

The 1942 East Lillooet Internment site was situated on 40 acres of land above the banks of the Fraser River and leased from a local landowner.  62 crude tarpaper shacks were built and a series of flumes to carry water from the Fraser River. With no insulation, electricity, or indoor plumbing, conditions in the camp were harsh and barely tolerable, with icicles forming inside the shacks during winter.  The Internment ended in 1949, four years after the war ended. Freedom of movement, the right to vote and Canadian citizenship was granted to all Canadians regardless of race that same year.

It is located on the corner of Lytton-Lillooet Highway 12 and Sumner Road, in Lillooet, BC, just south of the Old Airport Garden, and south on Highway 12 from Fort Berens Winery.

Japanese Canadian History


  • Family-Friendly
  • Parking
  • Parkland
  • Wheelchair Access

Fun Facts

May 7, 2022.  Renewal opening of East Lillooet Memorial Garden. From left:  Bruce Tasaka, Honourable Rob Fleming (Minister of Transportation), Louis Horii


560 BC-12, Lillooet, BC V0K 1V0, Canada
Get directions



Nearby Places

Miyazaki House

Lillooet, British Columbia
Learn about the prominent families who once lived in Lillooet’s Historic Miyazaki House.
View Place | Get Directions

Historic Hat Creek

British Columbia
We are an historic site dating back to 1860 with the building of Hat Creek House.
View Place | Get Directions

Boultbee Memorial Church

Bralorne, British Columbia
Located in historic mining town of Bralorne, BC
View Place | Get Directions

Haylmore Heritage Site

Gold Bridge, British Columbia
1930s rustic buildings and landscaping on placer claim in parklike setting. Tourist info
View Place | Get Directions

Popular VisitLists Including "East Lillooet Memorial Garden, Japanese Canadian Internment Site"

Japanese Canadian Internment Sites: hidden history of BC

Hope, British Columbia to Kaslo, British Columbia 6 places
Japanese Canadian Internment Camps were located outside the 100 mile exclusion zone.
View VisitList

Japanese Canadian Historic Sites in BC: Journeys of Home

Lillooet, British Columbia to Kaslo, British Columbia 9 places
Learn about Japanese Canadian history from pre-war to the Internment in BC.
View VisitList

Japanese Canadian History

Slocan, British Columbia to Hope, British Columbia 8 places
Visiting sites in British Columbia that relate to personal and community history.
View VisitList

Register A Place

Create an account to add your historic place.

Make a VisitList

Welcome! To get started on a VisitList, you’ll need to have an account with #HistoricPlacesDays.

Already have an account? to sign in.
We use your contact information to process your registration and correspond with you about the National Trust and its programs. You can unsubscribe at any time. We care about your privacy. Read our privacy statement.

Sign In

Sites that participate in #HistoricPlacesDays need to have an account.

Welcome! To get started on a new VisitList or to edit an existing one, you’ll need to have an account with #HistoricPlacesDays. Sign in below!

Not registered? Click here to create an account.

Forgot Password

Enter your email address to request a password reset.

to sign in.

Get the latest scoop on everything #HistoricPlacesDays – join our e-newsletter and never miss a beat.