Mary Lake Nature Sanctuary


About Mary Lake Nature Sanctuary

The Mary Lake property is a 42 acre protected forest and riparian area ​that supports biodiversity while preserving ecosystems and wildlife habitat. ​It is also the home of the “Highlands Nature House”​ which sits on the water’s  edge, within the tranquil natural environment, inspiring an awareness of nature as teacher and essential ally.


​The Mary Lake property is located in the Highlands District, part of the Greater Victoria area, ​just 25 km from the heart of Victoria the capital city of British Columbia, Canada.


Mary Lake lies within the traditional territories of the WSÁNEC (Saanich) Coast Salish Peoples.

​We recognize the integral role the ancestors of the WSÁNEC Coast Salish Peoples have played as past stewards of the Mary Lake and Highlands lands.

Private ownership of the land began in 1887 ​The original house and gardens were in an area near Millstream Rd on the eastern side of the property

The Mary Lake Property was purchased from the estate of Peter and Violet Brotherston on Dec, 23, 2016 by the Greater Victoria Greenbelt Society.

Yellow Wolf drummers and singers doing a Dedication Ceremony for past Stewards of the Earth in 2011 at Mary Lake

Protection and Conservation

Continuing the Conservation of this excellent example of the imperiled Dry Coastal Douglas Fir and other ecosystems on the property protects the rare habitats of many plant and animal species several of which are endangered.

Activities and Nature

The intact Eco systems and natural beauty create the perfect setting for retreats, workshops, nature inspired programs and classes. The setting makes it the ideal place for quiet enjoyment, photography, trail walks, or simple relaxation with nature.

The Mary Lake Nature Sanctuary will be available for many wonderful experiences that will support well-being and encourage environmental awareness.

The local Intermunicipal Advisory Committee on Disability Issues has this to say about the Sanctuary property. “It is a stunning location with a user-friendly trail already in existence with a paved pathway to the house.” The numerous trails along the streams are rated as easy. This makes it possible for people dealing with mobility issues ranging from walkers to strollers for babies can get into the heart of nature.

Highlands Nature House

The secluded location of the 4,600-sq. ft. Nature House literally sits on the water’s edge of a private lake and offers the perfect space for retreats, workshops, meetings and gatherings.

It enables individuals and groups the opportunity to experience a purposefully designed space amid the rich and raw beauty of a natural forest.

Walking Trails

Numerous stream side trails in the 13,000 year old Millstream Watershed offer inspiring views of the 7 intact ecosystems on the property.

They are available on the 2nd Sunday of the month or by request for guided group walks or during special events. Trails are rated as easy.
For our monthly walks see the Spirit of Nature Walk section

Get Involved

We need your help! There are many ways you can contribute to the Mary Lake Nature Sanctuary. Your support ​will have a positive benefit for the whole region, local community and nature.

  1. Make a Charitable Donation (Tax Deductible)
  2. Join our Volunteer List
  3. Sign up for our Newsletter
  4. Become a member
  5. Connect and share on social media
  6. Participate in our events

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Mary Lake Nature Sanctuary

1772 Millstream Rd,
Victoria, BC V9B 6E4

Greater Victoria Greenbelt Society

499 Millstream Lake Rd.
Victoria, BC. V9B 6H5
Registered Charity BN: 11894 6953 RR0001

WSÁNEC Coast Salish

Mary Lake lies within the traditional territories of the WSÁNEC (Saanich) Coast Salish Peoples.

​We recognize the integral role the ancestors of the WSÁNEC Coast Salish Peoples have played as past stewards of the Mary Lake and Highlands lands.

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