Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary is for everyone

The Nature Sanctuary is an accessible green space in urban Victoria, BC that works to protect two distinct ecosystems: a low-lying wetland around Swan Lake and a rare Garry oak meadow on the rocky summit of Christmas Hill. The Nature Sanctuary is vital for protecting threatened species and the Colquitz River watershed.

Visitors regularly come to enjoy a picnic on the Founder's Wharf, feed the ducks on the floating boardwalk, collect data for iNaturalist, sit quietly or visit our gift shop!

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Some basic rules

Let’s make sure everyone can enjoy the Sanctuary.
  • NO DOGS - Bylaw # 7462 No dogs in the Sanctuary. Read where Saanich permits and does not permit dogs in parks.
  • NO FIRESSaanich limits outdoor burning in Saanich for a few reasons:
    • To reduce fire risk
    • Preserve air quality
    • Protect our environment
Read Saanich’s Fire Prevention Bylaw [PDF - 51 KB].
  • NO BBQs - No charcoal or briquettes BBQs are permitted without express interest and an issued permit from the Sanctuary.
  • NO ALCOHOL - 
  • NO SMOKING - No smoking, vaping or use of cannabis products. Read about the CRD-Clean Air Bylaw
  • NO BIKES – While you are encouraged to cycle to the Sanctuary, Saanich Bylaw # 7054 stipulates no person shall ride a bicycle in the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary except in a parking lot or on a paved roadway Read more about this and other Parks Management and Control Bylaw stipulations.
  • NOISE - Keep noise levels down. Music or loudspeaker use is okay as long as those around you are okay with it!
  • PARKING - Park only in approved designated parking areas. Use the overflow lot as a last resort.
  • PICNICS – You are welcome to enjoy a small picnic on the front lawns of the Nature House or in the Teaching Shelter providing, you follow the above mentioned rules and, the location has not been rented out for a private function (see rentals
Respect nature