The Victoria Experience

The Complete Guide to Victoria, British Columbia

Swan Lake

Swan Lake is a beautiful nature conservatory, great for bird watching, located in Saanich. 

Time: 1 - 2 hours.

Driving time from Downtown Victoria: 20 minutes


Swan Lake is a nature conservatory in the Gordon Head area of Saanich. It is made up of two areas, the stunning Marshland of Swan Lake and the rocky and forested area of Christmas Hill. 

The boardwalks that are used to access Swan Lake are currently under construction. They are expected to re-open in October 2015. The trails around the sanctuary can still be accessed during the construction of the boardwalk. 

The trails in the area around Swan Lake are mostly flat and easy to moderate. The Christmas Hill summit is a bit more of a challage that ends in a 109 m viewpoint with views of the city. A map of the park can be found here.

Both areas of the conservatory have a wide variety of plants and wild animals. Swan Lake and area is a popular destination for bird watchers. There is a huge array of birds found here and they keep a record of the birds seen each day. You can even print out your own Checklist of the Birds of Swan Lake, found here.

Swan Lake has a Nature House that serves as an information center for the conservatory. There are hands-on and interpretive displays as well as live bee 'house' and a reading room.