Well-hidden behind a busy intersection of the Trans-Canada Highway, Florence Lake is virtually unknown to both visitors and locals alike, although many locals will drive by it every day.
Florence Lake is a great place for an easy stroll with calming views year-round. Around the lake you’ll find a boardwalk above wetlands, an accessible viewing deck, and a sunny swimming dock perfect for getting in the water or launching a stand-up paddleboard. Skirt Mountain can be seen to the northwest, and expect a colourful display of leaves in the fall.
Creeks & Watershed
Florence Lake is part of the Millstream Creek watershed. Water enters Florence Lake via a seasonal tributary off Skirt Mountain known locally as Sometime Creek. The outflow is in the wetlands at southeast corner of the lake, where an unnamed creek carries water eastwards towards a culvert underneath the highway before joining Millstream Creek and ultimately emptying into the Esquimalt Harbour.
There is some debate about how Florence Lake was named. While the registry of BC Geographic Names states that the lake was named after Florence Isabella Langford, Captain Edward Langford’s fifth daughter, other local historians believe it was named after early settlers Henry and Florence Dumbleton, who once owned property at Pike Lake.
Did you know?
Unconfirmed local lore tells the story of a piano at the bottom of Florence Lake. Homes were built on the west side of the lake before there were roads to them, meaning the only way to transport things there was by boat. Apparently one owner tried to bring a piano to their home and lost it in the lake when the boat capsized. If this is a true story, it’s likely the piano is still there.
For trail maps, access information, and much more, get your copy of the Lakes of Victoria, BC guidebook.