Prospect Lake is a recreational treasure in the heart of rural Saanich. While most of the shoreline has been claimed by private residences, three parks provide access to the water, as well as a launch for boat trailers.
On the north (sunny) end is Whitehead Park, which features a playground, picnic tables, and a swimming wharf. The District of Saanich has recently added new equipment to the playground and significant efforts have been made by the Friends of Tod Creek Watershed to restore the creek bed that borders the park, which is the start of Tod Creek.
The south end of the lake holds the larger, more secluded South Prospect Lake Park. A short, sometimes steep or rocky trail leads through trees to a view of the lake below. Watch for birds such as chickadees, nuthatches, sparrows, and flickers on your way. Also on the west side of the lake is the tiny Estelline Park, with a green space and access suitable to launch carry-in boats. There is a small island in the lake and several natural bays.
Creeks & Watershed
Prospect Lake is part of the Tod Creek Watershed. There are five named creeks that flow into Prospect Lake: Echo Creek, Mutter Brook, Bleathman Creek, Gibson Creek, and Killarney Creek. Tod Creek on the northern shore is the main outflow, and water then continues north to Tod Inlet (an extension of Brentwood Bay).
Prospect Lake likely took its name from the “forty-niners” (a reference to the year 1849), who came from California in search of gold. While there is no evidence that gold was ever found in the area, the name Prospect Lake stuck even after the prospectors moved on.
Whitehead Park is named after the Whitehead family, who sold the land to Saanich in 1959. Herbert Thomas Whitehead was an architect from England who designed an elaborate house at the corner of Cook Street and Dallas Road in Victoria. The house, built in 1913, is now an elegant Bed and Breakfast known as the Dashwood Manor.
The community of Prospect Lake has a rich history full of stories and fascinating trivia. For more information about the history of the lake, find a copy of Reflections on Prospect Lake, a book produced by the Prospect Lake Heritage Society in 2012.
Did you know?
One of the first settlers of Prospect Lake was On Hing, a hard-working Chinese man who arrived in 1858 and owned 89 acres of land on the southeast side of the lake. On Hing, his wife, and family planted strawberries and fruit orchards over most of their land.
On Hing was known as a happy individual who travelled around the countryside with a wagon full of produce and chickens, trading for fresh meat, grain, and other supplies. Other than the work done cultivating their land and raising their family, little is known about On Hing’s wife.
For trail maps, access information, and much more, get your copy of the Lakes of Victoria, BC guidebook.