Water or woods, relaxation or adventure. The choice is yours, but whichever you prefer, the sense of harmony that pervades this place will make it’s way into your soul. The inspiration to reconnect with a childhood sense of joy and wonder resides all around you.
You might say it was city angst that inspired our family to pack up and relocate to Sakinaw and the Sunshine Coast. Before moving to the lake I was working as a Physiotherapist at Vancouver General Hospital, Liza was a Realtor, and Donna (Mom) a retired Nurse. While we were doing well for the most part and life in Vancouver was ok, we all felt a certain restlessness. For Liza and I, it was a fading interest in our careers and the busyness of city life. For Donna, the loss of my Dad just the year before was contributing to her desire for change.
Change came to us in the summer of 2007, following Donna's visit to the lake. That was the moment our vague notions came into focus: we were actually ready to explore a life beyond the routine of the city. As it happened, Donna was just on her way to visit a friend in Sechelt when I suggested she stop by Sakinaw Lake. I reminded her it was a place I loved to visit back in my early 20s and only 40km north of where she’d be heading. Once I started on about the clear water and amazing forested slopes she decided she would see for herself.
Upon arrival Donna discovered the Lodge and called to see if there might be any property in the area up for sale. The owner at the time told her property on Sakinaw Lake is rarely offered up for sale because homes tend to stay in the family for generations; however, as luck would have it the Lodge itself was on the market. Back in Vancouver, Donna briefly mentioned that a charming Lodge was for sale on the lake. Both Liza and myself took the bait - this was the opportunity we’d been searching for all along.It was a sunny August day the first time we saw the Lodge. It felt like summer ’s paradise with all the comfort and bliss that Mother Nature could possibly snuggle into her bosom. Halcyon days my friend. Since then we have witnessed how the lake spoils us throughout year. Every season is distinctive, each with it ’s own rewards.
One fine summer’s day was all it took for the 3 of us to fall in love with Sakinaw Lake. There was a brief moment when we questioned our sanity before embarking, but looking back we never doubted ourselves. There was, and still is, a sense that this was exactly what we were meant to be doing. We gave our notice, sold our homes in the city and began to live.
Breakfast at Sakinaw Lake Lodge is a delectable continental affair. Homemade granola, fresh baked goods and preserves made from locally sourced fruit are what you'll find at our breakfast table. Enjoy a hot mug of Terrelli Coffee that is roasted to perfection in Vancouver, or a refreshing berry smoothie made from Langley blueberries. Your day of relaxation (or adventure!) begins with a comforting breakfast made with love...
Sakinaw Lake has seen human activity for a very long time. The original inhabitants were a settlement of First Nations peoples belonging to the Sechelt Nation. Evidence of their time on the lake is still visible in the form of symbolic pictographs (rock paintings) at the south end of the lake.
Legend holds that this site was used in male rites of passage ceremonies. Boys would swim underwater for long distances, overcoming their fear of the two headed serpent whom resided there, and emerge as men.
Of note: In 1986 the Sechelt Nation became an independent self-governing body, a unique third order of the government of Canada.
The Sechelt Indian Government District holds jurisdiction over its lands and exercises the authority to provide services and education for its residents.
The original Sakinaw Lake Lodge (albeit in a different location than it’s present day incarnation) was almost certainly the first recreational property on the lake. It was opened in the early 1900s by three English sisters and run as a fishing lodge. The Collins sisters bought the Lodge sight unseen and arrived from India, trunks in tow, only to find it partially constructed with gunnysacks covering the doors and windows.
Over time Sakinaw Lake Lodge came to feature a beautiful orchard, English gardens and wooden clinker built rowboats. At that time the only access to the lake was by Union Steamship to Irvines Landing, Pender Harbour. From there guests followed a forest path the remainder of the way - an all day journey from Vancouver. The story is told that upon arriving one of the sisters would greet guests holding a shotgun and only those with the proper references were admitted.
By 1945 the Collins’ had moved on and the Lodge had fallen into disrepair. It was purchased by Ernie Cotton of New Westminster who renovated and revived the business. The original Lodge existed until the mid 1950s when an accident involving a gas fridge caused it to burn to the ground. The descendents of Mr. Cotton still own property on Sakinaw Lake to this day.
The Environment Sakinaw Lake has a sensitive ecology, home to many threatened species including the Painted Turtle and the Sakinaw Sockeye salmon. At Sakinaw Lake Lodge we are very aware of our impact on this beautiful part of the world. Being “off grid” we must create all our own power and use solar panels supplemented by a diesel generator. To minimize the impact of running the generator we use a biodiesel fuel provided by Super Save Fuels. The “bio” portion is refined animal fat that does not effect human food supply. We use phosphate free soap for all our cleaning and ask our guests to do the same. We also compost all organic waste and recycle all our plastics. These are just a few examples of how we try to keep Sakinaw green.