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Freeman King Visitor Centre

2955 Sooke Lake Road, Langford, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1972/04/17

Freeman King Visitor Centre; BC Heritage Branch, 2006
exterior view, front
Freeman King Visitor Centre; BC Heritage Branch
interior view
Freeman King Visitor Centre; BC Heritage Branch
exterior view, sign

Other Name(s)

Freeman King Visitor Centre
Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association Clubhouse
Goldstream Nature House
Freeman King Nature House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2014/09/04

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Freeman King Visitor Centre is a large, side-gabled wood and stucco building with a verandah, dating from the mid-twentieth century. It is located in Goldstream Provincial Park north of Victoria and sited approximately 125 m east of the main Island Highway on the boundary between a mature forest and an estuary.

Heritage Value

Freeman King Visitor Centre is valued for its long-standing role as a centre for the appreciation and protection of local biodiversity, for its association with an influential early naturalist, and as a regional landmark.

Located at the junction between two important wildlife habitat zones, the Visitor Centre is the nucleus of Goldstream Provincial Park, one of the best known and most frequently visited parks on Vancouver Island, established in 1958. The building, constructed in 1947 as a clubhouse for the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association, was acquired by the Province in 1972. It became a Provincial Park nature education centre in 1976, reflecting an increasing concern for nature conservation in the late twentieth century. The Visitor Centre is integral to the park, as it fosters an understanding of the natural environment and the importance of protected areas to society.

The building is also valued for its historic association with one of the region’s most dedicated and beloved early naturalists, Freeman “Skipper” King (1891-1975). As Goldstream Provincial Park naturalist from 1961 to 1975, and as a Boy Scout leader, Freeman King introduced a generation of young people to the wonders of nature. This historic place is important because it continues its namesake’s legacy of encouraging the understanding and appreciation of the natural world.

The Visitor Centre also has social value as a destination and landmark for local residents and tourists who come to enjoy the wildlife viewing opportunities for which Goldstream Provincial Park is renowned.

Character-Defining Elements

Key character-defining elements of Freeman King Visitor Centre include:
- The scenic location within the natural setting of Goldstream Park, and the orientation in relation to the estuary, mature forest, nearby waterways, trails and Highway 1
- Physical elements which relate to its original function as a clubhouse, including the side-gabled form, the symmetry accentuated by matching chimneys at each gable end, the verandah, the open-concept interior, the vaulted ceiling, the stone fireplace and the row of large windows overlooking the estuary
- The association with naturalist Freeman King, represented by the name of the facility and the carved wooden sign on the exterior
- The use of the building as a public interpretation and education centre for Goldstream Park



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Province of British Columbia

Recognition Statute

Park Act, s.5

Recognition Type

Provincial Park (Establishment)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1961/01/01 to 1975/01/01
1972/01/01 to 1972/01/01
1958/01/01 to 1958/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations
Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type



Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club
Exhibition Centre

Architect / Designer



Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

BC Heritage Branch

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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