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Millstream Lake Road - Ross Durrance Road

Millstream Lake Road, Highlands, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2013/12/02

Millstream Lake - Ross Durrance Road, 2011; District of Highlands, 2011
Typical view of Millstream Lake - Ross Durrance Roads, 2011
Millstream Lake - Ross Durrance Road, 2011; District of Highlands, 2011
Millstream Lake - Ross Durrance Roads, roadside wildflowers
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2016/08/11

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Millstream Lake Road - Ross Durrance Road is a narrow, winding, 6.7 kilometre section of paved road in the District of Highlands, British Columbia. It begins at the intersection of Millstream Lake Road and Munn Road in the south, and ends at the intersection of Ross Durrance Road and Willis Point Road in the north. The road is classified as a Section 4 road in two segments - the first being from Mitchell Lake to the south end of Second Lake, and the second being where the road curves around Third Lake. The remaining portions of the road have a 66-foot public right-of-way. Provincial and Regional parkland frames the road on the east, west and north sides. The historic place includes the road and its base, the 66-foot right-of-way and the Section 4 road segments.

Heritage Value

Millstream Lake Road - Ross Durrance Road is primarily valued because it connects users to nature. The choice to keep it slow, narrow and winding shows the community's support of the vision of environmental conservation. It has beautiful viewscapes and goes through a variety of ecosystems from cedar swamps to arbutus ridges, and over waterways that provide seasonal crossings to Rough Skinned Newts. Navigating this narrow meandering road with its bends and steep slopes encourages the driver to slow down. The road is also used for walking, horseback riding and cycling. It travels through a conservation area, and its proximity to parkland provides access to green space that benefits the region as a whole.

Millstream Lake Road - Ross Durrance Road is also valued because it connects people to the community's history. Frederick Charles Corry, a retired British Army Engineer, was hired in 1918 by the provincial government to lead a crew in building this road from the northern Highlands area to the Interurban Railway. Today, users travel on a remnant of the path that shaped this community around its rugged landscape. It serves as a reminder of what rural living represented to early settlers - the difficulties and the hard work.

The road provides a connection to examples of past industries, including logging and agriculture, that took place along the road. Large stumps with notches for springboards and old logging roads are still visible. The road is valued because it honours the uniqueness of the Highlands community's social fabric. It connected the pioneer families who lived along the valley and travelled the road to visit neighbours, to go to one of the lakes to swim, to take their children to school, or to access the Interurban Railway. The strong social ties and sense of community engendered by the road continue to exist today.

Source: District of Highlands Municipal Office

Character-Defining Elements

Key character-defining elements of Millstream Lake Road - Ross Durrance Road include:

- Scale of the road
- Paved section of road with 66-foot right-of-way and Section 4 road segments
- Ditches used as natural drainage
- Location of the road along the natural contours of the landscape
- Undisturbed natural vegetation along most of the road
- All evidence of early logging history along the roadside (large stumps with notches for springboards)
- Connection to pioneer homes along the road including Mitchell House, the Corry farm, and the Gordon farm
- Connection to the trailhead to Mount Work Regional Park and Gowlland Tod Provincial Park at north end of road
- Part of trail route for Mount Work loop and access to Corry Road trail
- Compatibility to horseback riding, hiking and cycling
- Connection to conservation property (Second Lake) along the road
- Existence of social capital, built on shared values, reciprocity and trust within the neighourhood
- Seasonal 'Rough Skinned Newt Crossing' signs



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type



Road or Public Way

Architect / Designer



Frederick Charles Corry

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

District of Highlands Municipal Office

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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