Highlands is a beautiful rural district of lakes and parkland in the Greater Victoria region of Vancouver Island, bordering on the eastern shore of Finlayson Arm.
Highlands is one of the West Shore municipalities of Langford, Colwood, Metchosin, and View Royal, located to the west of Victoria. This region is known as the Western Communities, or West Shore, and stretches from Esquimalt Harbour to Rocky Point, along the shoreline of Juan de Fuca Strait.
In the afterglow of goodwill that followed Victoria's hosting of the 1994 Commonwealth Games, local and provincial governments, as well as private companies, joined together to create the Commonwealth Nature Legacy. The grand purpose of the project is to further protect the remaining natural spaces that surround the ever-expanding city.
Gowlland Tod Provincial Park in the Highlands protects a significant part of the Gowlland Range, one of the last remaining natural areas in Greater Victoria, and a portion of the natural shoreline and uplands in Tod Inlet, which adjoins the Saanich Inlet south of Brentwood Bay near Butchart Gardens. Included in this park are representative examples of the rare, dry coastal Douglas fir habitat that features old-growth forest, wildflowers, and stands of arbutus and manzanita. Old mining and logging roads in the park now serve as hiking trails.