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Winter home of the Snow Geese and one of Canada's top birdwatching sites.
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Booking a Time for a Sanctuary Visit

Our booking system is designed to schedule and regulate visits to the Sanctuary. This helps reduce the constant traffic congestion on Robertson Road and overcrowding on weekends and Statutory holidays. It is a free service for visitors and should reduce uncertainties for planned visits by reserving a guaranteed parking spot. It also gives our Society the ability to set a limit for visitors (particularly important during Covid-19 restrictions) and to predict the volume of visitors anticipated for the next day.

Note: If you are only interested in visiting the parking lot to use the washrooms, Gift Shop or picnic area, we can not allow you entry at this time due to Covid-19 guidelines. These areas have potential for being social gathering spots and are all closed right now to anyone except visitors that have made reservations.

Booking should only take a few minutes and it is free.

Click on this link. You will be directed to a page where you can choose the type of visit (morning or afternoon visitor or cyclist), then choose a date. It will give you options for the next three days. We hope everyone can become self-sufficient once they understand this system. Create an account. Use a valid name and email address in order to receive your confirmation. When you arrive at the front gate of the Sanctuary at your time, please provide this confirmation.

There are just a few tricky things to know. A time slot does not show if it is full. Also you will not be able to book a spot if it is after 3 pm on the previous day. The following table will give you an idea of when to go on-line to book if you are looking for a particular day of the week, using the morning time slot as an example.

The day you want to visit The day you need to go on-line to book a time for that day. *
Monday We are closed
Tuesday Book Saturday after 9 am, all day Sunday, and Monday until 3 pm.
Wednesday Book Sunday after 9 am, all day Monday, and Tuesday until 3 pm.
Thursday Book Monday after 9 am, all day Tuesday, and Wednesday until 3 pm.
Friday Book Tuesday after 9am, all day Wednesday, and Thursday until 3 pm.
Saturday Book Wednesday after 9 am, all day Thursday, and Friday until 3 pm.
Sunday Book Thursday after 9 am, all day Friday, and Saturday until 3 pm.
* Note time slots disappear when they are fully booked.

Bookings are for morning arrivals between 9 am and 11 am and for afternoon arrivals between 1 pm to 3 pm, with gate closures likely during mid-day and after 3 pm. PLEASE DO NOT ARRIVE EARLY! Just arrive sometime within your designated time frame (ie sometime between 9 am and 11 am) and remember that everyone needs to be out by 4 pm.

Common questions and answers

Is this the same as getting a membership when we sign up as "clients" for an account?
No, a membership is bought through our Society. The account you set up for this on-line reservation system is free to you and is run by a third party software company and their programs generate your confirmations etc. It only books a time to arrive at the Sanctuary, not the admissions or memberships.

If we check in at the front gate do we still need to show our membership card at the Gift Shop?
Yes, these are two separate things. If you get checked off a list of parking reservations, you still need to show your membership card or pay the appropriate admission before you enter the trails.

Is this how we would book a group tour of the Sanctuary?
No, all tour booking arrangements need to be made over the phone at least two weeks ahead of time to confirm a tour guide.

How can we book a spot if we do not have a computer?
Staff may be able to help you, but with some limitations. You will need to call the office at 604-946-6980. We will not be booking parking for any more than 3 days from the time you call.

What will happen if we just show up without a booking?
You will be turned away. We have a quota for the morning and afternoon time slots. On the weekends, you will automatically be turned away if you have not reserved on-line. Visitors without reservations that are going to be turned away anyway just add unnecessary traffic on Westham Island. You will not be allowed to park and walk in, be dropped off, or stay idling on Robertson Road. We expect everyone to book, as it will help you to avoid disappointment if you are coming from any great distance away.

Even if a time slot is not fully booked? For the first month or so after re-opening, we have accomodated drop-in people on Tuesday to Friday if part of our quota has remained unbooked. You take your chances with this, though as every day there are unknown numbers of drivers hoping to do the same thing. We can not accomodate the needs of visitors who do not use the booking system and call our office each time trying to guess whether they can just drop in.

Why do time slots disappear?
The system shows just the next three days of time slots. They do not show up as an option when they are full. You also can not book a time slot if it is already after 3 pm on the day before.

What is wrong?? I can not see any time slots.
This happens more frequently than you would think. If you go on-line to look on a Friday when all Saturday and Sunday spots are already filled, they will not show any more, and as we are closed Mondays now, there are three days in a row without any options showing. Wait a day and you will see Tuesday spots, though.

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