About Us

Much like the land upon which it sits, Whatshan Lake Retreat has a unique and interesting story. Perhaps the best way to hear how it all came about is directly from one of the founding board members Elmer Verigin. Read Elmer’s detailed historical description of the birth and development of Whatshan Lake Retreat – CLICK HERE TO READ “A Miracle at Whatshan Lake”.


The 204 acre site of the Whatshan Lake Retreat was purchased from Mr. Alex McAlister by the Doukhobor Heritage Retreat Society #1999 (DHRS). The desire of all parties – to have the beauty of the land preserved in perpetuity and be a place where people may gather in peace and harmony.

Main Lodge with commercial kitchen and dining hall

The building of the Lodge started in 1995 and was finished in October 2000. Resources from the site have been sustainably incorporated into the project: timber from the property has been sawn into lumber; cedar split into shakes for the roof; and site gravel was used for mixing cement. The collective efforts of donated services, materials, equipment, labour and funding completed this project.

The DHRS celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the arrival of the Doukhobors to Canada in 1899 by dedicating the Whatshan Lake Retreat project to all peace-loving people in the community, in this province, in Canada, and around the world.

The DHRS acknowledges the benevolence of Leo Tolstoy, Friends of Tolstoy and the Quakers who all collectively contributed to the epic process of migrating the Doukhobors from Russia to Canada and other parts of the world.