Cougar Annie's Garden Entrance

Cougar Annie's Garden: 1915-2015

Ada Annie Rae-Arthur and her family arrived at Boat Basin in 1915.  Ada Annie became known as Cougar Annie.

Cougar Annie’s Garden is the last remaining vestige of the homesteading period (1885 to 1920) on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  Hundreds of couples pitted themselves against the elements in the hope of creating their own Eden in the wilderness. The 117-acre garden property contains many large trees, some over 1000 years old.  Rarely does a wilderness property have such strong cultural and natural values.

Boat Basin Foundation, a registered charity, now owns and maintains the garden property. The Foundation’s objectives are to preserve the garden for future generations and to encourage interest and education in natural history.

Boat Basin Foundation asks those who are aware of the property to reflect upon the significance of its cultural and natural history.  With now over 90% of large old-growth forests of Vancouver Island gone, and early history of settlement elsewhere overtaken by the rainforest, this property clearly is unique and in need of protection.

Cougar Annie with a gun

100th Anniversary of Cougar Annie’s Garden
Matching Donation Campaign

In honour of the 100th Anniversary, a donor has offered to match the first $15,000 donated to Boat Basin Foundation through
Donations to this program receive a tax receipt from Chimp.

Donations help finance annual garden maintenance and preservation expenses.  When donations, combined with income from Visiting Programs (link), are greater than annual expenses and capital needs, the surplus will be directed towards subsidizing cultural and natural history educational programs.

If you are unable to donate online (button above), we welcome direct donations by cheque to:
Boat Basin Foundation
Box 83
Tofino, BC    V0R 2Z0

To reduce administrative expenses, only donations $100 or more will be tax-receipted by Boat Basin Foundation.

For donations under $100 the Foundation kindly asks that you visit the Boat Basin Foundation ‘donation page’ on


Cougar Annie Centennial Knife

Cougar Annie Knife

Seth Cosmo Burton, Salt Spring Island knifemaker, founder of Cosmos Design and multiple visitor to Boat Basin, has created a limited edition of 'Cougar Annie Centennial knife'. A generous portion of sale proceeds will be donated to Boat Basin Foundation.

The knife design is based upon the Scandinavian bushcraft knife used over the past three decades in the process of the restoration of Cougar Annie's Garden.

Please visit for a description of the knife-making process, products offered by Cosmos Knives and for more details of the Cougar Annie Centennial Knife.