Our Story

A Legacy of the Tofino Botanical Gardens

After 24 years of operating as the Tofino Botanical Gardens, the stunning 10-acre property was purchased in 2021 by the IPCA Innovation Program–a project of MakeWay Charitable Society. Renaming of the site came with former owner George Patterson’s blessing, who remains involved as an advisor.

A Meaningful Shift

While elements of the original gardens will live on, the Clayoquot Campus will shift its focus to supporting and upholding Indigenous governance, knowledge, and culture. The Ecolodge, which has been renamed the IISAAK Learning Lodge, will remain a place of education, with programming transitioning to a focus on Indigenous-led conservation and related topics. Darwin’s Cafe has been temporarily renamed the Little Costa Rica Cafe in honour of founder George Patterson’s original inspiration for the gardens. The gardens themselves have been renamed the Naa’Waya’Sum Coastal Indigenous Gardens, a reference to traditional Nuu’chah’nulth cedar benches used for knowledge sharing and observation amongst the older and younger generations. Clayoquot Campus will be the inaugural satellite campus of the Pacific IPCA Innovation Centre, which will grow to include a network of campuses across the Pacific region (from Alaska to Costa Rica) for gathering ideas, knowledge systems and academic resources on Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs). 

Gardens + Cafe Closed for the season

  • Monday 9 am - 5 pm
  • Tuesday 9 am - 5 pm
  • Wednesday 9 am - 5 pm
  • Thursday 9 am - 5 pm
  • Friday 9 am - 5 pm
  • Saturday 9 am - 5 pm
  • Sunday 9 am - 5 pm