Victoria and Victoria West
The City of Victoria, located on the Southern tip of Vancouver
Island, is Western Canada's oldest city and the capital of
British Columbia. As such, it is home to the provincial legislature.
It is a community of choice for many, due to its temperate
climate, natural beauty, and superior economic opportunities.
The City of Victoria has a population of approximately 74,000.
Readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine rate Victoria #1
for environment and ambience and the best overall City in
Canada. Macleans magazine recently rated Victoria as the
number one city in Canada in which to locate a family business.
Victoria West occupies a peninsula bounded by the scenic
Gorge / Selkirk waterway, the harbour and the eastern border
of Esquimalt. Its 155 hectares (380 acres) represents eight
per cent of Victoria's land base. With the development of
Westside Village and the continuing development of the Songhees
lands, Vic West offers its residents quality retail, traditional
residential and multi-family housing options as well as scenic
Governments at all levels provide a major employment base
in the City with 18 of the largest employers coming from
the public sector.
» Capital Regional
» City of Victoria
» Tourism Victoria
» In Victoria
Oak Bay is a distinct municipality located to the east of
Victoria. Incorporated in 1906, it now has a population of
From its miles of scenic coastline with breathtaking foreshore
vistas to its luxury apartments and stately mansions, Oak
Bay is one of the most desirable residential areas in Greater
Victoria. Architecture ranges from the late 19th century
style of such pre-eminent architects as Francis Rattenbury
and Samuel McLure to the contemporary West Coast style of
today's fine architects.
Property owners take pride in maintaining their impeccably
manicured laws and fine landscaping. Canopies of trees enhance
the attractiveness of the area and are passionately protected.
Oak Bay is home to two world class golf courses, the Uplands
Golf Club and Victoria Golf Club, as well as the Oak Bay
Marina and the prestigious Royal Victoria Yacht Club. There
are three recreation centres in the municipality and its
main shopping areas, Oak Bay Avenue and Estevan, maintain
a village-like atmosphere.
Oak Bay shares the University of Victoria and Camosun College
with the neighboring municipality of Saanich.
of Oak Bay
» Oak Bay High School
East and West Saanich
Saanich East and Saanich West (population 102,000) is a
sprawling area composed of a number of distinct neighborhoods.
The eastern side of Saanich is dominated by the University
of Victoria which is very much a part of the local life of
the community. The landscape of Saanich is unique for its
ecological diversity and leisure potential. There are 170
municipal parks, three regional parks and a cycling network
route to see and explore. Saanich has more parks per capita
than any other municipality in B.C. There are several excellent
golf courses in Saanich: Blenkinsop Valley, Cedar Hill, Cordova
Bay and Prospect Lake golf courses.
Saanich's distinct neighborhoods. include the following: GORDON HEAD, a solidly
upper middle class family area with several shopping malls, restaurants and
movie theatres within a short driving distance.
HIGH QUADRA overlooking Blenkinsop Valley. BROADMEAD with
imaginative West Coast architecture. CORDOVA BAY perched
along the seaside; a mixture of cottages, small farms, sizable
family homes and new subdivisions.
» Municipality of Saanich
Central Saanich has a population of close to 14,000 people.
The dominant age groups are in the 25-44 range (adult baby
boomers) and the 55 and up range. Agriculture is the most
extensive land use in the community with pockets of housing
ranging from hobby farms to townhouses dispersed throughout.
The necessary services are provided through two core commercial
areas in Brentwood Bay and Saanichton, supported nicely by
the Keating X Road industrial/commercial area.
Because of its attractive rural lifestyle, Central Saanich
experienced considerable demands for development during the
1980s. The overriding philosophy of the community is to retain
the current rural character, agricultural land base and as
much as possible provide for slow, long-term growth where
it will have the least impact on the agricultural lands and
the environment. Central Saanich has the Sunshine Hills golf
course for golfing enthusiasts.
Central Saanich has its own police force and Fire Department.
Garbage collection is done on a private basis.
With a population of around 10,000 people, the overriding
philosophy of North Saanich residents is to retain the rural
qualities of the area with an acute awareness of the protection
of the environment.
Agricultural, residential and institutional uses are the
primary land uses in North Saanich with only minor commercial
or industrial uses (with the exception of the airport). The
dominant agricultural/residential uses result in the highly
valued rural atmosphere of North Saanich living. Almost all
the housing is classified as single detached homes.
Because of the community's preference for retaining larger
lot sizes and the rural nature of residential neighborhoods.,
water supply is provided by wells or the municipal water
system. North Saanich is under the jurisdiction of the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police. Waste disposal is done on a private
"Sidney by the Sea" as it is affectionately known, currently
has a population of just over 10,000 people. Because of its
climate, natural amenities and friendly community character,
Sidney's fastest growing age group is in the 65 and over
category. Sidney has established trend-setting laws requiring
the provision of adaptable housing for persons with disabilities.
Sidney is under the jurisdiction of the Royal Canadian Mounted
In an effort to maintain population balance, the municipality
has approved single family developments that cater to younger
people and attempt to make housing more affordable. Sidney
has extensive waterfront walkways, parks, restaurants and
marinas. The Panorama Leisure Centre provides indoor tennis,
ice arena and pool and will soon offer squash and racquet
courts. The Glen Meadows Golf and Country Club and the Ardmore
golf course serve golf enthusiasts.
There is daily ferry service to Anacortes, Washington, U.S.A.
Sidney is less than two kilometers away from the Victoria
International Airport, three kilometers from the B.C. Ferry
Terminal to Vancouver and only 25 minutes away from downtown
Esquimalt is the municipality immediately to the west of
Victoria. With a population of over 16,000 it offers a variety
of interesting contrasts in lifestyles with an abundance
of parks, foreshore vistas and a marina.
Esquimalt has a strong mix of high quality residential properties,
some excellent waterfront properties and a very active business
community including a light industrial district. It has a
well-established community spirit and all of its services
were well developed many years ago. Some of Esquimalt's most
attractive residential areas are Saxe Point, Rockheights
Esquimalt has a full range of recreational facilities including
arena, curling rink, indoor swimming pool, recreation centre
and the top-ranked Gorge Vale Golf Club.
Facing the western approaches from the sea, it is a very
pleasant and sun-filled location. Esquimalt is home to the
Department of National Defence. Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt
employs around 4,000 military and 3,000 civilian personnel,
making it a significant contributor to Victoria's economy.
With a population of just under 6,000, View Royal lies at
the doorstep of Greater Victoria's urban core and adjacent
to the growing municipalities of Esquimalt and Saanich.
View Royal is served by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Waste disposal is done on a private basis and areas within
the township are protected by a tree-cutting bylaw.
View Royal has been divided into seven distinct Precincts
based on such factors as topography, major transportation
corridors, natural environment and the age of housing stock.
They are Craigflower, Harbour, Helmcken, Hospital, Burnside,
Atkins and Wilfert. Each Precinct can also be described and
identified according to its population, the number of dwelling
units by type and ownership, the amount of land available
for new development and the presence of commercial and retail
Highlands is the newest of all the municipalities in the
Capital Regional District to be incorporated. Many people
choose to live in the Highlands because of its rural character
and natural beauty. Residents are encouraged to build their
homes with the least environmental impact by minimizing vegetation
removal, using materials that blend in with the landscape
and positioning homes that are not highly visible from the
road or viewpoints.
Mount Work Regional Park boasts swimming holes, fishing
spots and hilly terrain as well as the highest peak on the
Saanich Peninsula. Lone Tree Regional Park has a two kilometer
trail that winds uphill, leading hikers to fabulous views
of the Highlands, Victoria and the Olympic Mountains.
During a normal winter, the Highlands experiences cooler
temperatures and approximately 35% more rainfall than Victoria.
The precipitation is essential to recharge well water resources
and maintain ecosystems during severe drought conditions
that occur during the summer and fall months.
The Highlands is home to many interesting plants and ecosystems
such as wetlands, woodlands, wildflowers and old growth trees.
The roads are scenic, narrow and winding.
» Highlands Municipality
Incorporated in 1985, the City of Colwood has a population
of over 14,000. The city is divided into residential pockets
such as Triangle Mountain, Colwood Creek, Colwood Lake Estates,
Wishart and Lagoon areas. There are business centres at Colwood
Corners and Hatley Park.
The area offers a variety of recreational pursuits. The
Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre is considered to be one of
the most complete sport complexes in the province. For the
golf enthusiast, there highly rated courses, the Royal Colwood
golf course and the Olympic View golf course and the nine
hole Juan de Fuca course. The area offers a nature reserve
as well as a beach for sun tanning, swimming, wind surfing,
sailing or just walking. Views of downtown and views of the
American coast over the Strait of Juan de Fuca are also enjoyed.
In addition, there are a number of smaller parks.
Garbage collection is done on a private basis and the area
is policed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The Fire
Department is a mix of regular and volunteer members. The
area is well served by public transit. There are no hospital
facilities in the municipality. There is a private medical
clinic available in Colwood Corners for emergency assistance,
but most medical problems are taken care of at the Victoria
General Hospital located on Helmcken Road which is very close
» City of Colwood
Incorporated in 1992, the District of Langford is divided
into distinct areas such as Glen Lake, Happy Valley, Florence
Lake, Langford proper, Thetis Heights and the Goldstream
Area. The population of Langford is projected to be over
18,000 by the year 2001. There is a business and commercial
area running from the Goldstream/Millstream intersection
to Jacklin Road and extending to Can West Mall on Kelly Road.
The area has a large number of lakes and parks, offering
a variety of recreational pursuits. The larger lakes include
Thetis Lake, Langford Lake, Glen Lake and Florence Lake.
The most popular park is Goldstream Park which also has a
The Langford area is large, extending from West Saanich
to View Royal, along Colwood, Metchosin, Sooke and northwards
including portions of the Malahat Highway.
Most of the community is served by a municipal water system,
however there are large parts that are serviced by private
wells. Septic tanks and septic fields are the norm though
some areas are served by private sewage systems. Garbage
pickup is done on a private basis. There is bus service throughout
the area. Langford is policed by the Royal Canadian Mounted
Incorporated in 1984 as a result of a perceived need to
preserve the rural lifestyle, the District of Metchosin has
a population of over 4,500. Metchosin is mainly a rural community
with large parcels of land. It includes areas such as Albert
Head, William Head, Rocky Point, Happy Valley and the Kangaroo
Horseback riding, nature trails and parks are common in
the district. Matheson Lake is popular for swimming and hiking.
Witty's Lagoon is an oceanfront area for a variety of sports
and for relaxation. There are two golf courses, the Metchosin
Golf and Country Club and Green Acres, and plans for another.
Pedder Bay is well known for its fishing and Metchosin is
the setting for Pearson College. As the area is mainly rural,
there are a variety of farm related organizations and horse
and riding clubs.
Parts of the community are served by a community water system,
however there are large parts that are serviced by private
wells. Septic tanks and septic fields are the norm. There
are also some private sewage systems. Garbage collection
is done on a private basis. There is limited bus service
throughout the area, both for public transport and for schools.
Metchosin falls under the jurisdiction of the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police and has a volunteer Fire Department.
Located west of Victoria, Sooke became incorporated in 1999.
With an estimated population of over 12,000, Sooke is divided
into distinct areas known as Sooke proper, East Sooke, Broomhill,
Saseenos, Sooke River, Whiffin Spit and "the West Coast Road." There
is a growing business section in the downtown core, good
schools, sports facilities and an excellent museum.
Sooke offers a variety of recreational activities reflecting
its natural surroundings. Excellent fishing, boating, hunting,
hiking and horseback riding are available. The area contains
an abundance of lakes, parks and nature trails including
the Galloping Goose linear park, East Sooke Park, Sooke Pot
Holes, the well-known Sooke Harbour, the world-renowned West
Coast Trail and Botanical Beach at Port Renfrew, and the
West Coast Trail's new extension of the Juan de Fuca marine
park to Jordan River. Sooke also offers one of the world's
best surfing beaches. The biggest event of the year is "All
Sooke Days." Golfers can enjoy the Phillips John Memorial
Sooke is a popular tourist area boasting the world famous "Sooke
Harbor House" and a large number of private bed and breakfast
facilities and country lodges tucked away in the woods and
usually on the waterfront. It also has a local government
wharf and private marinas
Sooke falls under the jurisdiction of the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police. The community also has a well-trained ambulance
service and a volunteer fire department. Parts of the community
are served by a municipal water system, however there are
large areas that are served by private wells and community
water systems. Septic tanks and septic fields are the norm
though some areas are serviced by private sewage system.
Garbage collection is done on a private basis.
Shawnigan Lake is an unincorporated area, with a population
(including all lands in the vicinity of the lake as well
as those in the Shawnigan Village area) of about 6,000 people.
The Shawnigan Village core includes several retail stores,
a Community Centre and a private school. The area is noted
for its pristine lake views and water recreational opportunities.
Mill Bay is an unincorporated village-style community of
approximately 3,000 people. It includes three shopping malls,
including Mill Bay Centre, which serves as a regional shopping
centre for the south end of the Cowichan Regional District.
As well as being a significant commercial centre, the area
is noted for its spectacular ocean views and numerous recreational
opportunities. It includes the Kerry Park Recreation Centre
with an ice rink, and the Brentwood University College.
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