Esquimalt BC Real Estate & Attractions
About Esquimalt British Columbia
Esquimalt was inhabited by the First Nations people of the Coast Salish linguistic group for more than 4,000 years before the first European settlers arrived. The town’s name (pronounced Ess-KWY-malt) has been anglicized from the original “es-whoy-malth” meaning ‘The place of gradually shoaling water’.
In 1790 the Spanish ship ‘Princesa Real’ arrived at the Esquimalt Harbour under the command of Lt. Don Manuel Quimper. In 1843 the Hudson’s Bay Company came to the Harbour in search of a location for a Fort north of the 49th parallel. In 1848 First Nations people allowed 3 farms to be established in the area:
• Viewfield Farm (1850)
• Constance Cove (1753)
• Craigflower (1853)
In 1865 a large naval base was established and is now the town’s largest employer. The original site of the town rests inside today’s Canadian Forces Base and very little of the original settlements remain.
The township was incorporated in September of 1912. Today, the 17,000 residents of Esquimalt enjoy a host of amenities and a balanced mix of commercial residential, and industrial initiatives.
Real Estate in Esquimalt BC
Esquimalt real estate has in the past, and continues to be, a sound investment. This is evidenced by the latest property tax assessments. 2015 saw assessments at $454,1000 and rose to $483,000 in 2016. Although assessment numbers in recent years remained steady, the latest increase shows that the future of Esquimalt is consistent with the areas projected long term goal in terms of growth.
Esquimalt’s proximity to Victoria and an increasing tax base along with its amenities and recreational opportunities continues to draw families to the area. This trend is increasing the demand within the Esquimalt real estate market and raising property values.
Savvy home buyers seem to understand that purchasing a home in Esquimalt is a valuable piece to their future retirement plans as well as a great place to raise a family.
Esquimalt Attractions and Resources
Education is one of the things that young families look for when looking to purchase a home. Schools in Esquimalt fall under the jurisdiction of School District 61 which operates (among others) 3 public schools, and a French first-language school within the Greater Victoria School District.
Esquimalt is equipped with an emergency program with covers police, fire, and ambulance services. They are responsible for:
- Emergency planning
- Emergency radio communications
- Emergency social services
- Neighbourhood emergency preparedness
- Public education
With four recreational facilities, Esquimalt offers a wide range of sporting and leisure activities for all age groups. The CFB Navel & Military Museum provides both a great learning experience as well as a rare glimpse at the area’s past. From ancient shorelines, walking trails and magnificent Garry oaks, a host of cultural events, to parks, beaches, and a vibrant night life along with all the amenities a family might need, Esquimalt is a natural and picturesque town that truly has it all.
For more detailed information about attractions, resources and things to do in Esquimalt BC, click on the PLUS sign beside “Esquimalt Attractions” below.
Local Resources and Information
Esquimalt Gorge Park
Located on Tillicum Road, between Gosper Crescent and Gorge Road, Esquimalt Gorge Park is a favourite place for families, joggers, cyclists and water sports enthusiasts. Although vehicle access can only be found off Tillicum Road, there is a footpath allowing access from Sioux Place, off Craigflower Road. The park sports multi-use trails that are stroller-friendly, winding their way along the scenic Gorge Waterway. Scattered through the lawn areas, you’ll find a number of picnic tables and benches. Along the path closer to Sioux Place, there is the Gorge Waterway Nature House, including public restrooms and a playground for the kids. Along the road coming into the park, you’ll see the Japanese Gardens, a popular photography spot.Learn More
When Victoria residents talk about heading down to the Esquimalt Lagoon, they are usually talking about the stretch of saltwater beach that runs along one side of Ocean Road, in Colwood. In fact, the Lagoon is a natural tidal area on the opposite side of the road that has been designated as a federal Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Located between historic Hatley Park and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, visitors to the Lagoon may enjoy hours spent at the adjacent beach, free of charge, or they can watch for some of the many species of birds that regularly visit here. The Esquimalt Lagoon is a stopover site for birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway, a sort of air highway linking North and South America. Both the Lagoon and the beach tend not to be too crowded on any given day, allowing birders and beach-goers alike to enjoy a relaxing visit.Learn More
Lighthouse Brewing Company
Located at 2-836 Devonshire Road, in Esquimalt, the Lighthouse Brewing Company is one of Victoria’s many quality craft breweries. First founded in 1998, when the demand for craft beer was not nearly as significant as it is today, the Lighthouse Brewing Company’s focus has been on producing quality brews that reflect their passion for the craft. Their product line-up includes a number of stouts, IPA, pilsners and other fine refreshments. Brews from the Lighthouse Brewing Company can typically be found at Victoria’s pubs, restaurants and liquor stores, or at their on-site store, which is open from 8am to 4:30 on Monday, 8am to 6pm Tuesday to Friday, and from 11am to 6pm on Saturday.Learn More
Macaulay Point Park
Situated just off Esquimalt’s Munro Street, with vehicle access between Kinver Street and Clifton Terrace, Macaulay Point Park is home to former military bunkers, lookouts, gun emplacements, a number of rare and endangered plant species, and some of Esquimalt’s best views. Macaulay Point began as a Hudson Bay farm, then later became part of Fort Macaulay. It has been managed as a municipal park since 1985. This 7.6 hectare park is popular with birdwatchers, hikers and dog walkers. Native vegetation is mixed with grasses, plantain, and common cat’s ear. A remarkable array of plants has adapted, including roses, lupins, gumweed, wild onions and biscuit roots. At the eastern limit of the park boundary, a small grove of trembling aspens grows.Learn More
Victoria Waterfront Tours
Located in Esquimalt at 475 Head Street, Victoria Waterfront Tours offers one of the best ways to explore Victoria’s beautiful coastal areas: by kayak! As well as sea kayak rentals, they offer lessons and a number of tour packages to suit your needs. Single and double kayaks may be rented to experienced paddlers for 1-3 hours, with prices starting at $33 and $52. Lessons range from $29 to $178, and cover everything from buying your kayak, to packing for a trip, to becoming fully certified with Paddle Canada.
Tours can be booked, if you would rather have a certified guide with you. There are seven different tour packages to choose from, ranging from $59 per person for a two hour tour, to $235 per person for a 30-hour overnight tour.Learn More
Esquimalt Recreation Centre
Located at 527 Fraser Street in Esquimalt, the Esquimalt Recreation Center features a 4,500 square foot weights room with state-of-the-art equipment. The aquatics center sports a temperature-controlled family pool area with a lazy river, vortex, spray features and fibre-optic lighting, a toddler wading pool, hot tub, 6-lane lap pool. All pools are maintained with an ultraviolet filtration system, making the pools suitable even for those with chlorine sensitivity. Open 7 days a week, from 5:30am to 10:30pm, the Esquimalt Recreation Center also features a licensed out-of-school care facility and preschool, Kinder Gym, and a wide variety of cultural, language, fitness, sports and social programs for people of all ages. Drop in admissions are $5.75 for adults, $4.25 for seniors or students, $3 for youths (13-18yrs), $2.75 for kids (6-12yrs), and $11.50 for a family. Children under 6 get in free. For more information, please call 250-412-8529, or email: [email protected].Learn More
Naval & Military Museum
Located at 1290 Naden Way, in the Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum is near the corner of Colville and Admirals Roads. Here, you’ll find artifacts and memorabilia that help to preserve and interpret the history of Canada’s naval and military activity on the west coast. You will need to bring government-issued photo I.D to get into Naden. Group tours are available for $75 (or $50 for senior groups), and should be booked 1-2 months in advance since tour guide availability is not guaranteed. Admission is by a suggested donation of $2 for adults, $1 for seniors and students, or $5 for a family. The museum is open from 10am to 3:30pm, Monday to Friday. For more information, please call 250-363-4312, or email: [email protected].Learn More
Saxe Point Park
Located at the end of Fraser Street in Esquimalt, Saxe Point Park has two other access points in the form of foot paths coming from Munro Street and Bewdley Avenue. The park is smaller than many Victoria area parks, with 7.5 hectares of land, facing the Strait of Juan de Fuca. There are trails throughout the park, as well as a lawn for sunbathing or letting the kids play. The park has a picnic area with stellar views of the Olympic Mountains on sunny days, with plenty of parking and public restrooms. Weddings, community and family events are sometimes conducted here, among the gardens and mature Douglas and Grand fir trees that surround the park. Visitors to Saxe Point can choose to explore the shore, bring a family picnic, or simply enjoy the scenery.
While access to the park is free, you can book a wedding or other event by calling 250-412-8525.Learn More