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Saanich BC Real Estate & Attractions

About Saanich, British Columbia

As with much of Vancouver Island, First Nations Peoples have inhabited Saanich and the surrounding area for thousands of years. There are five bands that make up the Saanich Nation:
• Tsawout First Nation
• Tsartlip
• Tseycum
• Malahat
• Pauquachin
It is believed that, Sencoten, the language of the WSANEC people was given to them by XALS who is also the one who put all people on the earth.
Local First Nations bands who called this area home understood well that the area was the perfect spot for gathering Tule reeds which they used to weave capes and mats.
In 1916 a military range for the army was developed as an answer to the serious unemployment situation in the region. Once a marsh and seasonal lake, the valley operated Heal’s Rifle Range from 1914 to 1918. During WWII it was used for grenade training and by the 1960’s it was used by local gun clubs for hosting tournaments and weekend events. The range is still in use today by the Department of National Defense who are the current owners.

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Real Estate in Saanich BC

The real estate market in Saanich is a hotbed for people wishing to relocate from surrounding municipalities such as Victoria, Vancouver, and even cities like Oak Bay. Homes for sale in Saanich regularly have multiple offers and it is not uncommon for a property to go for more than the asking price.

The best advice for those who are looking to buying a home in Saanich is to be diligent, do your homework and have a specific strategy going in. There are a number of factors that are contributing to this demand including:

  • Proximity to Victoria
  • Low violent crime rate
  • High earning potential
  • Low jobless rate
  • An array of respected educational opportunities
  • Quality of life

A couple of other areas that appear to be good selling points are the fact that Saanich has been recognized at the one of the best places to retire and a welcoming inclusiveness for immigrants. The Saanich real estate market is certainly robust and thriving and continues to be a sound investment opportunity.

Saanich Attractions and Resources

The Saanich School District falls under the jurisdiction of SD63. It currently serves approximately 8,000 students and runs:

  • 8 Elementary schools
  • 3 Middle schools
  • 3 Secondary schools

In addition to these schools, SD63 also has a Children’s Development Centre, two learning centres as well as an International Student Program.

The world renowned campus of the University of Victoria straddles both Saanich and its neighbour of Oak Bay.

Saanich offers a wide array of both indoor and outdoor activities as well as a recreation centre. Sports, adventure tours, spas, and year round lush gardens are also abundant in this thriving community.

Vital services offered in Saanich include:

  • The Municipal Police Board maintains a full service department with 152 sworn members, 51 civilians and 50 volunteer Reserve Constables.
  • Aside from their regular fire fighting duties, the Saanich Fire Department also runs the Saanich Emergency Program.
  • Garbage collection with includes such things as a garden recycling drop off, leaf collection program, and more.

Saanich residents enjoy the benefits of living close to nature in a tight-knit community while having all the recreational activities and amenities found in larger urban cities right at their fingertips.

For more detailed information about attractions, resources and things to do in Saanich BC, click on the PLUS sign beside “Saanich Attractions” below.

Local Resources and Information

Saanich Attractions

Mayfair Mall

Mayfair Shopping Centre is Victoria’s great shopping destination, a leader in fashion, conveniently located at the major commuter routes into the City of Victoria, BC. With 117 stores and services which include a Food Court, in a warm and inviting shopping environment offering shoppers another reason to visit and not notice time go by. Mayfair Shopping Centre is well equipped and has easily accessible rooftop parking by stairs or elevators as well as underground parking with 300 spaces with three entrances to Mayfair, known as one of the best underground parking in the city. The Shopping Centre also offers family services.  If you are finding it hard deciding what to wear, what style or color, and can’t find fun in fashion, the Style Service team are available. Additionally, if you need to ask for directions or find out about the Mayfair Gift Card, or any other question, the Mayfair Concierge friendly staff are available to assist you. Mayfair Shopping Centre is Victoria’s original mail providing customers with almost everything they need!

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Dragonfly Hill Winery

Dragon Hill Winery is located in the picturesque Saanich Peninsula on southern Vancouver Island. They are appropriately named ‘Dragonfly’ for the many beautifully coloured dragonflies that call the vineyard home.

Their wines are produced using organic and sustainable farming methods. Attending one of their tastings and tours makes it obvious that the care and techniques used in producing their unique wines is well worth the effort. Whether you purchase a bottle or two straight from the Winery or retail outlet, enjoy it at a local restaurant, or have a case-load shipped to you, Dragon Hill wines are perfect for any occasion. Their range of wines makes them perfect for pairing with any meal or even a picnic lunch by the beach.

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Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

The Horticulture Centre of the Pacific, just north of downtown Victoria boasts the largest Bonsai Garden in Canada as well as a popular hands-on Children’s Garden. Arrange a guided tour led by Master Gardeners, then visit the gift shop and stop for a bite to eat at the Charlotte & Quail.

The Centre’s annual Arts & Music festival is among the most popular festivals in and around Victoria. The facilities at both the College and the gardens are perfects spots for weddings, corporate events, and any other social gathering. Surrounded by 30 demonstration gardens your guests will feel rejuvenated in such a relaxed and welcoming environment.

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Mattick’s Farm

Located in the heart of Cordova Bay on southern Vancouver Island, Mattick’s Farm is a shopping experience like no other. With unique shops and services from high tea at Adrienne’s to fresh local produce, a spa, mini golf, wine shop, and more, a visit to Mattick’s Farm is an experience for the senses. The idea of ‘shop local’ is truly brought to fruition here! Afternoon live music and some local ice cream after a game of mini-golf is a great way for the whole family to take in a unique day of fun and shopping.

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Mount Douglas Park

Mount Douglas Park on southern Vancouver Island offers year round opportunities to explore forest trails, the beach, and panoramic views from the summit. Their large picnic area is perfect for a family get-together or even an office ‘activity day’.

The trails are well marked so visitors can choose the activity level that is best for them from easy to moderate and difficult. Whichever level you choose make sure you keep an eye out for seals, waterfowl, orcas, fish swimming in the creek, and of course the panoramic views from the summit are simply breathtaking.

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Swan Lake Christmas Hill Sanctuary

Located near Victoria on southern Vancouver Island, Swan Lake Christmas Hill Sanctuary plays an important role in the natural wildlife habitat of the area. The Lakes marsh is a safe haven for a number of birds and many small animals while Christmas Hill offers spectacular views from the hilltop and a profusion of seasonal wildflowers.

Take an easy stroll along the lake or a more strenuous hike to the summit; whichever you choose, you will be surrounded by natural beauty and the perfect opportunity to leave your busy day-to-day life behind, even if just for the day.

From bird watching, to weddings, and school programs, the Sanctuary really does have something amazing to offer guests of all ages.

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Cadboro Bay

The village of Cadboro Bay boasts a vibrant commercial sector along with pristine beaches, numerous walking trails, and several natural ponds where local wildlife thrives. The village offers all the necessary amenities and is just a short drive from the provincial capital of Victoria. Cadboro Bay’s closest neighbour is the respected and world recognized University of Victoria. There is plenty to do in and around the village for all ages including: Cadboro-Gyro Park, Uplands Golf Club, The Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Goward House, and more.

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The Beach House Restaurant

The Beach House Restaurant on Cordova Bay Road offers exceptional west coast fare along with panoramic views that look out over the pristine Cordova Bay Beach. It is the perfect setting for a romantic dinner, weekend brunch, a casual lunch with friends, or to celebrate a special corporate or family event.
From wild, west coast salmon and fresh greens to homemade chowder and desserts; The Beach House utilizes local, organic farms whenever possible. Although a direct route is a little quicker, many patrons opt for the scenic beachside drive from downtown Victoria that seems to just naturally relax and leave behind the more hectic pace of life.

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G.R. Pearkes Recreation Centre

Pearkes Recreation Centre on southern Vancouver Island is a great spot for individuals and families to get together to enjoy a wide range of activities for any age group. They offer fitness classes, weight room, ice skating, sport courts, teen activity centre, and so much more. From group classes to personal fitness trainers to facility rentals of all kinds, there is definitely something for everyone at the Centre.
Drop in for a visit on your own or with the whole family and see just what being a full-service recreation centre is all about. It’s easy to make staying active fun especially with such a wide range of things to do even if, like most of us, our daily schedules are quite hectic.

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Cedar Hill Golf Course

Located on Cedar Hill Road on southern Vancouver Island, Cedar Hill Recreation Centre is a popular hub of activity for the surrounding community. From arts programs to fitness, dance, community events, and more, Cedar Hill has an extensive range of programs and classes to suit all age groups and abilities. They provide a friendly and welcoming environment for anyone that is thinking about becoming more active or for those who want to step up their fitness level. Cedar Hill makes it easy for all to participate by providing a fully accessible facility. Their banquet and meeting rentals are extensive and very reasonably priced, making it the perfect spot for your next corporate event, office meeting space, or a birthday party.

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Saanich Municipal Hall

The Saanich Municipal Hall on southern Vancouver Island is responsible for all services and programs that are delivered to residents. This includes fire, police, parks & recreation, all bylaws & policies, and more. With facilities and amenities that include 4 recreation centres, 171 parks, an 18-hole golf course, and more, Saanich residents of all ages are able to connect with their community and stay active. Saanich is a vibrant and active community that continues to grow and prosper under the direction of Saanich Council. The manner in which Saanich is run is the responsibility of the Saanich Council which is made up of 9 individuals including Mayor Richard Atwell.

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Gordon Head Recreation Centre

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre on Lambrick Way makes it easy for the whole family to stay active all year long. With an extensive array of classes from yoga, martial arts to fitness classes, rehabilitation services, a weight room and swimming, there will always be something that will fit in most of our busy and hectic lifestyles.

Whether you are new to fitness, have been working out all your life or want to attend preschool classes with your child, Gordon Head Rec Centre is a friendly and welcoming place with well trained and knowledgeable staff. Their Active Living Guide is full of great ideas for birthday parties, room rentals and many special family events that are ongoing throughout the year.

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Elk Lake Regional Park

Elk Lake Regional Park on southern Vancouver Island offers a host of amenities like: ample parking, wheelchair accessible washrooms, sheltered picnic areas, and much more. It’s easy to spend an entire day there, enjoying an easy hike along one of the many trails, swimming, windsurfing, fishing, or kayaking.

The park is just a short drive from the scenic town of Saanich as well as from the capital city of Victoria. Many visitors spend several days in one or both of these cities to make sure they have time to visit the beaches at Elk Lake as well as tourist attractions such as Butchart Gardens and Butterfly Gardens.

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Cedar Hill Recreation Centre

Located on Cedar Hill Road on southern Vancouver Island, Cedar Hill Recreation Centre is a popular hub of activity for the surrounding community. From arts programs to fitness, dance, community events, and more, Cedar Hill has an extensive range of programs and classes to suit all age groups and abilities. They provide a friendly and welcoming environment for anyone that is thinking about becoming more active or for those who want to step up their fitness level. Cedar Hill makes it easy for all to participate by providing a fully accessible facility. Their banquet and meeting rentals are extensive and very reasonably priced, making it the perfect spot for your next corporate event, office meeting space, or a birthday party.

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Silver City Cinema

Silver City Cinema is so much more than just a great place to see blockbuster movies. They also offer ‘Live Stage to Big Screen’ productions, party venues, corporate products, the SCENE card that earns points toward free movies, and of course a wide array of fun movie foods and treats from their concession stand.
The fact that it is located in the Tillicum Centre at Burnside and Tillicum Road means that there is plenty of free parking and is a breeze to get there via BC Transit. Create a free account and get a Free SCENE card to keep up to date with the latest news and contests at Silver City. A night (or afternoon) at the movies is always a fun way to spend time with family and friends.

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Uptown Shopping Plaza

Located on Saanich Road in Victoria, the Uptown Shopping Plaza is certainly the hub of the surrounding communities and neighbourhoods. From clothing, medical and financial services, live entertainment to special events, restaurants, and even a community room for business meetings or other events.

It is easy and very convenient to get to by BC Transit, bicycle, walking or vehicle. They will even help arrange home delivery if you find you have purchased more than you can carry home. They are committed to being environmentally responsible and also host community fundraisers for local causes. Uptown Plaza is really the place to shop, meet friends, enjoy some great outdoor entertainment, and more.

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Prospect Lake

Anyone who enjoys a day of trout and bass fishing will appreciate the tranquility of Prospect Lake. The lake is regularly stocked by the Freshwater Fisheries society of BC and because of a moderate year-round climate, fishing can be enjoyed 12 months a year. It is best to fish from a boat since shore access is limited as the area has many permanent homes around the lake.
Prospect Lake is located in Saanich and just north of the capital city of Victoria. There are also a number of nearby lakes such as: Elk & Beaver Lakes, Durance Lake, and Prior & Thetis Lakes that are all worth checking out.

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Arbutus Cove Park

Arbutus Cove Park located close to the University of Victoria on southern Vancouver Island is a lush neighbourhood park just off Arbutus Road. Enjoy a morning walk with your dog or sit on a bench to take in a fabulous view of the sunrise. The beach is a popular spot for playing in the tide pools at low tide and a great way to mingle and get to know the locals of the area.

Just a short drive away is Cadboro Bay Village where you can relax at a spa or sip your favourite beverage in a café, pick up some groceries or stop for lunch. This seaside village has a warm and welcoming atmosphere where you will find all the amenities you might need.

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Lochside Park

Lochside Park in the Cordova Bay area in Saanich is situated on beautiful southern Vancouver Island. It is equipped with an artificial turf soccer field, tennis court, and a fenced baseball field. The park also has a lovely picnic area and a great children’s playground. One can take leisurely walks through the park or access the Lochside Regional Trail for day cycling adventures or an easy hike with some beautiful views. It’s also a great place to bring your dog for a walk as long as you remember that they must be kept on a leash at all times. Be sure to bring a picnic lunch and spend the day taking in one of the soccer or softball tournaments at season’s end.

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Mount Tolmie

Mount Tolmie in the town of Saanich on southern Vancouver Island is an amazing display of nature with a history that dates back about 200 million years to the Jurassic period. Signs from the last ice age (about 12,000 years ago) can still be seen there today. There are several picnic areas, secluded natural areas, and fabulous spots for bird watching or just relaxing. Each picnic area can be reached by one of the more than 1500 metres of trails or by leaving your car at one of the nearby parking areas. The ecosystem that exists on Mount Tolmie makes is possible to walk among the great Garry Oak trees, Arbutus evergreens, and amazing displays of wildflowers.

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