Representing the east central portion of the municipality of Saanich, Saanich East is comprised of nineteen neighbourhoods, many of which are amongst the most desirable and renowned districts to live in: Cordova Bay, Broadmead, Sunnymead, High Quadra, Quadra, Blenkinsop, Mt Doug, Lake Hill, Swan Lake, Maplewood, Cedar Hill, Mt Tolmie, Camosun, Lambrick Park, Gordon Head, Arbutus, Cadboro Bay, Queenswood and Ten Mile Point.
The outermost eastern end of Saanich East boasts an expansive stretch of ocean coastline, granting its residents eminent views of the Haro Strait and San Juan Islands. And as part of Saanich, Saanich East shares many of its parks, beaches and trails. Saanich as a whole has more than 170 parks, beaches and trails - the most parks, beaches and trails per capita than any other municipality in all of British Columbia. This makes Saanich, including Saanich East, an ideal district for both outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking the fresh air, coastal views, and outdoor leisure of Vancouver Island living.
SAANICH EAST LOCATION
West Coast Islander
15% URBAN + 85% Suburban island Life
Innumerable parks, beaches, trails and green spaces to explore and enjoy. Large coastline of beaches, trails, and calm waters for watersports such as kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddleboarding. Plenty of farmers markets and boutique retailers.
Short driving distance, and a relatively flat cycling route, to Sidney and Downtown Victoria. Positioned central to other areas of the Capital Region, with good thoroughfares and low traffic congestion, making it easy to access other areas including Sidney, Westshore, Oak Bay, and Downtown Victoria.
Convenient location for residents who need regular access to the ferries, airport, and downtown core, while being removed from the traffic and noise. Positioned central to other areas of the Capital Region, with good thoroughfares and low traffic congestion, making it easy to access other areas including Sidney, Westshore, Oak Bay, and Downtown Victoria.
East Saanich includes suburban neighbourhoods that are known for having luxurious homes and privacy (including 10 Mile Point, Cordova Bay, Cadboro Bay, and Broadmead), as well as having neighbourhoods known for young families, friendliness, and sociability (Gordon Head, High Quadra, Mt Doug, Cedar Hill, and Lake Hill).
Walkability and Bikeability
Saanich East has a Walkscore of 84, (very walkable and most errands can be accomplished on foot), but this ultimately depends on what area of East Saanich your new home is located. Homes located close to East Saanich’s retail districts certainly give residents easy access to most amenities they’ll want or need, including public transit routes to other parts of town. This is especially true for residents who enjoy comfortable living in Saanich East’s Broadmead, Swan Lake, and Camosun neighbourhoods. And you can bike to Sidney or Downtown Victoria via the Lochside and Galloping Goose Trails.
Most of the parks, beaches, and trails throughout Saanich welcome leashed-dogs, but there are no-official, dog off-leash areas. The Saanich Parks bylaws are in place to protect the delicate ecosystems and wildlife that share Saanich’s coastlines and parks--with many parks serving as nature sanctuaries. Therefore, while there are plenty of places to walk your favourite furbabies, please familiarize yourself with Saanich’s bylaws, which can be found here.
Saanich East has several parks, schools and amenities that make it idea for families. Each of the nineteen neighbourhoods that make up East Saanich have quiet suburban streets, cul de sacs, and outdoor areas for play, and some are known for having a high concentration of young families. Saanich East also has some of the most reputable public and private schools.
Many neighbourhoods such as Broadmead, offer short and safe walking distances to grocery stores, recreation, retail, and public transit, while other area have a high concentration of senior residents, making portions of East Saanich extremely senior-friendly.
Key Landmarks & Amenities
Parks & Outdoor Attractions
The fact that Saanich boasts more parks per capita than anywhere else in British Columbia means that there's far too many to list here. Following is a small compilation of East Saanich's most popular parks and outdoor attractions.
Please note: While leashed-dogs are welcomed in most parks and trails, due to the several species of migratory birds and waterfowl that take refuge in Saanich's beaches, sanctuaries and ponds, Central Saanich's parks bylaw requires that dogs be under control and leashed at all times. Central Saanich does not provide any off-leash areas, and dogs are not allowed on sports fields, playgrounds, or near areas occupied by birds and other wildlife.
A great little nature sanctuary in the suburbs of Broadmead that features a walking trail punctuated by bench seating and serenaded by songbirds. It's the perfect, quiet, haven for strolling, reflecting, and bird watching. Find out more!
Locals often refer to it as “The Best Place to View the City.” Summit Mount Tolmie by foot or car for incredible views of the city below. It also makes the perfect vantage point for stargazing on clear nights. The park contains 1,500-metres of walking trails, picnic areas and quiet areas to enjoy. Find out more!
188-hectares of forest and 21-kilometres of trails to hike, mountain bike, and explore, makes Mount Doug “the largest urban forest on the Saanich Peninsula.” Mount Douglas Park offers easy-to-stroll-trails or more challenging hikes up the summit (you can reach the summit by car if you prefer, after 12 noon, when the park opens the road for vehicles). While you're there, make your way down to the beach from the park. Mount Douglas Park also features a multi-use activities field, on-site parking, picnic areas, and public washrooms. Find out more!
Quite likely the best oceanfront playground in Saanich, located in Cadboro Bay. Besides its nautical-themed playground for kids, this park also features a sandy beach (and a seasonal, wheelchair-accessible beach ramp), outdoor tennis courts, a kayak/canoe/raft/SUP launch, as well as onsite washrooms, picnic areas and parking. Smugglers Cove Pub is just a 5-minute walk down Sinclair Road. Find out more!
This urban wildlife oasis makes for a lovely stroll and offers educational programs on the plant and animal species this area serves to preserve and protect. The marshy lowlands of Swan Lake offer excellent bird watching, and the stony highlands of Christmas Hill feature a 2.5-kilometre, looped, walking trail. Please note that due to the delicate nature of the sanctuary, dogs are not welcome in the sanctuary. Find out more!
Located at the Tip of 10 Mile Point and overlooking the Salish Sea. This beautifully serene inlet has calm waters and a sandy/pebbly beach that makes it ideal for kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. Find out more!
Located just off the Pat Bay Highway, up Island View Road and past Michell's Farms. This sand and pebble beach boasts truly breathtaking ocean views, calm water, a boat launch area, walking trail, public washrooms, onsite parking, and picnic areas. Makes an excellent vantage point for stargazing on clear nights. Find out more!
Located in Cordova Bay, this ocean-facing park offers extraordinary views, a groomed grassy area, and bench-seating affording quiet reflection. A small paved-trail makes for an easy stroll down to the beach. While you're in the area, tuck into the beach house restaurant for a delicious meal, glass of wine, or pint of your favourite craft beer. Find out more!
Schools and Libraries
Saanich East is part of Greater Victoria School Districts No. 61 and No. 63. The following schools are located within the Saanich East area and include public schools as well as independent schools and programs:
Montessori Educare Daycare: Offers Montessori daycare program at their Saanichton/Brentwood location, and a Montessori preschool program to children aged 2.5 years and up at their Broadmead location.
Carrot Seed Preschool: Located in the Cordova Bay neighbourhood and offering 2-day, 3-day, and 5-day preschool programs.
Claremont Secondary School: Grades 9 through 12 public secondary school that offers a STEM curriculum.
Canadawide Driving Academy: Private driving school.
Lochside Elementary: Public elementary school offering K - 5 instruction with emphasis on student engagement and healthy living.
Arts Calibre Academy: Private school offering affordable, arts-enriched education to students from preschool through grade 5.
Gordon Head Middle School: Public middle school offering grades 6 - 8 instruction.
Lakeview Christian School: Independent Christian, Seventh-Day-Adventist school offering preschool as well as K - grade 9 instruction and small class-sizes.
St Margaret's School: Private school for girls, and the only all-girls school on Vancouver Island. Offers instruction to students from junior-kindergarten through grade 12, STEM curriculum from K - 12, and boarding school for grades 7 - 12.
St. Andrews Regional High School: Accredited, Christian, independent high school offering grade 8 through 12 instruction.
Mount Douglas Secondary School: Grades 9 through 12 public secondary school.
Lake Hill Elementary: Public elementary school offering K - 5 instruction.
Cedar Hill Middle School: Public middle school offering grades 6 - 8 instruction in English and French Immersion.
Lakehill Preschool: Award winning preschool with affordable rates and a free drop-in play group every Wednesday.
Cordova Bay Elementary: Public elementary school offering K - 5 instruction
St. Michaels University School: CAIS Accredited independent school offering K - 12 instruction as well as boarding school for kids from grade 8 to 12.
École Intermédiaire Lansdowne Middle School: Public middle school offering grades 6 - 8 English and French Immersion instruction.
Camosun College Lansdowne Campus: Community college and continuing education at one of two Camosun College campuses in Victoria.
University of Victoria: Offers several programs including medical sciences and the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business.
Frank Hobbs Elementary: Public school offering K -5 instruction in English and French Immersion.
Lambrick Park secondary school: Public secondary school offering grades 9 - 12 instruction.
Community Centres & facilities
Recreation centre bordering Saanich East, in the Royal Oak neighbourhood. Features a weight room and fitness centre, large pool, waterfit, diving area, wave pool, and aquatics centre, multi-use indoor courts and rental spaces, a kindergym, drop-in sports, and an onsite teens centre. Find out more!
Features indoor tennis and squash courts, multi-use activity rooms and rental spaces, weight room and fitness centre, a café and an on-site arts, dance, and ceramics studio. Find out more!
Arts, Cultural Attractions & Festivals
The community of Saanich East is known for hosting some of the most notable events in Saanich each year. If you visit the District of Saanich's events calendar, you'll see a complete list of all the annual events held throughout the entire Saanich municipality, including the Saanich Fair.
Hosted at the Saanich Fairgrounds in nearby Central Saanich and held over a 3 day period every Labour Day Weekend in September. The Saanich Fair is a great big country exhibition that Saanich has proudly been hosting since 1868--over 150 years and counting! Admission to the extravaganza gives you access to live, outdoor concerts, amusement rides, food vendors, livestock viewing and more. It's a must experience event for the whole family! Find out more.
Every November 11th, the community of Saanich gathers together in remembrance around the cenotaph at the Saanich Municipal Hall to commemorate our fallen soldiers and all those who have served or continue to serve our country. Formalities includes two-minutes of silence, guided prayer, the laying of wreaths, a flypast, bugles, bagpipes, and a march and salute. Attendees are welcomed inside the Saanich Hall for light snacks, tea & coffee following the ceremonies. Saanich is proud to have a solid turnout of citizens at this important event every year. Find out more.
Every year, for one night in September, Gordon Head Recreation Centre and Lambrick Park are illuminated in this traditional, Asian cultural festival in observance of the Harvest Moon. This family-friendly event welcomes you to enjoy an array of Asian dance, music and lantern-art, or even participate by making your own lantern in one of their lantern-making workshops during the week leading up to the event. Lantern making workshops are only $4 per lantern and include all required materials, including the battery-operated light. Find out more.
Every year, on the first Sunday of May, Saanich hosts a celebration in motion. Participants arrive with their helmets and bicycles, ready to traverse the many fun “Celebration Stations” throughout the community, collecting stamps from each station along the way for their chance to win one of several prizes. The event is complete with other family-friendly activities held in the parking lot of Saanich Hall on Vernon Avenue. It's free to participate and tailored to every age and ability. Each rider will get a map of their route and “Celebration Station” locations where they can acquire stamps. Find out more.
Retail, GROCERY & DINING
The Saanich East area and its 19 districts feature some of the best shopping outside of Downtown Victoria. You’ll find everything from conveniently located neighbourhood-centric plazas, to farmer’s markets and shopping malls. Following are just a few of the area’s most popular shopping destinations:
Mayfair Shopping Centre: Positioned between East and West Saanich. Relatively large, indoor mall that has recently undergone a $72 million dollar makeover and expansion. Hosts many popular fashion retailers, Indigo Books, banks, cellular mobility providers, a large food court, a Starbucks, an area that features pop up shops of local artists and craftspeople, and plenty of onsite parking. HBC (Hudson's Bay) is their flagship store. Mayfair Shopping Centre offers ample onsite parking.
Hillside Shopping Centre: Relatively large indoor shopping mall that features a spacious foot court, clothing retailers (including a few Canadian chains), nail salons, banks, a dental clinic, a tailor, a cobbler, Thrifty Foods grocery store, a liquor store, Bolen Books, Canadian Tire, Shoppers Drug Mart, Marshalls, and more. Hillside Shopping Centre offers ample on-site parking.
University Heights Shopping Centre: In the heart of Saanich East's Gordon Head neighbourhood. This small indoor/outdoor shopping centre includes a small but impressive movie theatre, Home Depot, Save-On-Foods, a dental clinic, and a pharmacy amongst other retailers and services.
Shelbourne Plaza: Outdoor plaza located in the Gordon Head neighbourhood, where Shelbourne Street and Cedar Hill Cross Road meet. Encompasses a Fairway Market grocer, a large Frontrunners athletic apparel, A&W, Lizzy Lee & Me (a children's salon and party rental space), Heart Pharmacy IDA, Wild Birds feed and supplies, Starbucks, a laundromat, and more.
Broadmead Village Shopping Centre: Broadmead neighbourhood's town square of sorts. Broadmead Village encompasses a Thrifty Foods grocer, Penna & Co Kitchen & Giftware, Sleep Country Canada, two women's clothing boutiques, Romeo's Restaurant, Pets West, a Thai restaurant, a bistro, a Mexican café, a liquor store, Canadian Tire, BCAA insurance, banks, Heirloom Linens, a veterinarian Clinic, ArtSEE Eyewear, Pharmasave Pharmacy, Running Room, Mark's Work Wearhouse, Marlin Travel, a nail salon, dry cleaners, toy shop, chocolatier, dental clinic, garden store and more. The heart of this outdoor plaza boasts a lovely fountain, outdoor fireplace, and umbrella-tables and bistro seating that's perfect for dining, sipping, and socializing.
Royal Oak Shopping Centre: Located just outside of Broadmead, in the neighbouring suburbs of Royal Oak (on the other side of Pat Bay Highway). Royal Oak Shopping Centre is connected to Broadmead's suburban area (Chatterton Way) via a pedestrian-only tunnel that underpasses the Pat Bay Highway and makes for a convenient walking-loop between the Broadmead and Royal Oak neighbourhoods. This outdoor plaza features numerous retailers and service providers including gift shops, banks, Country Grocer, Cobs Bread, M&M Meat Shop, Monk Office Supply, McDonalds, Pharmasave, a medical walk-in clinic, florist, liquor store, cafe, small restaurants, and more. Adjacent to the plaza are three popular dining spots: The Village Restaurant, Med Grill and Fireside Grill.
Saanich Centre: Located on the corner of Quadra at McKenzie, this outdoor plaza features a London Drugs, Thrifty Foods, Starbucks, liquor store, Planet Organic health food store, Dairy Queen and several other niche retailers and service providers. The Keg Steakhouse & Bar is located on Quadra Street, within a 5-minute walking distance from Saanich Centre.
Mattick's Farm: Located in the heart of East Saanich's Cordova Bay neighbourhood, Mattick's Farm is a delightful place to visit for a stroll around boutique-shops, and for an ice cream, brunch, or tea. Features a variety of niche retailers and gift shops, a small gallery, Red Barn Market, a large plant and flower nursery, a tea room, a restaurant, a liquor store, a pilates centre, spas, and mini golf.
Saanich East has a Public Transit Score of 58 (Many nearby public transportation options) with several, easily accessible bus shelters and routes that travel between East Saanich neighbourhoods to downtown, Camosun College - Interurban campus, and out to Sidney, the airport, and ferry terminal.
Within 15 - 20 minutes' drive to Victoria’s downtown core via the Pat Bay Highway. | Within 10 - 20 minutes' drive to Saanich Peninsula, Royal Jubilee, and and Victoria General Hospitals. | Within 15 - 20 minutes’ drive to Victoria Airport and Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal. | Within 20 - 30 minutes’ drive to Seaplane and Clipper Ferry terminals.
Iconic Condo & Townhouse Communities
Saanich East features some of the Capital Region’s most desirable neighbourhoods and waterfront properties. Following are just a few of East Saanich’s most iconic condo and townhouse developments:
Located on Christmas Hill, in the High Quadra neighbourhood of Saanich East. The Lyra Residences are comprised of two contemporary, concrete and steel condo buildings that both offer spacious and quiet, 2 bedroom suites. Every suite offers your choice between two, fresh and modern colour palettes, as well as being stylishly fitted with high-grade and contemporary features, large windows, and spacious balconies. Search our MLS® Victoria search engine for condos for sale in the Lyra Residences.
Conveniently located in the Quadra neighbourhood of Saanich East, this low-impact, “Built Green” community features a combination of condos, townhouses, and lofts, built around a central courtyard and located within walking distance to parks, retail, and public transit. Each 1, 2 and 2 bedroom + den home is acoustically-insulated and stylishly outfitted with contemporary elements, energy-efficient appliances, oversize-windows, and patios. Search our MLS® Victoria search engine for townhouses, condos, and lofts for sale in the Otto community.
Shop for a Home in SAANICH EAST
Considering a move to the seaside community of Saanich East? Saanich East encompasses some of the Capital Region’s most desirable neighbourhoods. Townhouses, houses, and condos for sale in Saanich East (especially newer townhouses and condos for sale) tend to get scooped very soon after being listed. Thus, now is the time to start looking for your ideal new home. Here are some tips and resources to help get you started with your search:
PROPERTY SEARCH TIPS
If you’re seeking a quiet neighbourhood without a lot of traffic noise, and that is steps away from the coastline, when you use our MLS Victoria Search Engine to shop for properties in the Saanich East area, also refer to the provided map for townhouses and condos for sale which are situated in the Cordova Bay and Cadboro Bay neighbourhoods.
If living within a short walking distance to shops, public transit routes, and amenities is your aim, look for homes, condos, and townhouses for sale in the Broadmead, Royal Oak, Swan Lake, and Quadra neighbourhoods.