Representing the west central portion of the municipality of Saanich, Saanich West is comprised of seventeen neighbourhoods, from rural and lakeside suburbs, to homes situated within a short distance to shopping centres and more urban amenities. These 17 neighbourhoods include: Saanich West, Prospect Lake, Elk Lake, Beaver Lake, Granville, Interurban, Layritz, Royal Oak, Northridge, Strawberry Vale, Portage Inlet, Marigold, Glanford, Gorge, Tillicum, Gateway, and Rudd Park.
Saanich West Condominium Benchmark Price: 421,800 (as of Dec 2018, according to MLS® Home Price Index)
Townhouse Benchmark Price: $584,400 (as of Dec 2018, according to MLS® Home Price Index)
Single Family Home Benchmark Price: $753,000 (as of Dec 2018, according to MLS® Home Price Index)
Quite possibly the most unique and desirable trait about Saanich West can be found in its northernmost section. That is where you’ll discover West Saanich’s lush and sprawling country landscape. This means, you can choose a home in the country and still be within a short 20 to 30 minutes drive from downtown.
The central and southernmost sections of Saanich West feature suburbs that are conveniently located close to lakes, the Gorge Waterway, and parks, as well as retail districts, schools, and public transit routes.
With over 170 parks, beaches, and trails--many of which within the Saanich West area--Saanich as whole has the most parks, beaches and trails per capita than any other municipality in all of British Columbia. Not only does this make any part of Saanich a desirable place to live for outdoor enthusiasts and nature-lovers, but West Saanich goes a step beyond in also offering a unique, island-country homestead that’s as peaceful and perfect as it sounds.
SAANICH WEST LOCATION
Rural Suburban Hybrid
25% country + 20% city + 55% Island Life
Many suburban areas of West Saanich are surrounded by green space, farm land and/or forestry. Rural landscapes, homes on land, and low densification provide residents with plenty of breathing space, tranquility, and privacy.
Avid gardener? Participate to one of Saanich’s community gardens. A bit of country, a bit of city, and a lot of West Coast island life while still living conveniently close to Downtown Victoria and other areas of the Capital Region.
From refurbished farm houses on acreage, to suburban family homes, modern condo buildings, and everything in between. Plenty of hiking and mountain biking trails within a few minutes from your new home.
Walkability and Bikeability
Saanich West has a Walkscore of 80, (very walkable and most errands can be accomplished on foot), but this ultimately depends on whereabouts in Saanich West your new home is located. Many new condos and townhouses for sale in Saanich West are positioned near shopping, public transit routes, and other amenities. More rural, suburban areas of Saanich West, typically require a reliance on public transit unless you have your own vehicle. You can bike to Sidney or Downtown Victoria via the Lochside and Galloping Goose Trails.
Many Saanich residents have pets--even backyard chickens or livestock! And most of Saanich West’s parks and trails welcome horses and leashed-dogs. That said, because Saanich parks are home to delicate wildlife habitats, at this time, they do not offer any official areas for dogs to play off-leash. More information on Saanich Park’s bylaws regarding dogs can be found here.
The lower-density of Saanich West results in areas with quieter neighbourhoods and ample outdoor recreation. These elements, complemented by proximity to schools, parks, and key retail districts, make Saanich West neighbourhoods particularly appealing to families of all sizes.
The variety of lifestyles Saanich West accommodates, from homebuyers seeking a rural oasis, to those wanting a home that’s steps away from shops and recreation, makes Saanich West a popular area for independent seniors.
Key Landmarks & Amenities
Parks & Outdoor Attractions
Located in a rural portion of the Saanich West neighbourhood, this 2.41-hectare park features a popular lake for swimming, boating, and fishing for rainbow trout, and includes a large soccer field and outdoor tennis courts. Find out more!
Located in the Tillicum neighbourhood of Saanich West, behind Pearkes Recreation Centre, this park is popular for bird watching, strolling, and dog-walking. Two foot-bridges cross over the Colquitz River that runs through the park. In September through December, the river's Fish Counting Fence (next to the Tillicum Shopping Centre parking lot) is a great spot for viewing salmon, trout, and herring as they make their quest upriver to spawn. The area is rich with West Coast wildlife including owls, hawks, nesting herons, otters and more. Find out more!
Located in the Gorge neighbourhood of Saanich West. The Gorge Waterway is a narrow, 7-kilometre salt water channel, and Gorge Waterway Park stretches along 1.7-kilometres of it, including a paved-walkway along the Gorge with spots to sit, green space to enjoy, a children's playground, and a kayak and boat launch. The Gorge walkway is a popular spot for strolling and dog walking. And the calm waters of the Gorge Waterway are ideal for kayaking, canoeing, and stand up paddle boarding. Find out more!
Located at the northernmost tip of Saanich West, in the Elk Lake neighbourhood, this 49-hectare, hilltop park connects to Elk Lake and Beaver Lake Regional Park and is a popular hiking spot amongst outdoor enthusiasts and novice hikers. It has a relatively easy, well-marked trail, and according to hikeinvictoria.com, a round trip hike of Bear Hill covers 1.9-kilometres and takes between 1-2 hours to complete, and between 20 - 30 minutes to summit its 146-metre elevation. Dogs and horseback riders are welcome on the trail. Find out more!
Located in the Saanich West neighbourhood. The Centre of the Universe represents the works of The Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, an organization comprised of staff and volunteers that hosts ongoing events, tours, and educational programs at the century-old, well-preserved Observatory. Their mission is to promote scientific literacy and appreciation for astronomy. They offer several fun, free, and informative programs and events for families and children, such as their seasonal, Saturday night “Star Parties,” which you can learn more about here. A short, 20 minute hike to the top of Observatory Hill (on Little Saanich Mountain) offers exceptional views. Find out more!
Located at the northeastern end of Saanich West, Elk Lake and Beaver Lake are two connected portions of the same freshwater lake that's popular for swimming, rowing, water-skiing, boating, stand up paddle boarding, fishing, and windsurfing. Elk Lake's Hamsterly Beach and Beaver Lake's Eagle Beach both feature children's playgrounds, public washrooms, and onsite parking. And Beaver Lake's Eagle Beach offers a sheltered area for large picnics. The 442.77-hectares of surrounding park boasts a 10-kilometre long walking and running trail that loops around both lakes, as well as other marked, multi-use trails for cycling, hiking, and horseback riding. Leashed-dogs are welcome on the trail and Beaver Lake features areas for retriever training as well as an Equestrian Centre. Find out more!
Schools and Libraries
Saanich West is part of Greater Victoria School Districts No. 61 and No. 63. The following schools are located within the Saanich West area and include public schools as well as independent schools and programs:
Camosun College Interurban Campus: Community college with two campuses across Victoria.
South Island Distance Education School: Public online school offering distributed learning courses to students from K through grade 12.
Regent Christian Online: Independent, online, Christian school offering a distributed learning curriculum to students from K through grade 12, and includes special education and learning assistance as well as some face-to-face programs.
École Marigold Elementary School: Public elementary school offering dual track instruction in both English and French Immersion to students from K through grade 5.
McKenzie Elementary: K - 5 public elementary school that includes an outdoor learning component.
Colquitz Middle School: Grade 6 - 8 public middle school.
Island Montessori School: Independent school offering preschool, pre-kindergarten, and special needs programs based on the Montessori approach.
Canadian Modern Arnis Training Studios: Private martial arts training for children, teens, and adults.
Pacific Christian School: Independent Christian school offering curriculum to students from preschool through grade 12 as well as an International students and special education program.
Q College: Private college offering various web design and digital marketing programs.
Royal Oak Middle School: Public middle school offering a grade 6 - 8 curriculum.
Strawberry Vale Elementary: K - 5 public elementary school that also offers out of school care.
Tillicum Elementary: Public elementary school offering K - 5 curriculum in a refurbished 100-years old heritage school building.
Inspire Sports: Private gymnastics training and recreation programs for students of all ages and abilities.
St. Joseph's Elementary School: Private, Catholic elementary school offering K to grade 7 instruction as well as after school care, and a special education/learning assistance centre .
Community Centres & facilities
Recreation centre located in the Royal Oak neighbourhood. Features a weight room and fitness centre, and a large, olympic-sized pool and aquatics centre, including a wave pool and children’s pool. Also offers multi-use indoor courts for drop-in sports and space rentals as well as an onsite teens centre. Find out more!
Arts, Cultural Attractions & Festivals
Throughout the year, the municipality of Saanich hosts several family-friendly events. Following is just a sampling of some of the most popular events that the Saanich West area hosts each year, but you can find a complete calendar of events hosted throughout all of Saanich, including North Saanich's famous 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.
Just outside of the northernmost section of Saanich West, you’ll also find popular attractions including Butchart Gardens, Church & State Winery, Victoria Butterfly Gardens, and Brentwood Bay Resort, Spa, Marina & Eco-Adventure Center (one of the best kayak and stand up paddle boarding locations).
Retail, GROCERY & DINING
Royal Oak Shopping Centre: Located in the Royal Oak neighbourhood of Saanich West, this outdoor shopping plaza features a Country Grocer, Shoppers Drug Mart, Monk Office Supply, M&M Meats, Tim Hortons, McDonalds, Peninsula Co-Op gas station, a liquor store, walk in medical clinic, Sunshine Gift Shop, Cobs Bread, banks, a café, a florist and several other food vendors, services and retailers.
Broadmead Village Shopping Centre: Technically located in Saanich East, on the border where Saanich West and Saanich East meet (basically speaking, on the other side of the Pat Bay Hwy) and features Thrifty Foods, Pharmasave, Running Room, BCAA, Coast Capital Credit Union, Pets West, Marks Work Wearhouse, Sleep Country, Canadian Tire, Romeos Restaurant, Baan Thai, Starbucks, BC Liquor Store and several other restaurants, services and retailers. Located across the street from Saanich West's Royal Oak Shopping Centre, there's a pedestrian-only tunnel that underpasses the Pat Bay Highway and leads into the East Saanich's Broadmead Neighbourhood. If you turn left on Chatterton Way and take a short stroll up the hill, you’ll find Broadmead Village Shopping Centre.
Tillicum Centre: Located in the Tillicum neighbourhood of Saanich West, next to Pearkes Arena and Recreation Centre. Tillicum Centre is West Saanich's largest indoor mall. Two floors of over 50 popular retailers include a Winners, Old Navy, Mr. Pets, Fabricland, Lowe's, London Drugs, Save-On-Foods, Home Outfitters, Montana's Cookhouse & Bar and Starbucks. You'll also find several services including banks, travel, cellular-mobility providers, salons and a medical walk-in clinic. Across the back parking lot and next to Pearkes Recreation Centre is a large Silver City Cineplex.
Gorge Shopping Centre: Located in the Gorge neighbourhood at the southernmost tip of Saanich West. This outdoor plaza features a Fairway Market, Shoppers Drug Mart, Subway Restaurant, BC Liquor Store, Starbucks, Dollarama and amongst other vendors and services. You'll find a few more shops located across the street as well.
Uptown Shopping Centre: Located in the Gateway neighbourhood of Saanich West, Uptown Shopping Centre is one the Capital Regional District's largest and newest retail centres. It boasts 2 levels of retailers, restaurants and services including Walmart, Best Buy, Shoppers Drug Mart, Whole Foods, Michael's, Petsmart, Steve Nash Fitness World, H&M, Forever 21, Urban Barn, Starbucks and a plethora of other food vendors, restaurants, services and retailers. At the heart of Uptown Centre's lower level you'll find a mosaic splash park for kids, a small grassy area and lots of seating. Throughout the year, Uptown Centre will host events here, including their giant Christmas tree light-up. Located across the street from Uptown, are two separate and smaller, outdoor plazas.
Saanich West has a Public Transit Score of 58 (Many nearby public transportation options) with several bus shelters and routes that go directly downtown, to Camosun College - Interurban campus, and out to Sidney, the airport and ferry terminal.
Within 20 minutes' drive to Downtown Victoria via the Pat Bay Highway. | Within 5 - 15 minutes' drive to Saanich Peninsula Hospital and Victoria General Hospital. | Within 15 - 30 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 West offers everything from rural properties and yards suitable for beekeeping and backyard chickens, to modern, condos and townhouses close to shopping and other amenities. Following are a few of West Saanich’s most iconic condo and townhouse developments:
Located just outside of the northernmost tip of Saanich West in the heart of Brentwood Bay, this modern, seaside condo community offers newly-built, spacious and modern 1 and 2 bedroom suites as well as live/work spaces that are steps away from beaches and the shops, restaurants, and conveniences of Brentwood Bay Village. Search our MLS® Victoria search engine for condos for sale in the Arbours building.
Located in the heart of the peaceful Royal Oak neighbourhood, this thoughtfully designed community is extraordinary. Offering spacious and airy 1, 2, and 2 bedroom + den suites that boast lots of natural light, large outdoor spaces, scenic mountain views, and a shared rooftop space for lounging and entertaining. The Travino would make the perfect home for anyone who wants to live within a short walking distance to shops, restaurants, recreation, and public transit routes. Search our MLS® Victoria search engine for condos for sale in the Travino building.
Shop for a Home in SAANICH WesT
Considering a move to the seaside community of Saanich West? If you appreciate a home surrounded by trees, parks, and outdoor spaces, you’re sure to find a homestead in Saanich West that meets your needs and expectations. 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, when you use our MLS Victoria Search Engine to shop for properties in the West Saanich, also refer to the provided map for townhouses and condos for sale which are situated further back from Pat Bay Highway, Island Highway, Tillicum Road, and West Saanich Road.
Enjoy shopping and shortlisting your favourite ones, and when you’re ready, give us a call at (250) 382-6636 to arrange a viewing.