Back to the blog

Buying in Victoria, BC: Saanich Neighbourhoods Guide

The District of Saanich

Saanich sits below Central Saanich, moving into the ‘Core Districts’ of the Capital Region District (CRD). 

Saanich is the largest of the 13 districts geographically, with a population of 117,735, and is often talked about as Saanich West and Saanich East.  

To recap the summary in our overarching Neighbourhoods Guide: Saanich is home to the University of Victoria and Camosun College, two of the largest post-secondary institutions in the CRD, as well as 170 parks, over 100 km of trails, 62 sports fields, 56 playgrounds, and 37 beach access points.

In Saanich West, the highest benchmark price for single-family detached homes is in the West Saanich neighbourhood, while the highest benchmark price for condos is in the Royal Oak neighbourhood.

Benchmark prices are based on the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI), which calculates benchmark price as the value of a “typical home” based on what has been bought and sold in the area, however, it’s important to note that there is a considerable amount of price variability depending on what you’re looking for and the current market. 

In Saanich East the highest benchmark price for single-family detached homes is in the Ten Mile Point neighbourhood, while the highest benchmark price for condos is in the Cordova Bay neighbourhood.

Patricia Bay Highway (Highway 17) separates Saanich West from Saanich East.

The District of Saanich recognizes 12 distinct areas with unique ‘Local Area Plans’, however, these areas are divided into smaller sub-neighbourhoods recognized by the communities and Victoria Real Estate Board.

It’s also worth noting that while I am going to offer a little bit of information on each sub-neighbourhood, the drive from Berryman Brothers Farm, which is located just above the northern side of Saanich, to Hillside Shopping Centre, located near the southern border of Saanich and the City of Victoria, is about a 20–25-minute drive; this is relatively short when you consider travel times in popular metropolitan areas throughout Canada. I mention this because, while these areas have distinct characteristics, I don’t want to give the impression that any of them are particularly isolated from one another.

Although—if you are moving here from a larger city with longer drive times on average, you’ll notice that your perspective on what you consider to be a “long” drive may change after living here for a while, as you get used to the proximity of things in the neighbourhoods and districts that you frequent.

Diving deeper into each side of Saanich:

Saanich West

Saanich West is made up of 17 sub-neighborhoods:

West Saanich

Elk Lake

Prospect Lake

Beaver Lake

Layritz

Interurban

Royal Oak

Granville

Northridge

Strawberry Vale

Glanford

Marigold

Portage Inlet

Tillicum

Gorge

Gateway

Rudd Park

Rural Saanich West encompasses the West Saanich, Prospect Lake, Elk Lake, and Beaver Lake neighbourhoods and parkland areas. Residents here also enjoy proximity to the protected parkland spaces in Highlands, such as Gowlland Tod, Mount Work, Thetis Lake, and Lone Tree Hill; and The Butchart Gardens, Partridge Hills, Willis Point, and Brentwood Bay areas located in Central Saanich.

A highlight of living in these areas is access to locally grown food and artisan goods that can be found at markets, farms, and roadside stands going up the peninsula.

Royal Oak Shopping Centre and Broadmead Village Shopping Centre are located off the Patricia Bay Highway and adjacent to the Royal Oak neighbourhood just below Beaver Lake.

The Royal Oak, Interurban, Layritz, and Granville neighbourhoods are south of Prospect Lake and Beaver Lake, sharing rural and urban characteristics.

Royal Oak Middle School serves approximately 570 students in grade 6-8, mainly coming from the Lochside, Prospect Lake, and Cordova Bay elementary schools.

Layritz Park is approximately 29 hectares with green spaces, trails, seven ball diamonds, a soccer field, and disc golf. Greater Victoria is ranked as the best disc golf location in B.C., with eight courses.

The Gardens at Pacific Horticulture College (HCP) are located near the border of Beaver Lake and Interurban, home to an internationally recognized botanical garden and educational centre for conservation and research.

The Camosun College Interurban Campus is one of two campuses, the second being the Lansdowne Campus located in the Camosun neighbourhood of Saanich East. Camosun College serves over 14,000 students, including international students from over 70 countries.

Granville is situated next to the Township of View Royal, where you will find the Victoria General Hospital, next to the Eagle Creek Village Shopping Centre.

Part of Francis/King Regional Park resides in Granville. Francis/King Regional Park encompasses 107 hectares with 11km of woodland trails, wildflower meadows, a cedar boardwalk with access for people with disabilities, a nature centre and education room, and trail access to Thetis Lake Regional Park.

To the east of Granville is Strawberry Vale. The Strawberry Vale neighbourhood is home to Strawberry Vale Preschool, Strawberry Vale Elementary, and Discovery School—an independent school serving students Kindergarten to Grade 12 with learning disabilities.

The Strawberry Vale Community Club is a well-loved community hub offering hall rentals, events, and activities.

Next to Strawberry Vale are the Northridge, Marigold, and Portage Inlet neighbourhoods.

The Portage Inlet neighbourhood, as its name indicates, is comprised of the land area just adjacent to the eastern side of the Portage Inlet.

Panama Flats Park resides in Northridge and Marigold—a natural parkland area stretched over floodplains and former farmland. While the trails here are rugged and sections of them are prone to seasonal flooding, many enjoy them for birding, mountain biking, and on-leash dog walks. 

Northridge Elementary is located off Carey Road, which can be taken down to Uptown Shopping Centre. And St. Joseph’s Elementary School, Spectrum Community secondary school, and École Marigold Elementary School are in the Marigold neighbourhood further south, located near McKenzie Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway (1).

On the other side of McKenzie and Highway 1 is Cuthbert Holmes Park and the Tillicum Shopping Centre, located in the Tillicum neighbourhood. Colquitz Creek runs from Panama Flats Park to Cuthbert Holmes Park, offering nearly 11km of trail pathways.

Bordering Tillicum, clockwise, are the Glanford, Gateway, Rudd Park, and Gorge neighbourhoods.

These neighbourhoods enjoy proximity to the Tillicum and Uptown Shopping Centres, local schools, and greenspaces.

Swan Creek runs along the border of Glanford and Tillicum, leading into Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary to the east of Highway 17.

Gateway Village and Saanich Plaza are located alongside Blanshard, just above Uptown Shopping Centre.

To the east of Rudd Park, Mayfair Shopping Centre and Hillside Shopping Centre are also close by.

The Gorge neighbourhood is built around the Gorge Waterway, an area thriving with both long-loved businesses and new developments.

Saanich East

Saanich East is made up of 19 sub-neighborhoods:

Cordova Bay

Sunnymead

Mount Doug

Broadmead

Blenkinsop

Gordon Head

High Quadra

Lake Hill

Lambrick

Arbutus

Swan Lake

Quadra

Maplewood

Cedar Hill

Mount Tolmie

Queenswood

Cadboro Bay

Ten Mile Point

Camosun

Cordova Bay has been called the “Mini Malibu” of Greater Victoria. With beautiful beaches spanning the northeast coast of Saanich, plenty of parks, and the pleasant feeling of being its own little oasis community.

The picturesque Cordova Bay Golf Course is a beloved spot for walks, a bite at Bill Mattick’s Restaurant, and, of course, an enjoyable game of golf.

Mattick’s Farm offers boutique shopping, groceries, and amenities—with a Red Barn Market, Pure Day Spa, Seaberry Garden & Flower, and Mattick’s Farm Mini Golf, among other beloved businesses.

Cordova Bay Road, running along the coastal side of this neighbourhood, turns into Blenkinsop Road at PKOLS (formerly known as Mount Douglas Park), also marking the transition into the Mount Doug neighbourhood.

Sunnymead, Broadmead, and Blenkinsop enjoy relative proximity to Cordova Bay and Mount Doug. The Broadmead Village Shopping Centre is a community hub for retail, dine-in and take away, amenities, and events. We’ve featured Poke Fresh on the North Pacific Homes Blog—currently with two locations: Broadmead Village and Cook Street Village.

The Gordon Head, Lambrick, and Arbutus neighbourhoods can be found to the east of Mount Doug, surrounding the University of Victoria. UVic is a prominent presence in this area, with approximately 5,000 employees and 22,000 students, many coming from out-of-town and renting off campus.

Southeast from Arbutus is Queenswood, Cadboro Bay, and Ten Mile Point. These neighbourhoods are particularly sought-after for their waterfront access. Ten Mile Point contains the highest benchmark price for housing in Saanich East.

Moving further south down the coast is the District of Oak Bay, one of the most affluent districts in the CRD.  

Staying in Saanich East, to the west of the District of Oak Bay, we have the Camosun and Mount Tolmie neighbourhoods.

Camosun College is another prominent post-secondary institution in Saanich East, with the Lansdowne Campus located in the Camosun neighbourhood. Other schools located in this area include:

– St. Michaels University School (a private K-12 boarding school)

– École Intermédiaire Lansdowne Middle School

– Artemis Place Secondary School

– Lansdowne Middle School South Campus

Other key features of these areas are the access to green spaces, shopping centres, beach access points, and proximity to both Oak Bay and the Downtown Victoria. Mount Tolmie Park offers popular lookout points, with trail access to the University of Victoria.

Back to the southwest corner of Saanich East, we have: High Quadra, Lake Hill, Swan Lake, Quadra, Maplewood, and Cedar Hill.

As mentioned earlier, the Mayfair Shopping Centre and Uptown Shopping Centre offer a wide array of shopping and amenities to these areas.

The Cedar Hill Golf Course also serves as a beloved walking route for many, and there are several schools and parks nearby. The District of Saanich has more parks per capita than any other municipality in BC.

While we touched on the markets that happen further up the peninsula, there are plenty of urban community markets that take place throughout Greater Victoria—the Oaklands Sunset Market is one of our favourites!

Your Next Home?

We hope you enjoyed our overview of the District of Saanich! Please reach out if you have any questions about calling Saanich home—we are happy to give more detailed recommendations based on what you’re looking for.   

Your Resources:

Schedule a call with us.

Sign-up for our monthly e-newsletter and download our FREE Buyer’s and Seller’s Guides.

Contact us to book a buyer or seller consultation.

Email us at [email protected], call or text 250-634-2141.

Subscribe to our YouTube.

Connect on Instagram.

Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) CRD Maps.

Thank you for being here,

Alex Hughes* and Ricki-Lee Jewell, Victoria, BC Real Estate Agents

*Personal Real Estate Corporation

Other Reads:

    • Buyers
    • Homeowners
    • Sellers

    Heritage Homes in Victoria, BC

    The character homes sprawled throughout Victoria, BC are a part of the city’s charm, and history.   Some of these character homes, or what we refer to as…

    Read More
    • Market Updates

    Victoria, BC Market Update: Renters’ Bill of Rights, New Infrastructure

    There was a considerable jump in activity from February to March this year but total properties sold have been relatively similar to the numbers from last year's Q1.…

    Read More