Capital Regional District
The Greater Victoria area is comprised of 13 municipalities located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island and 3 electoral areas that have bonded together to form the Capital Regional District. These communities are linked to support partnerships, development strategies, and governance, but each maintains its own character and governing bodies.
For those planning to move to Victoria or the Greater Victoria area, some familiarity with these communities may help you focus your home search. Greater Victoria real estate listings are numerous, and streamlining your search within certain areas will save you time and effort.
In alphabetical order, the municipalities include:
Central Saanich – situated on the Saanich Peninsula, and a quick commute to the city. This municipality is largely rural, punctuated by small communities, and is home to the Saanich Fair, a traditional agricultural fair held each Labour Day weekend. Home values are variable, with properties ranging from townhomes to farm properties to country estates.
Colwood – 10 kilometres west of Victoria’s downtown core is a residential community with a rich heritage. Colwood is proud of its historic landmarks such as Hatley Castle and Fisgard Lighthouse. One of the fastest growing regions in the CRD, Colwood boasts many new developments, both housing and retail expansions.
Esquimalt – sitting just west of Victoria across the big blue (Johnson St) bridge. The naval base CFB Esquimalt and the Esquimalt Graving Dock are both located here. Esquimalts’ proximity to Victoria is attractive to those working in the city, and recent infill development has boosted available housing. High quality harbour view condominiums have led the resurgence in housing in this municipality.
Highlands – this rural residential community is located to the northwest of Victoria. Development here is planned carefully with a strong conservation approach to preserve the rugged natural beauty, and because of this goal more than a third of this municipality is protected parkland.
Langford – also located on the west shore, has grown more rapidly than most municipalities in recent years, because of a combination of economical property values and better road and transit access to Victoria. Residential and retail developments have mushroomed due to a focussed effort to enhance transportation routes and promote responsible growth.
Metchosin – is a largely rural coastal community southwest of Victoria. There are many small farms here, as well as extensive trail systems, seaside parks, and Rocky Point, the southernmost part of Western Canada.
North Saanich – this municipality contains both the Victoria Internation Airport and the Swartz Bay ferry terminal and sits about 25 kilometres north of Victoria. Surrounded on three sides by the ocean, North Saanich has a large agricultural foundation, and both rural and ‘country residential’ homes.
Oak Bay – sitting just east of and adjacent to Victoria, this up-scale, historic and beloved community is considered highly desirable. The University of Victoria sits on the borders of Oak Bay and Saanich, and some of North America’s most exclusive residences can be found in the Uplands neighborhood of Oak Bay.
Saanich – is the largest and most populated of Victoria’s core municipalities. It encompasses both rural and urban areas with several distinct residential communities accompanied by retail areas that provide local shopping for nearby inhabitants. Housing varies greatly depending on density in each area, with homes available in a wide range of styles and values.
Sidney – just a quick trip north about 30 kilometres from Victoria on the Pat Bay Highway you will find this picturesque seaside town. “Sidney by the Sea”, located on the eastern shore of the Saanich Peninsula, is pedestrian friendly and known for its many bookstores.
Sooke – the most remote of Greater Victoria’s western communities is approximately 45 minutes commute from the city. The relaxed rural lifestyle offered here is home to a number of artists, artisans and craftspeople and an unpretentious welcoming atmosphere. Homebuyers seeking affordable housing are attracted to the reasonable real estate prices that Sooke presents.
Victoria – the capital city of British Columbia, also called the City of Gardens, and a favourite destination of tourists from around the world. This small city has European charm, clean air and streets, and low crime and unemployment. Considering all these attributes, and the fact that it has easily the mildest climate of any city in Canada, Victoria real estate is still reasonably priced. Citizens of this beautiful city and its neighboring municipalities are able to take advantage of all the restaurants, theatres, tourist attractions, year round outdoor activities, and a bounty of unique shops and services.
View Royal – this centrally located municipality is bordered by Esquimalt, Colwood, Langford, Highlands, and Saanich.Victoria General Hospital, the largest medical facility in the CRD, is located in the largely residential community. Housing in view Royal includes condominium, townhome, and single family residences in a wide range of prices.
I hope this snapshot of the CRD and the municipalities with in are helpful to you in beginning to determine where you may want to purchase a home Please feel free to contact me for further information about any of these areas, or about my Victoria real estate listings.