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.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Philip Goltsin December 23, 2010 at 7:44 am

Hello there. Lovely blog and very informative:)

I am curious to know how an American may move to your Region, Victoria ,orto the outlying towns and suburbs which you have described. I hold a Masters Degree in International Relations and I’m also a Polyglot who speaks Russian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. Would it be very difficult to immigate for someone like me…i’m still fairly young….29 yrs old:)

Thanks in advance.

kind regards,


admin December 23, 2010 at 8:14 am

Hi Philip – thank you for your compliment – we are very happy that we are achieving our objective of helping people learn about Victoria! We would be happy to talk to you about living in Victoria, please connect with us directly through our Victoria real estate site.

nina March 10, 2011 at 9:53 am

thanks for this info. I live in ontario. I am thinking to move there with my family in the next few years. I have lived in saskatchewan and alberta as well. I am drawn to this place in bc, still trying figure out the big pull! I am fully settled here in ontario so it is going to be a big big project. I am afraid of making a mistake. My job is portable so that is not a concern. I could even retire if I wanted to. My 3 children are of university age and I am worried that my obsession with moving to victoria may not be good for there future. I just think it si far more pretty there, green all the time ! is it?

admin March 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Yes Nina, it is very pretty here! If you’d like more information about moving to Victoria you can connect with us at Victoria real estate Thanks for commenting!

Ahmed Jarfaoui February 21, 2012 at 3:09 am

My family and i (3 kids), loved Victoria just from your website. We lived in Quebec (Montreal- 15 years), Now we would like to move to victoria and live in. both my wife and i have MBA , but our age 54 and 47 years old may be obstacle to find a job ? right ? Also , my kids speaks just french !

Need your advices !

Thank you so much !

admin February 21, 2012 at 8:39 am

Hi Ahmed,
Glad you like the site and are inspired to move to Victoria! I hope that you and your wife won’t encounter ageism when job-hunting. I think that there are always opportunities for skilled and experienced people. As for your children, there are francophone schools in Victoria where they are likely to fit in quickly and I’m sure they’ll pick up English in no time…

Maria May 27, 2012 at 5:43 am

My husband and I (I have dual citizenship – Canadian and American) would like to relocate to Victoria. We were there on vacation in 2010 and fell in love with the city. Clean, beautiful and nice people – and more importantly, safe!
I am a CPA and my husband is an American attorney. We are 51 and 63 respectively. How difficult is it to find suitable employment? We are a bit shy on the $$ b/c of the real estate situation in the US so we need to work longer to afford a place in Victoria.
Thank you for your answer.

admin May 28, 2012 at 8:30 am

Hi Maria,
I think it would be a good idea to begin your job search before moving here and buying a house! There are always opportunities for experienced professionals, as long as your credentials are transferrable.

Marci August 11, 2012 at 9:13 am

Hi! I am a dual citizen (US and Canada) with a Canadian mother (she’s from Vancouver but that’s too big for us!). We are interested in a move to Victoria in a few years… I’ve been there a few times before, but when I was there I wasn’t thinking about the thing that is now very important to us: schools! Do you know which are the best districts for secondary school (the goal is to move when our daughter starts what would be grade 7)? She’s in private school now because our schools where we live are SO BAD! But we’d love to be able to send her to a wonderful public school…

Thank you for your great website!

admin August 13, 2012 at 8:17 am

Hi Marci,

The best school for your daughter may depend on her interests and strengths as more secondary schools are offering specialized programs (sports targeted among others). You might check out the Fraser Institute’s school rankings – they are somewhat controversial but provide some comparisons that you may find useful.

Charles Castonguay December 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm

My wife and I recently became dual citizens thanks to our Canadian mothers. I am wondering which community would be best for us if we were to move to the Victoria area. I would need to drive to the Seattle airport a few times/month, where I would fly out as an airline pilot. My wife is an attorney and might have to drive more frequently to a new job on the US side. We have two children, 11 and 15.
(Among other things, we just can’t take the political rancor in this country any more.)

admin December 19, 2012 at 9:34 am

Hello Charles, There are many neighborhoods in Victoria that would be perfect for you and your family, I suggest you browse through the municipality descriptions to gain a sense of what each area is like. I’m afraid, however, that you won’t be able to drive to Seattle without also getting on a ferry. It might be easier for you and your wife to fly from Victoria to Seattle, you can travel by air harbour to harbour.