Municipality of The Highlands: Neighbourhoods, Schools & More

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Gowlland Todd Park

The municipality of ‘The Highlands’ is the smallest in the Capital Regional District by population. Located north of Langford and Thetis Lake, this heavily forested, and rural municipality backs onto the Saanich Inlet. The Highlands might be the most peaceful place to live in Victoria. There’s hardly any commercial activity at all, and the main highway cuts through Langford, going around The Highlands rather than through it. The people of The Highlands are largely against the widespread development of neighbouring Langford, and became a municipality of their own in 1993 to avoid this development.

Being a little off the beaten path, The Highlands are a bit of a drive from downtown Victoria. You can expect at least 20 minutes, with added time for traffic around busy times. But the remote location, mountainous terrain and peaceful forests are what residents of The Highlands appreciate most. There is zero hustle and bustle to be found, and the deer population might outnumber the human population.

map of the Highlands

In The Highlands, you’ll find older homes attached to large properties with long driveways. The roads are slow and windy, shielded by dense forest every where you turn, which makes for a peaceful drive. You’ll also find some of the best parkland in the CRD. At the southern end of the municipality, attached to Thetis Lake Park, you’ll find Stewart Mountain Trail and Summit. To the west is Jocelyn Hill Trailhead and Lone Tree Hill. Along the Saanich Inlet is Gowlland Tod Provincial Park, a sprawling waterfront forest with over 25km of trails. Finally, the northern part of the municipality is occupied by Mount Work Regional Park, which is another great climb.

The Highlands by the Numbers

forested area in the Highlands

Photo credit to Tourism Victoria

  • Population of 2,482 in 2021 (smallest of all 13 municipalities)
    • 11% population growth since 2016
  • Population density of just 65 people per square km
  • Average age is 43.6
  • Of the 910 private dwellings, 860 are single-detached houses
  • In 2020, median income was $50,000

Neighbourhoods of The Highlands

Beach in the Highlands

Being the smallest municipality in the CRD, The Highlands isn’t known for many neighbourhoods like Saanich, Langford, Oak Bay, or other municipalities. That being said, there are three main areas commonly referred to:

  • Durrance Lake
  • Thetis Lake
  • Willis Point

Schools in The Highlands

Hill in the Highlands

Photo credit to Victoria Trails

Being so sparsely populated and off the beaten path, The Highlands doesn’t have any schools within its municipal boundaries. But you don’t have to travel too far to find some. To the east is Prospect Lake Elementary school, and to the south is Lakewood Elementary and Millstream Elementary. By heading further south into Langford you’ll find plenty of options.

Just keep in mind there is little to no bus service, and nothing within reasonable walking distance.

The Highlands Links

Geoff McLean

Geoff is an established real estate professional whose years of experience have earned him numerous awards and accolades. He has been one of the top RE/MAX Realtors in the Victoria (BC) area since 1990, a Victoria Real Estate Board MLS Gold Award winner for more than 36 years, and has won many other awards over the years. What do these awards mean to you? They mean that Geoff works hard and that he produces consistently. He is well connected in the industry and in the community. Connect with Geoff via email

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