Also known as ‘the Uplands’, this neighbourhood is a small area in the north east corner of the municipality of Oak Bay. Located near both the University of Victoria and Camosun College, the Uplands is flanked by the ocean to the east and the rest of Oak Bay to the south. Almost entirely residential, residents of the Uplands enjoy living in a quiet neighbourhood that’s just minutes away from downtown Victoria.
The Uplands neighbourhood was established in 1907 when two ranchers purchased the land for $275K and hired a world renowned landscape architect to transform the 465 acre area. Today, the Uplands is an extremely elegant neighbourhood known for estate-sized lots, winding streets shaded by rows of trees, and ornate lampposts.
If you take a drive through the Uplands on a clear day, you’ll spot a mini arsenal of landscapers and their trucks lining the streets and tending to gardens. You’ll also notice the wealth this area has attracted, from the beautiful gated homes to backyard pools to expensive luxury cars. The beauty of the neighbourhood, the oceanfront lots and proximity to downtown make the Uplands Victoria’s most desirable neighbourhood for good reason.
Things to do in the Uplands
- Spend the day at Willows
Photo credit to Tourism Victoria
A favourite summer hangout for Victoria residents, Willows Beach is located off Beach Drive at the bottom of Dalhousie Street. The long sandy beach is the main attraction, along with the big grass field used for volleyball and other games. There’s also public washrooms, a children’s playground and a concession stand open in the summer.
- Hit Henderson Rec Center
Henderson Rec Center is located off Cedar Hill Cross Road, right near the Uplands Golf Club. Henderson has it all, attracting residents of all ages, year round. There are full tennis courts, and par 3 golf course, a baseball field, indoor basketball courts and weight room. Henderson is one of the main fitness and recreation hubs of the neighbourhood along with Oak Bay Rec, offering all sorts of programs and classes.
- Cruise Beach Drive
No visit to the Uplands is complete without a cruise along Beach Drive, possibly the city’s most iconic residential street. It stretches all the way from the Uplands Golf Club area down the coast to South Oak Bay. The drive will take you through Victoria’s wealthiest neighbourhood, complete with some of the most beautiful homes and ocean views.
- Eat at Sedona
If you head south on Cadboro Bay Road towards south Oak Bay, you’ll come across Sedona Restaurant & Lounge. Located at the corner of Bowker and Cadboro Bay, Sedona is a top choice for a nice dinner or happy hour. They’ve got a heated patio, plus weekly specials like Wednesday BBQ Ribs, Sunday Prime Rib, and Friday Beer-Braised Short Rib.
Schools around the Uplands
The Uplands has plenty of schools in close proximity, with a extra large portion of the city’s private schools. For young children, Willows Elementary, St. Patrick’s Elementary and Sundance-Bank Elementary are all just minutes away. There’s also a sizable cluster of schools for older children, being in one the busiest neighbourhoods for such. Oak Bay High, Victoria High, Glenlyon Norfolk School and St. Michael’s University School are all close by.
It’s also worth noting the Uplands’ close proximity to both Camosun College (Lansdowne campus) and the University of School – the city’s largest and most well known post secondary institutions.
Feature image credit to Oak Bay Tourism