‘The Gorge’ neighbourhood in West Saanich is a mixed commercial and residential neighbourhood very close to the city of Victoria BC. Sitting on the southern edge of West Saanich, the Gorge neighbourhood hugs the northern edge of Victoria’s storied waterway. The municipality of Esquimalt is located across the water to the southwest.
While much of West Saanich is rural, the Gorge is decidedly urban to suburban, having been developed long ago. The neighbourhood is home to Tillicum mall, while housing is diverse, with single family homes, townhomes and some apartment buildings. Most of the housing is older; there are some beautiful old historical homes bursting with character, popular projects for renovation enthusiasts. The Gorge waterway has also undergone extensive remediation and there are beautiful parks and paved pathways along its length, offering tons of outdoor recreational opportunities.
The neighbourhood enjoys excellent access to the city of Victoria, transit is well supported – no need to buy a car if you don’t want that expense. Get downtown in just 15 minutes by bus (or less than that if you leave mid day).
Things to Do in The Gorge
- Stroll along the Gorge
The Gorge Waterway Park Path is a beautiful walk that runs parallel to Gorge Road West alongside the Gorge Waterway. It begins at Craigflower Park on the western edge of the neighbourhood and continues along until Tillicum Road by Saanich Gorge Park. Along the leisurely 1.7km walk, you’ll find people walking their dogs, plenty of birds and even some otters, paddle boarders and kayakers.
- Catch a movie
Photo credit to CTV News
The Gorge/Tillicum area is home to Tillicum Mall, the largest shopping centre in the area. On the edge of Tillicum Mall is SilverCity – Victoria’s largest and most well-known movie theatre. Built in 1999, SilverCity plays modern Hollywood films, independent releases, and even has an arcade.
- Stop by Iluka Espresso
Iluka Espresso is a new coffee shop just on the other side of the water, across the Admirals bridge, on the west side of the neighbourhood. Iluka gives off warm summer beach vibes all year round, thanks to its handcrafted furniture, decorations, and patio with view of The Gorge. And they sell much more than coffee, including handmade art, sandwiches, bowls, and other baked goods.
- Go stand-up paddle boarding
If you’ve never tried stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), The Gorge is an excellent place to start. SUP is a great workout, plus a great way to play on the water and enjoy your surroundings. Craigflower Park is the perfect place to launch your craft, complete with a parking lots, a beach area and calm waters.
Schools in The Gorge
The Gorge is home to two schools at opposite sides of the neighbourhood: Craigflower Elementary to the west and Tillicum Elementary to the east. You can also cross the bridge on the west side by Craigflower Park to attend Shoreline Elementary. For more options, head slightly north across the highway where you’ll find Spectrum Community School (high school), Marigold Elementary, Colquitz Middle School and St. Joseph’s Elementary.
For more options, head south into Esquimalt for Esquimalt High or Vic West Elementary. If you head west into View Royal, you’ll also have the options of View Royal Elementary and Eagle View Elementary.
Gorge Neighbourhood Links
- Gorge Tillicum Community Association
- Burnside Gorge Community Association
- Gorge Park
- Gorge Road Hospital
- General Gorge Walkscore