The District of Saanich is the largest municipality in the Capital Regional District both in land size and population, and has several neighbourhoods with a diverse mix of farmland and city life.
In fact, Saanich is divided into a dozen neighbourhoods with separate local area plans. From the Tillicum area where you can kayak along the Gorge waterway and be a stone’s throw away from downtown Victoria, to rural Saanich filled with farms, acreages, and parks. Given this large diversity in areas, a wide variety of residents are attracted to Saanich from young families to seniors.
Average age: 43.5
Average full-time employment income: $63,979
Population density per square kilometres: 1,099.9
Land area in square kilometres: 103.78
Total private dwellings: 49,422
District motto: Populo Serviendo ‘Serving the people’
There are two school districts in Saanich, the Saanich School District and Greater Victoria School District, which include 18 elementary schools, seven middle schools, and five high schools.
For post-secondary education there’s the University of Victoria (UVic), and Camosun College, which has two campuses. UVic ranked among the top 250 universities in the world in 2016 and has a wide range of faculties including business, engineering, education, and law.
Horticulture Centre of the Pacific is not only a gardening college and education centre, it has a series of beautiful gardens open to the public, including the second largest outdoor Bonsai garden in all of Canada.
Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary has a number of naturalists, staff, and volunteers that help run educational programs with rescued wild animals, reptiles, and insects. The sanctuary also has a number of native plants and animals that thrive in and around the park, which is all tucked away in the middle of Saanich’s urban area.
The district has a number of recreation centres including G. R. Pearkes Recreation Centre, Cedar Hill Recreation Centre, Commonwealth Place, PISE at Camosun Interurban, and Gordon Head Recreation Centre.
Fun and Family
There are more than 170 parks and 100 kilometres of trails in Saanich. The district’s Mount Douglas Park has more than 21 kilometres of trails, and is considered the largest urban forest on the Saanich Peninsula.
The Cadboro Bay neighbourhood of Saanich has Cadboro-Gyro Park, with a play area for kids, and a fantastic beach with water access for kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddle boarding. Nearby is Arbutus Cove Park, with a beach that’s tucked away and cherished by locals.
Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park is a runner’s paradise with a perfect 10-kilometre loop on soft chip trail. It also attracts swimmers, cyclists, horseback riders, rowers, and fishermen, as Elk Lake is stocked with rainbow trout.
Saanich’s many recreation centres listed above all have fitness studios, weight centres, and a number of classes for a wide selection of indoor activities.
With Saanich’s beautiful landscape, it’s no surprise it’s home to a great selection of golf courses including Cordova Bay Golf Course and its adjacent par three course, the Ridge. There’s also Mount Douglas and Cedar Hill golf courses.
Lochside Regional Trail winds through Saanich and can take you north to Swartz Bay or south to Victoria. It’s great for runners, cyclists, and horseback riders for everyday recreation.