The District of Sooke’s slogan is ‘where the rainforest meets the sea,’ which perfectly sums up its prime location.
Sooke is tucked away on the southern west coast of Vancouver Island, and is the gateway to Jordan River, Port Renfrew, Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park, and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Hikers travel from all over the world to trek through the Juan de Fuca Trail and West Coast Trail. This south western coastline is also known for having some of the best surfing spots.
Sooke has attracted seniors and working families for its relatively low cost of housing. Many who live in Sooke commute to larger cities for work, including Langford and Victoria. Or, they work locally in forestry, fishing, or tourism. There’s a great sense of community in Sooke, which is shown at the district’s many community and volunteer-led events.
Average age: 41.3
Average full-time employment income: $56,338
Population density per square kilometres: 229.6
Land area in square kilometres: 56.62
Total private dwellings: 5,599
Sooke is a 45-minute drive or two-and-a-half-hour bike ride to downtown Victoria, and an hour drive to the Victoria International Airport and Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal.
Sooke residents fall into the Sooke School District catchment, which also serves Colwood, Metchosin, Langford, the Highlands, and Port Renfrew. There are five elementary schools in Sooke, as well as Journey Middle School for grades six to eight, and Edward Milne Community School for grades nine to 12.
Sooke’s main recreation centre is SEAPARC Leisure Complex, which has a number of activities and meeting spaces for events.
Fun and Family
Within Sooke, there’s Sooke Potholes Provincial Park, which is popular among locals in the summertime for its rare rock pools formed during the ice age. The park includes a number of trails that wind through the forest and along the Sooke River, and is also a great spot to camp or hop on the Galloping Goose Trail by bike.
The Galloping Goose Trail, which takes you all the way into Victoria, is also great for horseback riding.
East Sooke Regional Park is also a fantastic spot for hiking. It has more than 50 kilometres of trails. The Coast Trail, which is 10 kilometres, is rated challenging. There’s another trail through Aylard Farm that’s rated easy, and is a great spot for picnicking. There are also great beaches for picnickers, tide pools for exploring, and great scuba-diving in waters off of the park.
For indoor fitness, SEAPARC has a skating rink, a 25-metre swimming pool, a leisure pool, a baseball park, a bike park, a skate park, and the DeMamiel Creek Golf Course, which is a nice par three, nine-hole course.
The waters off of Sooke are known for great fishing spots for salmon, halibut, and cod. Some salmon that are reeled in weigh in at a whopping 40 pounds, or halibut at more than 200! You can set off on your own through the boat launch off of West Coast Road, or you can book a fishing charter through the Sooke Harbour Marina. There’s also fishing and crabbing off of Government Wharf. Note that no matter where you fish off of Vancouver Island, you need a fishing license and there are caps on how much you can catch.