Saanich is a large residential area beginning north of downtown and stretching east to the neighbourhood village Cadboro Bay and north to the Saanich Peninsula, where you can continue on to Sidney.
Highlights include Mt. Douglas Park, with hiking trails and panoramic views, Elk/Beaver Lake Park, a great spot for watersports, walking and fishing, the gardens at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific, Swan Lake/Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary.
Saanich’s long eastern shoreline offer numerous beach opportunities, from the sandy, wide-open Cadboro-Gyro Park to secluded bays an inlets perfect for paddling.
For cyclists, follow Scenic Marine Drive to take in this coastal landscape, connecting to Oak Bay and Victoria to the south. Connect with the Lochside Regional Trail to continue north to the Saanich Peninsula and Sidney.
Just east of Elk/Beaver Lake Park is the seaside neighbourhood of Cordova Bay, valued for its rural beauty and unparalleled views of Haro Strait and the San Juan Islands. Highlights here include a charming collection of shops and galleries called Mattick’s Farm, and the Cordova Bay and The Ridge golf courses.
- Saanich has a population of more than 114,000, the largest on Vancouver Island
- Saanich borders six other municipalities, including British Columbia’s capital, Victoria.
- More than 170 parks cover 8.2 km2 (820 hectares), represents 8 per cent of the total area of Saanich … equivalent to about 100 CFL football fields.
- Saanich is a junction for the Lochside and Galloping Goose regional trails, which together provide 84 kilometres of multi-use trail extending throughout the region.
Saanich has a mild, and generally warm and temperate climate with rainfall common in winter and comfortable summers.
Destination BC is developing a new campaign to promote hyper-local travel where residents are “tourists-in-their own hometown,” while practising the COVID-19 safety protocols as recommended by the B.C. Provincial Health Officer. Many B.C. parks are now open, and national parks were to open as of June 1.
(Check this website for current details on travel.)
Ferry: BC Ferries offers services from Tsawwassen or Horseshoe Bay to Victoria at Swartz Bay
Flying: Victoria International Airport is about 30 minutes away. There is also the option to take a seaplane with Harbour Air to Victoria
Vehicle: Downtown Victoria to Saanich is about a 15-minute drive.