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  Category   Central Saanich, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC
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Central Saanich

A farmer works a Saanich Peninsula field
First inhabited by Wsanec First Nations people, the Saanich Peninsula is a bountiful countryside where rural and urban lifestyles blend well together.

Central Saanich has a rich agricultural heritage, with farmland in the rural community comprising almost two-thirds of the municipality. While enjoying the benefits of a high-quality rural lifestyle, Central Saanich is within easy access of Victoria, the Victoria International Airport, and the BC Ferries' terminal at Swartz Bay.

The Municipality of Central Saanich, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in December 2000, includes the towns of Brentwood Bay and Saanichton, and numerous regional and provincial parks.

Population: 16,768

Location: Central Saanich is located on the Saanich Peninsula of southern Vancouver Island, approximately 13 miles (21 km) north of Victoria. Central Saanich is bounded on the north by the District of North Saanich, on the South by the District of Saanich, on the east by Haro Strait and on the west by the Saanich Inlet.

View map of the area:
Map of Greater Victoria

  • Brentwood Bay
    Stop in at the village of Brentwood Bay, where you'll find all amenities, including excellent accommodation, waterfront restaurants, shopping, and marina facilities. Brentwood Village is also a good jumping-off point for kayakers, canoeists and mountain hikers.
  • Saanichton
    The rural community of Saanichton is well known for flowers and rose gardens. Bed and breakfast homes and riding stables are nestled alongside parks, campgrounds, old-growth forests and small farms.
  • The Brentwood Bay-Mill Bay ferry is a convenient 25-minute route across the Saanich Inlet for those travelling to or from the Swartz Bay terminal and destinations north of Victoria. This scenic route bypasses Victoria and the Malahat.
  • Once a limestone quarry, Butchart Gardens is now filled with flowers, a luxurious 20-hectare estate attracting over one million visitors a year. Butchart delights visitors from around the world with wonderful floral displays and spectacular views as visitors stroll along meandering paths and expansive lawns. From the exquisite Sunken Garden to the charming Rose Garden, this show garden still maintains the gracious traditions that have spanned almost 100 years. Visitors enjoy summer evening light displays, Saturday night fireworks in July and August and Christmas lights and carollers during December.
  • At Victoria Butterfly Gardens you can stroll amidst hundreds of exotic butterflies flying free in an indoor tropical rainforest. Witness the entire life cycle of these amazing insects. The spectacular flowering plants and foliage, fascinating birds, waterfalls and stream all contribute to make this a photographer's paradise, and a truly memorable experience for the entire family.
  • The Saanich Historical Artifacts Society tells the story of farming, country life and industry on Vancouver Island, with rural artifacts dating back to the early 1800s. View one of Western Canada's largest collections of working steam engines, tractors, agricultural machinery, antique farm equipment, historic buildings, and household and industrial artifacts. The society hosts an annual Summer Fair on the farm and museum grounds, held on Father's Day each June, and Fall threshing on the third weekend in September. The 29-acre park offers picnic tables, nature trails and a pond. Located at 7321 Lochside Drive in Saanichton, alongside the Pat Bay Highway, between Victoria and Sidney.
  • The Saanich Pioneers Society manages the Log Cabin Museum on East Saanich Road in Saanichton. The museum contains a collection of Native and pioneer artifacts, and local archives. Activities include school tours and public education in the history of the Saanich Peninsula. Open Mondays and Saturdays, 10 am to 2 pm. Open at other times by appointment.
  • The Saanich Fall Fair, held every Labour Day weekend features prize-winning produce and livestock, farm and crafts displays, live entertainment and a midway.
  • The annual Central Saanich Days celebration is held at Centennial Park on BC Day Weekend, the first weekend in August, sponsored by the Central Saanich Lions Club. Festivities include pancake breakfasts, hay rides, face painting, children's games, a petting Farm, a slowpitch tournament ... and lots more!
  • The Saanichton Christmas Tree and Ostrich Farm on East Saanich Road offers a 1-hour tour of Christmas tree and ostrich operations. Discuss different types of Christmas trees, stump culture, and collect fir cones for decorations. Open from October to December.

  • McKenzie Bight on Saanich Inlet
    Located in Gowlland Tod Provincial Park
    Gowlland Tod Provincial Park protects a significant part of the Gowlland Range, one of the last remaining natural areas in Greater Victoria and a particularly rich area of biodiversity. Also protected is a portion of the natural shoreline and uplands in Tod Inlet, which adjoins the Saanich Inlet south of Brentwood Bay. Old mining and logging roads in the 1,219-hectare park now provide over 25 miles (40 km) of hiking trails.

    There are three access points to the park, which shares a common boundary with Mount Work Regional Park, and provides stunning views of Greater Victoria, Saanich Inlet and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

  • Three small lakes dot the slopes of Mount Work Regional Park. Depending on your mood, the weather, and the season, freshen up in Durrance or Pease Lake on the north side of the park once you've completed the hike to the top of the mountain, or just relax at lakeside and enjoy the woodland ambience. Fork Lake lies at the south end of the hiking trail to the summit of Mount Work.
  • Centennial Park on Wallace Drive features a lacrosse box, soccer pitches, baseball and softball fields, picnic shelters, horseshoe pitches, tennis courts, a bowling green, a children's playground, and the Centennial Park Fieldhouse.

  • Island View Beach Regional Park
    Island View Beach Regional Park south of Sidney offers a gentle cobble- and driftwood-strewn beach, with good views of James and Sidney Islands and wildlife viewing in the open fields behind the beach. Locals use the beach area fronting Indian reserve land north of the park for discreet, clothing-optional tanning. Island View Beach is a favourite beachcombing area, and a boat ramp is conveniently located at the entrance to the park.
  • Hiking: Although there are many hiking trails in rural Central Saanich, just walking the country roads through lovely pastoral landscapes of rolling fields and hedgerows can be very pleasant, with many of the quiet roads being used to link up the more popular hiking trails. One such walk commences at John Dean Provincial Park, descending southward following the Gail Wickens Horse Trail, Thomson Road, Mount Newton Cross Road, Malcolm Road (at Saanichton School) and Tomlinson Road to Centennial Park, which is criss-crossed with walking trails.

    Butterfield Park on Mount Newton Cross Road at Thomson Place offers pleasant strolls through 5.3 hectares of what was once the South Hill poultry farm. Willow Way is a pleasant 10-km circle route for cyclists, hikers and horseriders through narrow roads and along unopened road rights-of-way beside fences, in the flat or rolling farmlands of Central Saanich. Commencing at Centennial Park, the route takes in Gore Nature Park, Hardy Park, and the seawall promenade at Brentwood Bay, before returning via Wallace Road and West Saanich Road to Centennial Park.

  • Biking: The northern trailhead of the Galloping Goose Trail is on the Sidney waterfront and runs a considerable distance south from the intersection of Lochside Drive and Beacon Avenue in North Saanich to Quadra Street near Victoria. The Lochside section is rougher and less well marked as it passes through urban neighbourhoods, but highly enjoyable as it leads through rural Central Saanich and Saanichton. Along the way it passes near Island View Beach Regional Park, a good place to take a break.

    A series of rough roads and dike trails doubles as bike pathways in the marsh inland from Island View Beach Regional Park. Just begin pedalling out along one of the trails that lead from the beach into the marsh. Some of the trails eventually lead through the marsh back out onto the north end of the beach. Unfortunately, once there you won't make much headway, as your tires sink in the sand.


  • Saanich Inlet viewed from Gowlland Tod Park
    Wildlife: Gowlland Tod Provincial Park is home to deer, cougars, black bears and over 100 species of birds - more than 20% of British Columbia's rare plants grow here!

    On the western boundary of Central Saanich, Saanich Inlet is a unique, shallow-mouthed fjord - a fragile backyard wilderness visited by eagles, ospreys, minks, river otters and on occasion pods of killer whales.

  • To the north of Central Saanich is North Saanich. Said to be the finest rural-residential area in all of Canada, North Saanich boasts a long coastline on three sides, enveloping agricultural farmlands, cosy bays and generous protected parklands.
  • To the south of Central Saanich is Saanich, the largest municipality in Greater Victoria. Saanich offers the charm of country life mingled with the convenience of urban residential neighbourhoods. Almost everywhere you turn in Saanich there's a place to enjoy the great outdoors, whether itís a mountain park, a riverside path or an ocean beach.


Search Premier Listings
  EMR Vacation Rentals, Vancouver Listing Details 
EMR is a fully licensed Travel Agency offering fully furnished vacation homes, condos, suites, and estates in Victoria, Vancouver, Tofino, Whistler, the Okanagan, and on Vancouver Island. We have a large inventory of unique properties to select from. This includes properties that feature oceanfront, beach front, breathtaking views, private hot tubs, luxurious settings and more. Toll Free: 0-800-520-0932 UK.
 
  Peter Lindsay - Re/Max, Victoria Listing Details 
For a FREE RELOCATION PACKAGE on Greater Victoria and the current housing market contact Peter today. Specializing in residential, corporate and military relocation since 1987, Peter welcomes the opportunity to be of service to you in your quest to purchase or sell a new or pre-owned residential property.
 
  Quality Inn Waddling Dog, Victoria Listing Details 
The Quality Inn Waddling Dog captures the heritage flavour of Victoria, while offering all the convenience, amenities and value you'd expect from a trusted name like Quality Inn. Olde England comfort and charm at this quaint 30-room English Tudor-style hotel near Butchart Gardens, BC Ferries, Washington State Ferry and Victoria International Airport. Also enjoy our pub and restaurant at Waddling Dog Bar & Grill.
 
  Scott Piercy & James LeBlanc Real Estate, Victoria Listing Details 
Scott Piercy offers twelve years of marketing properties and brokering Vancouver Island Residential, Waterfront, Recreational and Luxury Properties in the international marketplace. Scott was raised in Victoria and has the resources to find the perfect match for the most challenging homebuyers, plus a host of international clients for the special vendor. Scott's success is based on exceptional service, communication, and attention to detail. His professional integrity always serves the client first.
 
  Sherlock's English Style Restaurant, Saanichton Listing Details 
Experience dining in Sherlock's English Style Restaurant and our pub-style Waddling Dog Bar & Grill, or in the fresh air on the outdoor patio of our hotel, the Quality Inn Waddling Dog in Saanichton. Enjoy British pub classics with a West Coast twist. Located in a countryside setting near the Pat Bay Highway, between Victoria and Sidney.
 
  The Waddling Dog Bar & Grill, Saanichton Listing Details 
Experience dining in The Waddling Dog Bar & Grill and Sherlock's English Style Restaurant, or dine in the fresh air on the outdoor patio of our hotel, the Quality Inn Waddling Dog in Saanichton. Enjoy British pub classics with a West Coast twist. Located in a countryside setting near the Pat Bay Highway, between Victoria and Sidney.
 
  West Coast Sightseeing, Burnaby Listing Details 
West Coast Sightseeing offers guided tours, personalized tours, and private tours of Vancouver. Tours include the City Highlights Tour, Victoria & Butchart Gardens Tour, Grouse Mountain & Capilano Suspension Bridge Tour, and the Whistler & Shannon Falls Tour. Looking for a little more adventure? Try our Rafting Tour. Would you like some culture? We are the only tour bus company going to the Museum of Anthropology.
 
  Boathouse B&B, Brentwood Bay Listing Details 
If you are seeking peace and quiet in a comfortable, natural setting, Boathouse B&B is a unique, waterfront cottage on the shore of Brentwood Bay, in a protected and scenic inlet. Nestled in a secluded cove with entry from land or water, The Boathouse is located 5 minutes from Butchart Gardens, 20 minutes from Victoria, 20 minutes from the Victoria International Airport, and 25 minutes from the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal (Victoria/Vancouver).
 

Guest Writer Articles:
Tod Inlet - The Wandering Minstrel by Marilyn Guille
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