Friendly and active, this quaint farming community in the middle of the Saanich Peninsula offers a comfortable rural lifestyle for those seeking refuge from the inner city’s hustle and bustle. The short 20-minute commute from Victoria's city core makes Central Saanich an easy transition for any city dweller. The municipality remains committed to celebrating and preserving its rural roots, boasting the highest concentration of agricultural production in the region.
Whether searching for a private acreage or an ocean front home, Central Saanich will not leave buyers disappointed. Many properties available on the market offer the potential for full custom builds, rezoning, subdivision, and industrial or commercial development.
Lifestyle & Recreation
Brentwood Bay Village is host to all amenities including waterfront restaurants, marina’s, shopping, and accommodation, while Saanichton boasts a collection of bed and breakfasts, stables, campgrounds, and small farms amongst its famous flower and rose gardens.
More than a million visitors a year flock to the Butchart Gardens to experience fireworks, light displays, ocean views, and spectacular floral displays featured in multiple character gardens, along the paths, and beside the estate’s beautiful lawns. For a more exotic adventure, Victoria Butterfly Gardens offers visitors the chance to explore an indoor tropical rainforest full of free roaming butterfly’s, insects, birds, and plants.
There is no shortage of outdoor adventure in Central Saanich. From the expansive hiking trails of Gowlland Tod Provincial Park, to the elevated lakes of Mount Work Regional park, residents are blessed with a huge variety of natural beauty, and a fascinating variety of flora and fauna. Centennial Park also offers those with a more competitive streak access to 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.
To the east sits Island View Beach Regional Park, an incredible, easy-walking trail with sandy beach access, and public boat launch. Boasting stunning view of Haro Strait, as well as James and Sidney Islands, it is one of the best places to see Mount Baker on the island. Island View Beach is a favorite of bird watchers and paleontologists alike as many fossils have been discovered on the shores. To the west of the community is the Saanich Inlet, a well-studied marine environment that is helping to expand scientists understanding of our oceans.
Central Saanich is a tight knit community that hosts many events throughout the year. A highlight during the early summer is the Brentwood Bay Festival, a community event boasting a parade with a full market of local crafts, artisans and produce. The festival also features a stage with performers from around British Columbia. Music in the park is a weekly event that occurs in July and August featuring musicians, food vendors and a great sense of community. The most notable even of the year is the Saanich Fair, one of the longest running fairs in British Columbia, and the West Coast's oldest agricultural fair. Established in 1871, it is held in Saanichton every September, drawing in people from all over the greater Victoria area.
Amenities & Transportation
With a population of approximately 16,000, this semi-rural community has over 30 restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Central Saanich has an average Walk Score of 35, meaning most errands will require a car. That being said, residents enjoy easy access by car or public transit to Victoria, the Victoria International Airport, and the BC Ferries terminals at Swartz Bay and Brentwood/Mill Bay. For the adventurous, the northern trailhead of the Lochside Trail, a former railway line converted to bike path, stretches from Swartz Bay to Victoria, passing through some of the islands most beautiful countryside.
Home to the Tsawout and Tsartlip First Nations for thousands of years, the name Saanich means "elevated" in the Salish language, possibly in reference to nearby Mount Newton. The first European settlers arrived in what is now Central Saanich in 1855. By the early 1900’s, both the Victoria and Sidney Railway (V&S), and BC Electric Railway were in operation, with service to Victoria, Sydney, and Saanichton, while barges carried cement from the BC Cement factory at Tod Inlet (now the famous Canadian National Historic Site, Butchart Gardens) around the Saanich Peninsula to Victoria’s Inner Harbour to be shipped off to international markets. Incorporated as a district municipality in 1950, The area’s highly fertile soil, prized by its early community of mostly farmers, rewarded their toils growing hops, fruit, grain, and berries, finally resulting in the bustling district of homes, businesses, small working farms, vineyards, and cideries of today.
School District 63 Saanich services the Saanich Peninsula and nearby Sidney. It includes eight elementary schools, three middle schools, and three secondary schools, and proudly represents nearly 8,000 students. In addition, the district also operates a children's development centre, two individual learning centres, and an international student program.
Central Saanich is one of three district municipalities located on the Saanich Peninsula of Vancouver Island, about 21 km north of Victoria, and includes the communities of Saanichton and Brentwood Bay. Central Saanich is surrounded to the North by the District of North Saanich, to the South by the District of Saanich, to the east by the Haro Strait, and to the west by the Saanich Inlet.