The Western Communities
Commonly called the “West Shore”, this is one of the fastest growing suburban areas just outside of Victoria. Encompassing View Royal, Colwood, Langford, Metchosin, and the Highlands, the area boasts upscale and big box shopping, new subdivisions and one of the highest concentrations of lakes, hills, and wilderness.
When the Island Investment Company obtained land in 1912 and marketed the lots “View Royal” because of their “royal view”, the name stuck. A town steeped in history, the National Historic Site of Craigflower Manor which was completed in 1856, and the Schoolhouse in 1855, are both the oldest school and oldest surviving public house in B.C. Four Mile and Six Mile Pubs are two historic road houses that have existed for approximately 150 years. Home of the popular View Royal Casino, the town boasts 25 km of trails and 70 municipal parks. Thetis Lake Regional Park boarders Langford and offers seasonal swimming, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. With residential growth expanding, the population is just under 11,000.
Located southwest of Victoria, another rapidly developing area, the City of Colwood, has old roots and new growth. The Colwood Dairy and Cheese House, built in 1852, is one of the 6 oldest structures in the province. With a continually growing population, there are plenty of activities for the 15,000 residents. The city hosts weekly and seasonal events at the Colwood waterfront featuring musicians, artists, fun activities, and food trucks. For the history buff, National Historic sites such as Hatley Castle (now the site of Royal Roads University and location for several Hollywood movies and tv series such as X-men, Deadpool, Arrow and Smallville), Fort Rodd Hill, and Fisgard Lighthouse all offer stories of the regions early beginnings. For the outdoor enthusiast, parks and trails abound.
This city is the urban core of the Western Communities. It boasts a modern, West Coast style and has been a booming development site in recent years. It is the fastest growing municipality in the CRD. Goldstream Provincial Park attracts thousands of visitors each year to watch the salmon spawn. The Galloping Goose Trail lets commuters ride off the beaten track between Victoria and outlaying communities.
Located 20 minutes from Victoria, with a population of just under 5,000, the District of Metchosin has miles of pristine hiking trails and beaches. It’s a bird watcher’s and artist’s paradise.
Indigenous petroglyphs can be found in East Sooke Park. There is a coastal trail which offers a challenging day hike. This area is also popular with recreational fishermen. Witty’s Lagoon, a celebrated wet land has a unique ecosystem, and is a big tourist draw. United World College – Pearson College is located here as well as the Metchosin Summer School of the Arts.
Rural in nature, this small, mainly residential community has an abundance of outdoor activities to suit those seeking a recreational lifestyle. The Sooke School District provides all three levels of education and there is ample shopping in neighbouring Langford.