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Saanich [1] on Vancouver Island, is a suburb of Victoria. With a population of over 100 thousand, Saanich is the largest municipality on Vancouver Island, but don't let that fool you: Saanich is not much more than your typical sprawling suburb.

Get in[edit]

Both the Trans-Canada (from the rest of Vancouver Island) and the Pat Bay (from the ferry terminal to Vancouver) highways pass through Saanich before entering Victoria.

Get around[edit]

Saanich is well served by public transit. Most busses in downtown Victoria will go to or pass through Saanich.

See[edit][add listing]

Do[edit][add listing]

The only things you'll really want to do in Saanich is hike or relax on a beach. Here are some suggestions:

  • Cadboro Bay Beach is the most popular ocean beach in Saanich. Follow McKenzie Avenue east past the University of Victoria. Keep following as it turns into Sinclair Road and then a tiny dead-end street with Cadboro Bay Beach at the end of it.
  • Centre of the Universe is an observatory located on the top of Little Saanich Mountain, located just off West Saanich Road.[2]
  • Elk-Beaver Lake Regional Park is located alongside the Pat Bay Highway and you will notice Elk Lake to your right when driving into Victoria from the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal. Both lakes (technically one lake with different names, connected by a channel) are popular swimming locations and there is a trail that circumnavigates the entire lake.
  • Mount Douglas Park is located on the edge of Gordon Head neighbourhood. It features extensive walking trails and a beautiful view across farmland and Greater Victoria.
  • Mount Tolmie Park is actually just a small hill but the most popular place in Greater Victoria to see a view of the skyline and surrounding scenery. Drive up Mayfair Drive, and park you car at the summit where you can watch the most stunning sunsets in Victoria. Mount Tolmie is also somewhat accessible by bus, take the #14 UVIC, but get off at Cedar Avenue (along Richmond Road) and you can scramble up the hill from there.
  • Swan Lake Park is located just behind the main commercial centre in the heart of Saanich. Swan Lake Park is connected to the Swan Lake-Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. There is a nature trail that goes around Swan Lake on a boardwalk through beautiful marshlands. A building located at the main entrance contains information about the natural wildlife in the area. Continue you trek with a short hike up Christmas Hill, across McKenzie Avenue from Swan Lake. To reach Swan Lake by car, head north from Victoria on Highway 17 (Blanshard Street in Victoria becomes Vernon Avenue in Saanich which becomes the Pat Bay Highway) and the McKenzie Avenue exit. Turn right on Mckenzie, then immediately right on Rainbow Road. Follow until Ralph Street, turn left, then turn right on Swan Lake Road. The park is also connected to the Galloping Goose Regional Trail.[3]

There are also numerous public golf courses in Saanich, including Uplands Golf Course, Cedar Hill Park & Golf Course, and Cordova Bay Golf Course.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Tilicum Shopping Centre is the biggest mall in Saanich, located at the intersection of Burnside Road and Tillicum Road. Famous Players SilverCity, the largest cinema in Greater Victoria is located behind the mall.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Most options here are fast-food and chain restaurants. But if you don't want to head back into Victoria proper:

  • 1550's Pub Style Restaurant, 1550 Cedar Hill X Rd. (between Cedar Hill Rd. and Shelbourne), 472-0047.[4] Typical pub fare, but very good. Great location for hangover brunch; sitting on the patio is quite pleasant.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Maude Hunter's Pub is a neighbourhood pub at 3810 Shelbourne Street.[5]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Get out[edit]

Routes through Saanich
Vancouver (via Bc99.png )Sidney  N noframe S  Victoria - END

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