SAANICH (British Columbia)


Saanich (District of Saanich) is Vancouver's most populated municipality. It is located north of Victoria. It is the province's largest core municipality, which has a wide scope of rural and urban areas stretching up to the Saanich Peninsula. Saanich is known for its shoreline and the visitors frequent two of its sandy beaches, the Cadboro Bay Beach and the Cordova Bay Beach.


The word Saanich means emerging land or emerging people. The first settlers of the municipality are the First Nations but the noted history started around 1840s, upon the arrival of Hudson's Bay Company. In 1852, a man from Scotland arrived and ordered the construction of the Maple Point School. This man, Kenneth McKenzie, traveled with his family through the Norman Morison Ship of the Hudson's Bay Company. He intended to put up a farm for the Puget Sound Agricultural Company. He wanted to build a school for the farmers' children. This school is now referred to as the Craigflower Schoolhouse. It is now the oldest surviving school building in Western Canada. Saanich is also the home for the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory telescope. This 72-inch reflecting telescope was fabricated in 1918 and was designed by an astronomer, Dr. John Stanley.


╣various public art exhibits. Most cities and towns appreciate their culture and heritage by displaying artistic crafts. In Saanich, public art is one way to express. It is, economically speaking, also a way to establish parks and structure. Public art displayed within the district of Saanich are made by contemporary artists using modern media like glass, stones and metals.

╣historical structures. History is often told by the ruins left by the past. Saanich has some significant structures that you might want to visit. At the Vernon Avenue stands the Municipal Hall. This hall was unable to function after the Second World War so it was extended and altered. The Admirals Road houses Puget Sound Agricultural Company, the establishment that made way to the construction of the now Craigflower Schoolhouse. The 1911 Saanich Municipal Hall stands on West Saanich Road. At Lambrick Way, you will find Captain Charles and Grace Dodd’s home, the oldest house still standing in Saanich. At the Haro Road, Letitia Jean and Algernon Henry Pease’s property, including the water tower.

╣shopping centers. Shopping malls are also a common sight around the city aside from the numerous residential areas. The biggest shopping mall you will find in Saanich is the Tillicum Shopping Center is the biggest mall in Saanich. To go to this location, head to the intersection of Burnside Road and Tillicum Road. This shopping center has over fifty stores including popular brands like Winners, Home Outfitters, Old Navy, PetCetera, Zellers, London Drugs and Safeway. You can also catch the screening of new movie releases. Behind the mall is the famous Players SilverCity. Visiting Saanich should include movies at the largest cinema in the Greater Victoria Area. Another shopper's paradise is the Broadmead Village, which is located east of the Patricia Bay Highway south of Cordova Bay and north of Mount Douglas Park. It is a commercial shopping center for most residents. The building has a contemporary architecture and was originally designed by the Guinness family.

╣Cadboro Bay Beach. Have a swim in this sandy beach while hunting for the mythical "Cadborosaurus." To get to Cadboro Bay, you only need to follow the McKenzie Avenue to Sinclair Road. Once you have reached a narrow dead-end street, Cadboro Bay will be at the end. If you are on traveling via the Pat Bay, you can stop by the Elk-Beaver Lake Regional Park. Take a dip or hike the trails to see the surroundings of the lake.

╣the Observatory, sometimes referred to as the Center of the Universe. It is located on top of the Little Saanich Mountain.

╣any of Saanich's natural parks and conservation areas. Parks like the Mount Douglas and Mount Tolmie are great for hiking adventures. Walking along the trails allows you to see the spectacular farmlands as well as the Greater Victoria area. Watch stunning sunsets at the Mayfair Drive. Another body of water to tour is the Swan Lake Park. This marshland is connected to the Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary where you can watch wildlife. You can reach most of these destinations by car or by trekking. However, walking will give a chance to stop and look at the wonderful scenery.

╣Pearkes Recreation Center. If you are into sports and indoor recreational activities, you should visit this place at Tillicum Road. They have amenities like ice rinks, a strength-training center, dance studios and courts. This center also houses the Saanich Centennial Public Library. You can call them and ask for skating schedules and lessons so you learn while you explore in Saanich.

╣Cedar Hill Golf Course. If golf is your hobby, this place is a must for you. The golf course is located at Derby Road, Victoria and is open on Mondays to Fridays from 8:30am to 4:00pm, and on Weekends and Holidays from 8:00am to 5:00pm. They offer full 18-hole courses as well as Short Game practices for new learners and children. The Learning Center caters to golfers of all levels so there is no need to worry whether this will be your first golf experience.


If you have been to Victoria before, going to Saanich would be easy because the main highways Trans-Canada and Pat Bay pass through Saanich before they enter Victoria. The Trans-Canada Highway is an accessible route for visitors coming from other parts of the Vancouver Island while the Pat Bay caters to tourists from the ferry terminal to Vancouver.

Because this city is the core of Victoria, transportation is not a problem. The city has sufficient public vehicles that will politely serve both locals and tourists. Buses are also abundant because Saanich is near downtown Victoria. One popular way of navigating around the district is through cycling. There are two major trails for cyclists. Otherwise, you may use the municipal road. The Galloping Goose Trail is an off-road trail that follows the tracks of an abandoned rail. The Lochside Trail will lead you from Switch Bridge to the northern regions of Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal. Mount Douglas and the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory are two of the attractions that you can visit by cycling around the municipality.

Saanich is a simple place where you can relax and be active. They encourage green living by establishing and developing parks and natural conservation areas. There are some rules and guidelines you should follow like the bicycle symbols. Places to stay in and restaurants to dine in are also plentiful but the attractions are mostly outdoor parks and wildlife areas.