Which Municipality Is Right For You? West Shore Edition
Posted by Niels Madsen on
When looking for the perfect home, location is everything! You don’t just want to find a good place to live, you want to find the right place to live for you.
That means finding somewhere whose personality matches yours, and somewhere that provides you with the right context for achieving your goals. To help you, we’ve written this guide on choosing the right municipality of Greater Victoria for you, focusing on the West Shore area.
Situated a mere 30 minutes outside of downtown Victoria, Langford is one of Western Canada’s fastest-growing cities.
It has proven itself to be the ideal location for young families and couples looking for an affordable but still attractive alternative to near-city living, thanks to the council’s focus on promoting housing development projects to attract first-time buyers.
As the urban heart of the West Shore area, Langford offers an array of amenities, including spectacular lakes and a wide selection of shopping and dining options.
Langford Highlights include:
City Centre Park - which has playing fields, splash park, bowling alley, fitness centre, and more!
Goldstream Avenue - an array of coffee shops, restaurants, and boutique shops
West Shore Town Centre - Langford’s largest shopping centre with over 80 stores
- Plus a large selection of supermarkets and big box stores, including southern Vancouver Island's only Costco
Langford is also famed for picturesque lakes — Glen, Thetis, and Langford to name a few — which alongside Goldstream Provincial Park make it ideal for families and couples who like to enjoy a day out without sacrificing on amenities and commute time.
Despite being a popular commuting option to downtown Victoria, Langford’s rush hour traffic is worth keeping in mind, with residents often noting long queues in the morning and evening on the highway. What can be a 20 minute drive on clear roads can be one hour+ in the traffic.
Alternatively to being in the car, the Galloping Goose Trail connects Langford to Victoria - be green while getting to work and enjoy the scenery!
Bus links are simple with routes like the 50 going direct from Goldstream Avenue to downtown, but when you get more further into the neighbourhoods of Langford, bus schedules and routes can be quite infrequent.
But if do want to get around by car, and it is easiest to get around if you do, there is free parking throughout the city!
Routinely voted one of the best and safest communities in Western Canada, Colwood has a lot to offer for those looking for a quieter pace, whether you’re thinking about retirement or looking for space for your growing family.
Central to Colwood’s appeal is its idyllic nature. Located beside seven glorious kilometers of waterfront, it's bookended by the verdant old-growth forests that typify the landscape of the Pacific Northwest.
This location also helps to promote a strong sense of community and attracts people who like to live an active lifestyle, with everything from surfing to hiking.
Colwood also has a rich history, with a number of nationally renowned historic sites.
Hatley Castle - located on the grounds of the Royal Roads University, this 20th-century castle was designed to emulate the baroque height of Victorian-era architecture and can be seen in a number of film and tv projects, including X-Men and Arrow
Fort Rodd Hill -a 19th century artillery site, it has since become a prominent historical site and boasts beautiful sea views
Fisgard Lighthouse - situated adjacent to Fort Rodd Hill, this was the first lighthouse built on the West Coast of Canada and is a designated historical site
Don’t let the quiet pace fool you, Colwood also has plenty of plans to grow its fledgling coastal community. Its population is expected to double in the next 25 years.
It also boasts the exciting seaside development of Royal Bay, as well as a number of exciting commercial opportunities.
In line with this, the city is also working with BC Transit to improve transport links, and BC Ferries hopes to develop a passenger ferry to Victoria’s inner harbour.
Incorporated in 1988, and offering comfortable lakeside living, the residential community of View Royal is a great option for people looking to commute or work in Victoria but with a lakeside haven to come home to.
With a diverse range of housing options, it has something for all budgets, making it great for young professionals and first-time buyers.
Despite the relatively recent incorporation, the area has a long history, with the Coast Salish people having lived there for centuries prior to European settlement in the 1850s, giving it a wide variety of historical sites for residents to enjoy.
Craigflower Manor And Schoolhouse - a two-story farmhouse that is the third oldest building in BC, this fun educational attraction gives visitors a chance to experience an authentic taste of 19th-century settler life
Six Mile Pub - established in 1855, the Six Mile is the oldest continually operating pub in BC
- West Shore Parks & Recreation - offering a wide variety of fitness, recreation, health and wellness programs as well as arts and crafts opportunities, so whether you enjoy a stroll in the park, a swim in the pool, playing soccer with friends, or a round of golf, they have programs and facilities for everyone
The appeal of View Royal undoubtedly lies in its natural bounty, whether it’s the tree-lined shores of Thetis Lake with its array of inlets and bays, or the abundant woodland parks of the Francis Regional park, there are many beautiful walking trails in this little municipality.
For those searching for the platonic ideal of the rural experience — a quiet life nestled in nature — the Highlands municipality, situated to the northwest of Victoria would be a perfect choice.
A picturesque community, it’s still close enough to the city to provide access to work and amenities, while still preserving the quiet of the country.
The core of Highlands community is built on a commitment to conservation and stewardship, making it perfect for those who put an emphasis on living a sustainable lifestyle.
The area has a number of development laws intended to protect the local ecosystem and encourages the building of homes that fit in with the natural environment.
In keeping with these environmental values, one-third of the municipality is comprised of verdant parkland, including some of the Pacific Northwest’s longest trail systems.
Caleb Pike Heritage Park - a three-acre park with a number of heritage buildings and an orchard
Gowlland Tod Provincial Park - situated on the east shore and uplands of the Saanich Inlet, this park was created to memorialize the legacy of the Victoria Commonwealth Games
Mount Work Regional Park - with three dazzling small freshwater lakes and some of the regions most popular hikes, including the Summit Trail which leads to the top of Mt Work, it's a scenic and quiet walk
The Highlands area also enjoys a strong community infrastructure with a wide variety of events and a real communal commitment to making the neighbourhood perfect for everyone.
No matter where you want to live, we have you covered, with a wealth of expertise we can help you find your dream home. To find out more, get in touch with us today.