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About Victoria

Victoria and its many colourful corners are simultaneously hip and historic, chock full of Victorian and Edwardian era homes, and gleaming modern towers. Easy to get around and imminently walkable, Victoria is well described as as a city of Villages, with numerous cherished community hubs anchoring its established neighbourhoods.

With its picturesque beauty, Victoria has always been a tourist town, but various factors have seen a demographic shift emerging over the past decade, with an increasingly young, family-focused, entrepreneurial makeup, a booming tech industry, and an ever-increasing demand for some of the country's best real estate, both locally and from outside markets.

Greater Victoria can be broadly divided into three regions: Core, Westshore, and Peninsula, although each region is comprised of several smaller municipalities. Because each municipality has its own personality, policies, politics, and bylaws, particularly where it comes to zoning, development, and property usage, I am always happy to answer questions about the ins and outs of purchasing property in a particular neighbourhood.


The city's downtown core is rife with residential buildings, ranging from restored heritage buildings to modern concrete, steel, and glass landmarks, as well as the heart of the city's thriving food and drink scene, entertainment district, shopping, a string of annual festivals, and numerous attractions. Downtown continues to be the magnetic hub where many Victorians come to live, work, and play. Just across the bridge is Victoria West, and the picturesque Songhees, where residents in the area's condominium developments enjoy excellent proximity to downtown amenities, and some of the most coveted views of the harbour. Esquimalt is proud home to CFB Esquimalt and Canada's Pacific naval fleet - a long-established community with many charming pockets, heritage homes, a selection of waterfront condos and detached homes, and the potential to become one of Victoria's up-and-coming real estate hot spots In the coming years.

James Bay, just to the south of downtown, is the Core's most demographically diverse area, with a mixture of character homes, apartment towers, and waterfront properties, as well as Fisherman's Wharf with its vibrant float home community, all centered around a village core where residents grab groceries, coffee, sushi, and more. Beacon Hill Park covers 185 picturesque acres between James Bay and Cook Street Village, on the edge of Fairfield. Cook Street Village is home to numerous markets, coffee houses, eateries, and a neighbourhood pub. Fairfield's tree-lined streets showcase a fascinating variety of properties and architectural styles; residents enjoy great walkability to parks, beaches, the village, and downtown amenities. Gonzales hill enjoys views around the south city and toward the water. Rockland is home to a number of turn of the century mansions, including Government House and Craigdarroch Castle. Further north, funky and historic Fernwood is centred around a charming village square anchored by the Belfry theatre, cafés, pub, and nearby Vic High, and the adjacent Oaklands neighbourhood is a central and family-friendly haven.

The Gorge neighbourhood stretches along the inland Gorge waterway that connects to the inner harbour. With its central location, many character homes, and pricing, it has been attracting a lot of buyers as an up-and-coming area.

Oak Bay

Bordering Victoria and Saanich to the East is Oak Bay. South Oak Bay is home to numerous landmark residences and luxury waterfront properties along McNeill bay and Willows Beach, the Victoria Golf Club, and the charming Oak Bay Village, which stretches along Oak Bay Avenue resembling an old-world High Street with merchants, grocers, cafés, and many other service providers. North Oak Bay/Henderson bridges the area between the Camosun College Lansdowne Campus and the University of Victoria. The Uplands is an exclusive enclave of luxury properties, situated on large lots, in an idyllic northern pocket towards Cadboro Bay.


Saanich covers a large geographical area, including the family-friendly oriented pockets spanning Glanford corridor as well as one of the city's tech business hubs, to the always-in-demand Gordon Head, where spacious, manicured lots make up a tranquil area surrounding the University of Victoria. Continuing north past Mount Douglas Park one finds Cordova Bay, with its many water view homes, built to take advantage of the area's gentle slope toward the coastline.

Saanich Peninsula

The Saanich Peninsula extends north, covering a blend of rural areas, farms, parkland, and neighbourhoods including the village cores in Brentwood Bay and Saanichton, finally reaching charming Sidney by the Sea just before the main transportation corridor terminates at the BC Ferry Terminal to the mainland. Sidney maintains its status as a separate town from Victoria, with a decidedly small-town feel. Beacon Avenue walks like an old-fashioned Main Street with cafés and shops, leading to a scenic waterfront.


The Westshore is comprised of a number of municipalities, including Colwood, home to Royal Roads University and Hatley Castle, an ever-developing city centre, and both newer and more established residential neighbourhoods; Langford, one of western Canada's fastest-growing communities, whose progressive local government continues to provide a growing list of amenities for residents, where a vibrant core has been developed around Goldstream avenue, and home to the world-class Bear Mountain, where two 18-hole Nicklaus-designed golf courses anchor a resort and community with many newly constructed luxury residences. The more rural flavors of The Highlands or Metchosin appeal to those who are looking for larger, more private, and quieter rural properties.

Of course, this is just a small glimpse of what the Capital Region has to offer. Having lived and owned property in many of the above areas, I am always happy to discuss not only how the benefits of a particular neighbourhood might fit in with your unique home buying decision, but also how the residential market for a particular area performs within the region.

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Dirk VanderWal
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Victoria, BC V8V 3K8

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