West Shore Neighbourhood Information
Victoria, British Columbia
Your Guide to Living in West Shore
The West Shore is the fastest growing region in the Greater Victoria Area, and once you visit it is easy to see why. The different districts of the West Shore offer unique experiences to suit any personality, from big-city convenience to remote, tranquil country life.
Where is West Shore
The West Shore is located west of Victoria, bordered to the south by the Juan de Fuca Strait. The Old Island Highway and Trans-Canada Highway both run through the West Shore, connecting these communities to Victoria as well as the northern cities of Vancouver Island and further west community of Sooke.
A quaint little town, View Royal is currently home to over 10,000 residents and is growing quickly. Nestled along the coastline between Langford and Victoria, View Royal is in the ideal location for commuters to either city, while still offering its own host of amenities, including great local pubs, craft breweries, and restaurants. View Royal is also home to Thetis Lake. A favorite swimming hole for locals, Thetis Lake is a great spot for novice kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders. Its gentle but beautiful hiking trails are a great place to go for a quick jog or just stretch your legs and escape the hustle of city life.
A small but tight-knit community, the Highlands offers a world of natural wonders just a quick trip away from the amenities of the city. The Highlands is primarily a residential area with homes on large lots that lend themselves easily to gardening and farming. The Highlands is also home to an abundance of parks, with over one third of the neighbourhood being made up of protected parkland. Take a steep and rewarding hike up Mount Work surrounded by colourful arbutus trees, or pack a picnic for a trip through Gowlland Todd Provincial Park for amazing views of the Saanich inlet.
The largest city on the West Shore, Langford is a young, growing community with all of the conveniences of a city while still being a quick trip away from the natural beauty of the island. Langford has some of the best shopping centres in the West Shore. For outdoor enthusiasts, the northwest end of Langford is home to Goldstream Provincial Park. This beautiful park is teeming with a variety of hiking trails, picnic spots, and is the most popular spot to view the annual salmon spawn up Goldstream River every fall.
Small, beautiful, and just on the edge of remote, Metchosin is a rural community of roughly 5000 residents. This neighbourhood is comprised of farmland and pristine beaches. The area is covered by miles of hiking and cycling trails, including the world-class Galloping Goose Trail. This pastoral beauty is located just thirty minutes away from Victoria, and a quick fifteen-minute drive away from the heart of downtown Langford.
Sitting at a population of over 16,000 people and growing fast, Colwood is a popular area for families because of its expansive coastlines, multitude of employment opportunities, and convenient location (only 10 kilometres from downtown Victoria!). Colwood is home to the beautiful Esquimalt Lagoon, a favourite spot for bird watching, hiking and kayaking.
Schools in West Shore
The West Shore is part of School District 62 Sooke. This district offers a variety of different educational opportunities, including French immersion, fine arts programs, gifted and talented programs, and hockey academies across each of the different neighbourhoods. Because of its rapid growth, the West Shore is home to a brand new high school in Colwood, Royal Bay Secondary, and has greatly benefited from some impressive renovations to Belmont Secondary School in Langford.
Education in the West Shore does not stop at high school. In Colwood, Royal Roads University offers unique programs designed for working professionals. Because of increased transit services, it is also easy for students living in the West Shore to commute to Camosun College and the University of Victoria.
Shopping in West Shore
The West Shore offers easy access to the shopping opportunities in Victoria, never more than a quick drive away. In recent years, however, the main shopping hub for the West Shore is the city of Langford. Langford attracts people from across southern Vancouver Island to its hub of national retail chains in Millstream Village, or to its quaint boutiques along Goldstream Avenue. Langford is the home to many big box stores that are largely absent from the southern part of the island, including Costco, Real Canadian Superstore, and PetSmart.
Did You Know
The West Shore is composed of the communities of Colwood, Langford, View Royal, Metchosin, and the Highlands. This region lies to the west of Victoria, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island from Esquimalt Harbour to rocky Point along the shore of Juan de Fuca Strait which leads out to the Pacific Ocean.
West Shore Parks and Recreation
The West Shore communities are served by the West Shore Recreation Society, which runs several different facilities across the region, including several arenas, sports fields, and the popular Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre in Langford.
The area is also home to some of the most incredible parks on Vancouver Island, both popular and hidden. Some favourite local trips include swimming in Langford Lake in Langford, hiking in Havenwood Park in Colwood, exploring Witty’s Lagoon in Metchosin, and summiting Lone Tree Hill in the Highlands. Each neighbourhood offers its own unique taste of West Coast outdoor adventures!
The West Shore communities are easily accessible by car from Victoria or upper Vancouver Island along the Trans-Canada highway or the Old Island Highway. Bus services are also constantly expanding throughout the region, connecting these communities to Victoria and Sooke, as well as increasing services within the communities themselves. Running from downtown Victoria through each of these communities and out to Sooke is the Galloping Goose Trail, a favourite protected pathway for commuter cyclists heading in any direction.