The district of Central Saanich boasts a unique blend of rural charm and urban conveniences, making it an ideal place to call home. With attractive waterfront and waterview properties and a pastoral atmosphere due to agricultural zoning, it’s no surprise that Central Saanich is highly sought after. Located on the Saanich Peninsula, it provides quick access to the city, Victoria International airport, and the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal. The district comprises two main communities, Brentwood Bay and Saanichton, and has progressed from being a largely agricultural community with hobby farms to a residential, commercial, and industrial development hub in recent years.
Many rural properties in Central Saanich rely on wells and septic fields, so it’s essential to investigate the water supply and quality before buying a country property here. While garbage pickup should be arranged with a private company, the Capital Regional District (CRD) provides regular recyclable pickup and Emergency 911 services. Moreover, the district has an impressive volunteer Fire Department and its police service.
The district’s most notable tourist attraction is the famous Butchart Gardens, a 50-acre estate that offers a spectacular display of flowers, bulbs, shrubs, and trees all year round. The district also hosts the traditional, old-fashioned agricultural Saanich Fair, which has been celebrated for the past 143 years. This fun-filled day features various equine competitions, artwork contests, hair-rising rides, and game stalls, making it a must-attend event.
Overall, Central Saanich is a district that embraces progress while carefully preserving its history, offering a relaxed and comfortable lifestyle that residents love.
Central Saanich Sub-Area Attraction Pages:
Victoria Butterfly Garden
Victoria Butterfly Gardens is a must-visit attraction in Brentwood Bay, Greater Victoria, British Columbia. This beautiful garden offers a chance to walk among tropical animals, vegetation, and butterflies in their natural habitat. You can meander through a real tropical jungle and see flamingos, tortoises, giant koi, rare tropical birds, and free-flying butterflies while they feed on their favorite tropical fruits.
The Butterfly Garden is located just five minutes away from Butchart Gardens, and with very reasonable admission prices, you will want to spend the day walking through the jungle with all there is to see and do. Admission is good for the whole day, giving you plenty of time to take in all the beauty. However, one day is rarely enough time to take in both of these amazing attractions.
The Gardens are open every day of the year except for Christmas Day on December 25. Hours do vary according to the time of the year.
- December 31 – March 6: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (visitors can explore until 4:00 p.m.)
- March 7 – October 30: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (visitors can explore until 5:00 p.m.)
- October 31 – December 18: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (visitors can explore until 4:00 p.m.)
- December 19 – 30: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (visitors can explore until 6:00 p.m.)
The Butterfly Garden’s tropical jungle eco-system is 12,000 square feet, and strict controls are in place to maintain the right balance of humidity and temperature, providing the perfect environment for all the animals and vegetation to thrive, grow, and reproduce naturally.
With up to 75 different species and hundreds of free-flying butterflies, the experience of having one land on or next to you is truly magical. Visitors can watch the entire life cycle of butterflies as well as moths beginning at the emerging room and throughout the Gardens.
Many people, both children and adults, have interesting questions about butterflies, such as:
- How long do butterflies live?
- What do butterflies eat?
- How many different types of butterflies exist?
- Is there such a thing as a poisonous butterfly?
The knowledgeable staff at Victoria Butterfly Gardens are always happy to answer questions about butterflies and other creatures within the Gardens. The Gardens are also home to many exotic birds, fish, and animals, including rescue animals that are often donated to Victoria Butterfly Gardens when their owners are no longer able to provide all that is needed for them to thrive.
Butterflies are not the only amazing creatures that can be seen at Victoria Butterfly Gardens. The tropical jungle is home to a variety of fish and exotic birds from all over the world. Many of the animals that live within the Gardens are ‘rescue animals’ that have been donated to Victoria Butterfly Gardens when their owners are no longer able to provide for them.
Similar to the butterflies, all the birds are also free-flying. Visitors can also see free-range tree frogs, geckos, and wall lizards. The 15,000-gallon pond has a wonderful variety of tropical fish and plenty of room for them to swim around in. While walking through the jungle, keep an eye out for some of the Garden’s favorites like Leo, the orange-winged Amazon Parrot, Spike, the Peruvian Puna Ibis, and Mango and Houdini, the two Caribbean Flamingos.
Make sure you explore the Gardens for a truly tropical adventure where the vegetation provides a natural dwelling for creatures that call this area home. Treat your senses to more than 200 species of orchids, thousands of tropical plants, including ones that are popular foods around the world, and even a carnivorous plant display.
Don’t forget to visit their gift shop to get some unique items to remember your visit by or to surprise some special people on your gift list.
The Victoria Butterfly Gardens are conveniently located at 1461 Benvenuto Avenue, Brentwood Bay, just 20 km north of downtown Victoria and just 18 km south of the Swartz Bay ferry. Other ways to get to the Gardens include:
- Direct Shuttle – from select hotels and downtown Victoria. For more information, you can call them at: 250.386.8652 or 1.877.578.5552
- Public Transit – for more specific information call 1.800.382.6161
- Car & Swartz Bay Ferry – Complete driving directions can be found on Victoria Butterfly Garden’s website.
Visit Victoria Butterfly Gardens today for an unforgettable experience with nature!
Sea Cider Farm & Cider House
Sea Cider Farm & Cider House, located in Saanichton on southern Vancouver Island, is a local, family-owned orchard with over 1,300 apple trees and more than 50 heritage apple varieties. Their traditionally fermented ciders have gained popularity and can be found throughout BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Washington State, Illinois, and Oregon.
The farm offers tasting and tours year-round, allowing visitors to sample their award-winning ciders from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Some of their popular medal-winning ciders include:
- Flagship – A German-style cider that is free of added sulphites and one of the few commercially produced ciders in the world.
- Pippins – This gold medalist cider has a sharp style and uses Yellow Newton Pippin apples and cool fermentation from champagne yeast.
- Rumrunner (Prohibition) – Hand-pressed and crafted with home-grown heritage apples.
In addition to these, Sea Cider Farm & Cider House also offers other ciders worth sampling. For instance:
- Ruby Rose – A limited-release cider available in summer, perfect for lighter meals and creamy Brie, salty snacks, or candied salmon.
- Pomona – Crafted with certified organic apples and slowly fermented, resulting in a dessert-style cider.
The farm offers a varied and extensive tasting menu, including an Artisan lunch plate with local meats, cheeses, bread, crackers, jelly, and dip. Visitors are advised to check their tasting and food menu beforehand as prices may change from time to time.
Sea Cider Farm & Cider House is also an excellent venue for weddings or corporate events with its stunning backdrop of the Salish Sea, mountains, and pristine orchard. The farm offers assistance with coordinating vendors, beverage service, and supervision to ensure a stress-free and memorable day.
Whether planning a cider tasting day with friends or a family-fun day of exploring, Sea Cider Farm & Cider House offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere to ensure a memorable day for all. Visitors can also cycle to the farm or come with a tour bus.
Island View Beach Regional Park
If picnicking, swimming, camping and walks along a long sandy beach is your idea of having fun and relaxing then Island View Regional Park is a sure bet. Take in the amazing panoramic seascape views of Mount Baker, James Island, and Haro Strait while enjoying an easy and scenic walk on the loop trail.
Island View Regional Park has an RV and tent campground that operates from Victoria Day weekend through to the Labour Day long weekend. The fees are very reasonable at
- $15.00/night for tents
- $20.00/night for RVs
- additional $10.00 for an extra vehicle
Keep in mind that cash is the only form of payment they accept. The park has 18 beachfront RV sites, 24 treed tent sites, and 5 treed tent trailer sites. The campground provides picnic areas, waterfront views, a drinking water station, public garbage bins, a group fire ring, and pit toilets.
It’s important to be prepared as the park does not have a dumping station, showers, hydro, or individual fire pits. Check the Alerts and Notices section on their website for any fire bans or restrictions that may be in place during your stay. Despite these minor limitations, Island View Regional Park is a great place for a fun outdoor family vacation.
Enjoy a great circular walk that campers of all ages will love, heading north down the beach and choosing one of the access trails that run through the foredunes. Don’t forget to pack a picnic before you leave and head back along the inland trail and through the old salt marsh where you can stop at their picnic area.
Spring and fall are the seabirds and shorebirds migration times, where you can watch them enjoy a meal on the eelgrass beds and hunt for worms and clams during low tide. With an amazing and fragile balance within this ecosystem, it’s important to keep an adequate distance from the birds and to keep dogs on the trails and under control at all times.
Island View Regional Park provides habitat for some of British Columbia’s most threatened shorebirds like the Oystercatchers. It’s important to watch for signs of evasive behavior that might mean you’re too close to a nest.
The campground operates on a first-come, first-served basis, and they do not accept any online or phone reservations. Take a look at their brochure, which shows a map of the grounds and surrounding area, as well as the campground’s features, facilities, and rules. There is also a simple map of the roads leading to the campground.
Plan your next outdoor vacation to Island View Regional Park, where you can enjoy the beach, scenic walks, and bird watching all in one place.
Butchart Gardens in Victoria, on southern Vancouver Island is a must-visit tourist destination in Canada. The stunning gardens have won numerous awards for their beauty, dining room, and top-performing attractions. The land was initially purchased for its rich limestone deposits by Mr. Butchart. As the deposits depleted, Mrs. Butchart began transforming the barren pit into a garden, which over the years has grown into one of Canada’s top tourist attractions, welcoming visitors from all over the world.
The gardens are open year-round and offer unique displays in every season. Here are some highlights:
- Spring: Shrubs, trees, and bulbs of all kinds burst into life, filling the air with fragrances and the sights of the coming season.
- Summer: Everything comes into full bloom, creating a cornucopia of colors and scents. Visitors can also enjoy concerts and Saturday night fireworks from June 15 to September 15.
- Fall: The cooler autumn nights bring out the vibrant colors of golden, red, and russet maples. This is also the perfect time to bask in the serenity of the Japanese Garden. In November, you can book a tour of the Greenhouse and take a peek behind-the-scenes.
- Winter: Despite the winter season, many trees, shrubs, and flowers, such as the lush hellebore and dainty snowdrops, are in full bloom. December brings special activities known as “The Magic of Christmas Season,” including enchanting walks through the “Twelve Days of Christmas” display and hot chocolate for children who bring handmade paper snowflakes to exchange at the Coffee Shop.
While the gardens themselves are spectacular, there is much more to do at Butchart Gardens. Popular attractions include:
- Boat Tour: Take a relaxing cruise around Brentwood Bay and Tod Inlet while learning about the area’s history and seeing herons, eagles, otters, and seals in their natural habitat. This is a summer-only event, and you can check out boat tour rates on their site.
- Children’s Pavilion & Rose Carousel: Perfect for children and the young at heart, this attraction is available year-round.
- Living Fossils Walk: Learn about ancient trees referred to as “living fossils.”
From summer concerts and fireworks to winter ice skating, Christmas lights, and hot chocolate, Butchart Gardens offers a magical experience all year round. The gardens are also perfect for special events like weddings, business meetings, and birthday parties. There are several event venues, each with their unique characteristics and offerings.
End your day of walking and exploring the beautiful garden displays with a fabulous meal at one of the many dining venues offered at the Gardens. They offer first-class, award-winning plated dinners, “Afternoon Tea,” and casual fare in the coffee shop. Before you leave, make sure you stop by the Gift Shop for amazing souvenirs perfect for anyone on your gift list. They do have an online gift shop as well in case you wish to purchase an item once you’ve returned home.
Admission to Butchart Gardens is reasonable and varies depending on the time of year. Seasonal rates are available on their website, and they offer several different types of multi-use passes. Their hours of operation vary depending on the time of year, so it is a good idea to check their website for a complete list of operating hours.
Getting to Butchart Gardens is easy, and there are several travel options available, including BC Transit via route 75, Gray Line Sightseeing for the Butchart Gardens Express Shuttle, Cycle Treks for a cycling adventure, or by car using driving directions from Victoria. You can view other travel options on their website’s “Location” page or contact them at 250.652.5256 or toll-free at 866.652.4422. You can also email them at [email protected]
Plan your visit to Butchart Gardens and experience the beauty, tranquility, and wonder of this world-renowned attraction.
Central Saanich Municipal Hall
Central Saanich, located on the Saanich Peninsula near Victoria, has a rich agricultural heritage and a growing population. As the district continues to expand, residents enjoy all the amenities that one would expect from a larger population.
The Central Saanich Municipal Hall website provides essential information on local events, attractions, parks, and recreation, as well as bylaws, permits, and community newsletters.
Central Saanich is located within a 30-minute drive from several universities and colleges. The district takes pride in the growth of both knowledge-based and manufacturing industries, which has resulted in a low environmental footprint. The district is home to some well-respected and recognized higher learning institutions, including;
- University of Victoria
- Royal Roads University
- Camosun College.
The district boasts several must-visit attractions, including Butchart Gardens, Island View Regional Park, and Butterfly Gardens. Visitors can enjoy concerts, fireworks, and tours throughout the year at Butchart Gardens, while Island View Regional Park offers scenic hiking trails, a pristine beach, and camping. The Butterfly Gardens is an excellent spot for a family day out and features beautiful butterflies, parrots, turtles, fish, and more.
Central Saanich hosts several events during the summer months, including Music in the Park, Central Saanich Days, and the Saanich Fair. Additional community events, such as the New Year’s Family Celebration, Halloween Howl, and Free Swim & Skates, are offered by Panorama Recreation and can be accessed via the Central Saanich Municipal Hall Calendar.
For 50+ residents, Central Saanich has a vibrant center that can be reached at 250.652.4611 or by emailing [email protected]. For more information on local events or municipal issues, residents and visitors can contact the Central Saanich Municipal Hall at 250.652.4444. The website also provides links to transportation services like BC Ferries.
Whether you’re new to the area, planning a visit, or a long-term resident, the Central Saanich Municipal Hall website provides a wealth of information on the district.