Colwood, located in the northern part of Victoria and southern Langford, boasts a population of around 16,000 residents and hosts over 800 businesses. The city is home to several top-quality schools, 3 golf courses, and 52 parks, making it an ideal location for families and nature lovers. Colwood is also a treasure trove of history, with 3 of the Greater Victoria Area’s national historic sites – Fort Rodd Hill, Hatley Castle, and Fisgard Lighthouse – situated here. Visitors and locals can enjoy exploring these sites while learning about the area’s rich history. For those who prefer to commute, BC Transit has identified the Island Highway as a potential corridor for a future rapid transit network connecting Colwood to Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Additionally, the city is committed to environmental sustainability, as demonstrated by initiatives such as the Solar Colwood program.

Colwood Sub-Area Attraction Pages:

Wildplay Element Park

Wildplay Element Park

Looking for an adrenaline-packed adventure? Look no further than WildPlay Element Park in Colwood! While there are plenty of outdoor activities like hiking and biking, this park is designed for thrill-seekers who want to push their limits. The park features three different Monkido obstacle courses that increase in difficulty as you progress. From jumping and swinging to climbing and zip-lining, you’ll be challenged with a variety of obstacles that will get your heart pumping. Whether you’re a kid or a senior, WildPlay Element Park is the perfect destination for anyone looking for an exciting and unforgettable experience.

Highlights of WildPlay Element Park

  • Admission to the Monkido courses is $34.99 for adults and $19.99 for kids
  • Admission to the “What’s to Fear Jump” is $19.99, or $14.99 when combined with the Monkido course
  • Easily accessible by car or bus
  • Pick up and drop off are available
  • Free parking
  • Personal event space is available- please call
  • Picnicking area
  • Footwear loans are available

While WildPlay Element Park is definitely a must-see for those visiting the Victoria area, it’s also an exciting staple entertainment venue for residents. That being said, there are definitely some tips you will need to remember, to help you get the most out of your experience.

How to Enjoy WildPlay Element Park

  • Make sure to sign the waiver in advance, so that your check-in goes smoothly.
  • Dress according to the weather. Even if it rains, you’ll still be out in it.
  • Wear closed-toe shoes that fasten on.
  • Be on time.
  • Stash or secure your valuables.
  • Visit the bathroom before you get suited up.
  • Don’t smoke on the premises.
  • You need to be healthy and able bodied to complete the course.

WildPlay Element Park takes safety seriously. Visitors are equipped with harnesses, cords, and helmets to ensure safety. They allow visitors only at designated departure times, as all activity is monitored. Safety classes are mandatory before each departure time, so guests know how to enjoy the park safely. 

Following the rules at WildPlay Element Park will help you have an enjoyable time, unleashing your inner child. With a pleasant atmosphere and friendly staff, the park encourages fun and excitement. Even if you fear heights, the park’s activities will keep you focused, and you’ll leave feeling more confident.

Westshore Parks & Rec Centre

Westshore Parks & Rec Centre

West Shore Parks and Recreation Center is a state-of-the-art recreational complex situated on 44 hectares at 1767 Island Highway. It is one of the premier recreational facilities in the Greater Victoria Area, catering to the western communities, including Colwood, Langford, Metchosin, Highlands, View Royal, and Juan de Fuca Electoral area. The center offers a wide range of recreational facilities, including swimming pools, fitness centers, sports fields, and much more, making it an ideal destination for individuals and families looking for an active lifestyle.

Attractions around the West Shore Parks and Recreation Center

Discover the top attractions around the West Shore Parks and Recreation Center, located in the heart of West Shore and surrounded by other amazing spots of interest. Within just a 5-minute drive, you can explore a wide range of attractions, including

  • The Thetis Lake Park – regional park, where you can take a walk, go for a bike ride in the stunning forests or dip into the lake during the hot weather;
  • Six Mile Pub – to feel up your empty stomach with Beer and Burger, and explore the old historical architecture of the pub building;
  • View Royal Casino – for those who are risk-takers and enjoy gambling;
  • Hatley Park – to plunge into the history of the early 20th century with its stunning castle, gorgeous gardens and fascinating horizons;
  • Esquimalt Lagoon – to enjoy the sea breeze and the enchanting beauty of nature from a 360 degrees view.

What West Shore Parks and Recreation Center has to offer

The Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre is the main building of the center, which offers a range of facilities for people of all ages. Some of the top-notch amenities of the center include:

– Juan de Fuca Arena with bleacher seats

– Swimming Pool with Swirl Pool/Sauna/Steam Room

– Weight Room with weight training and cardio equipment

– Fitness Studio with mirrors and a high-quality sound system

– Curling Rink

– Lookout Lounge

– Meeting Rooms

Besides the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, you can also find Juan de Fuca Library on the left side of the center. The library is a great place for book lovers and offers internet stations and Wi-Fi, audio and visual materials, and the latest publications of magazines and newspapers.

The 55+ Activity Centre, located next to the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, is a hub of activities for seniors. The Juan de Fuca Senior Citizens Association organizes a range of activities, including art and craft classes, games, learning opportunities, physical exercise classes, music, and dance activities.

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, head to the Juan de Fuca Lower Park, located just behind the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre. This park offers a range of outdoor sports and leisure opportunities, including golf courses, playing fields, BMX track, velodrome cycling track, beach volleyball courts, tennis courts, basketball courts, lacrosse box, lawn bowling, and jogging trail.

For those seeking adventure and extreme sports, the WildPlay West Shore Element Park offers exclusive top-tree obstacles and zip-line adventures through the exploratory jungle, located just behind The Q Arena, also known as Bear Mountain Arena.

West Shore Parks & Recreation also offers programs focused on art and music, leadership and youth empowerment, health and wellness, dietary and nutrition, finance, computers, and many other special courses. Additionally, the center is a home for various trade shows, festivals, special events, catering services, boardroom bookings, and facility rentals for personal use, such as weddings and birthday parties. With so many options, there’s something for everyone at the West Shore Parks and Recreation Center.

West Shore Parks & Recreation Centre Guide and App

West Shore Parks & Recreation Activity Guide will help you to know what is available at the moment with schedules, prices and all the information you might need. It’s that simple!

With West Shore Parks & Recreation App you will always be updated on upcoming event, admissions, schedules and much more. Stay connected to your community and stay healthy!

Hatley Park

Hatley Park, located near Esquimalt Lagoon, offers much more than the first glance suggests. While the castle, parking lot, and expansive lawn are the most visible features from a distance, a closer look reveals the park’s true beauty. The 565-acre property is divided into two distinct areas: the formal gardens and the forest. Exploring these areas showcases the diversity of Hatley Park’s offerings.

Highlights of Hatley Park

  • Extensive network of gardens and hiking trails
  • Nearby migratory bird sanctuary
  • Inexpensive admission to the gardens
  • Guided garden tours available
  • Spectacular views

The forest is largely old growth, with some newer trees as well. There is a ravine running through it, and a total of 15km of moderate-level hiking trails for those who prefer to wander through the type of forest that is typical of coastal British Columbia, instead of strolling through formal gardens. Here, among the towering trees, you get the sense of being far removed from the city.

The Gardens at Hatley Park

Hatley Park is an enchanting estate located in British Columbia, Canada, that boasts of three magnificent gardens. The Italian garden, the first of the formal gardens, has a symmetrical layout with straight paths and perfectly trimmed hedges. The garden has statues representing each of the seasons along the outside wall, and a series of urns decorating the garden beds. If you stand on one of the castle’s terraces, looking down into this garden, you can see that it has a stunning view that’s perfect for Instagram. The Japanese garden is a tranquil forest-like setting with stone lanterns peeking out from the foliage. The lower part of this garden surrounds a small lake with a pavilion in the center, which makes it an ideal location for a romantic date. The Rose garden is based on a plan from Brett and Hall Landscape Architects, with a series of circles surrounding a sundial. The garden has several varieties of roses, including David Austins, Albas, Gallicas, and Damasks, among others. The American Pillar, a hardy deep pink rambling rose, is a must-see. Whether you visit Hatley Park in spring, summer, fall, or winter, you are sure to find beauty and peace. Plan a visit to this beautiful estate with your family, friends, or significant other today! 

Hatley Castle

Hatley Castle

When you drive along the Esquimalt Lagoon, you can’t miss the majestic Hatley Castle. With its Tudor Revival style, peaked roofs, and crenellated center block, the castle appears imposing yet inviting. It’s more than a castle; it’s a cross between a castle and a manor home. Designed by the renowned Victorian architect Samuel MacLure for James and Laura Dunsmuir, Hatley Castle was completed in 1908. The sandstone used in its construction was sourced from Valdez and Saturna Islands. The impressive exterior of Hatley Castle is matched by its luxurious interior, making it one of the most exquisite structures in the region.

Highlights of Hatley Castle

  • Historic site
  • Popular movie setting
  • Guided tours available
  • Open Monday- Friday for tours
  • Spectacular special events venue

When you step through the heavy wood doors, it’s as though a hush falls over you. When the doors close behind you, you almost want to whisper, as though you are in a library or a cathedral. This is not a place for loud voices, though there are no rules to say so. Whether it’s out of respect for the people still working there, or for the history and grandness of the place and what it means to Victoria, the effect remains the same. Quietness is necessary, so that you can fully absorb the atmosphere of the building and the intense feeling of calm that seems to come with it.

Peace at Hatley Castle 

When you step inside the doors of Hatley Castle, allow yourself a few moments to take a deep breath and soak in the peaceful atmosphere. The scent of old wood and history fills the air, with a hint of mustiness from the floor-to-ceiling oak and rosewood paneling, and the cozy aroma of wood polish. You may even catch a whiff of soot from the wood-burning fireplaces that, while not often used, still retain their impressive size and grandeur. These elements all serve to enhance the overall ambiance of the castle, a testament to the opulence and wealth of its builder, James Dunsmuir.

Hatley Castle, located in Victoria, British Columbia, is a magnificent piece of history that has been preserved with great care since its completion in 1908. It boasts teak floors, lush carpeting, and original lighting fixtures that were custom made for the Dunsmuirs. The fixtures have been well-maintained and preserved in their original state, except for being converted from candle lighting to electric. Over the years, the castle has served as a family home, Royal Roads Military College, and currently, as the Royal Roads campus of the University of Victoria. Despite changing hands several times, it remains a testament to the rich history of Victoria.

Fort Rod Hill

Fort Rod Hill

If you’re looking for an affordable and educational family activity in Victoria, Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse should be at the top of your list. With admission prices starting at just a few dollars, this destination is a budget-friendly option. You can spend a full day or a few hours here, exploring the park-like setting on a self-guided tour. You can even grab refreshments during the summer months.

Highlights of Fort Rodd Hill:

  • Day or annual passes available
  • Park-like setting
  • Self-guided tours
  • Refreshments available during the summer
  • Unique camping experience
  • Special events venue
  • Open from February to November
  • Picnic facilities
  • Restrooms
  •  Access to Fisgard Lighthouse and Esquimalt Lagoon

Aside from learning about the history of the area, Fort Rodd Hill offers plenty of activities for children. There’s a large field with a covered picnic area and BBQ just past the entrance gate. You’ll also find five heated oTentik cabins that can accommodate up to six people each. For just $120 a night, you can enjoy a unique weekend getaway, just minutes from the city.

Military History at Fort Rodd Hill

Throughout the park, you’ll find old cannons and Howitzer guns out in the open, offering great photo opportunities. Children will enjoy climbing on them and pretending to be soldiers. The batteries, command posts, guardhouses, barracks, and searchlight emplacements feature interactive displays that show typical scenes from the days when Fort Rodd Hill was a functioning artillery fort. On certain days, you can even watch an expert give gun firing demonstrations using the same guns that soldiers used when the fort was operational.

For those interested in the paranormal, Fort Rodd Hill is rumored to be haunted. You can explore dim underground rooms and imagine ghosts wandering around the buildings, unaware that a century has passed.

Whether you’re interested in history or the paranormal, plan to spend a full day at Fort Rodd Hill. While you can spend less than two hours here, it’s best to pack a lunch and relax. With a BBQ and eating area readily available, you can bring the whole family and let the kids run around and play. There are so many nooks and crannies to explore that the kids can have an epic game of hide and seek!