Esquimalt is a township located at 1229 Esquimalt Road, within the Greater Victoria area. It spans over 7 kilometers and has a population of just over 17,000 people. Esquimalt is surrounded by Victoria to the east, the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the south, Esquimalt Harbour and Royal Roads to the west, and the Gorge Waterway to the north. The township is home to the Maritime Forces Pacific of the Royal Canadian Navy, with the base being first established by the British Royal Navy in 1849. There are several points of interest in Esquimalt, including the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum, the HMC Dockyard, the Gorge Waterway Discovery Centre, Macauley Point Park, and many great family-friendly parks and natural places. If you plan to visit Esquimalt, make sure to check out the historic walkways, the Archie Browning Sports Center, and the Esquimalt Recreation Center.

Colwood Sub-Area Attraction Pages:

Victoria Waterfront Tours

Victoria Waterfront Tours

Victoria is a stunning coastal city surrounded by saltwater on three sides. This vibrant city is renowned for its rich marine and coastal wildlife, which includes orcas, whales, porpoises, harbor seals, sea lions, and sea otters, as well as bald eagles, herons, and shore birds. While you can catch a glimpse of these incredible creatures from the land, nothing compares to seeing them up close and personal on the water. A visit to their natural habitat will allow you to experience a deeper connection with these fascinating animals, which is impossible to achieve on land.

Highlights of Victoria Waterfront Tours

  • Equipment rentals
  • Kayaking lessons
  • Certification through Paddle Canada
  • Kayaking tours
  • All levels of experience

If you’re an experienced sea kayaker, renting a kayak for a few hours is the perfect way to explore Victoria’s coastal areas at your own pace. You can visit the shores of little islands and coastal areas around Victoria, which are home to seals, sea lions, and shore birds. On the other hand, if you’re a beginner and have never touched a sea kayak before, Victoria Waterfront Tours is the best place to start. You can book some lessons to learn about kayaking safety, how to handle your craft, and how to operate it. Moreover, if you’re interested in becoming certified through Paddle Canada, Victoria Waterfront Tours can help you achieve your goal. You can even learn how to pack your gear and cook while on a kayaking trip.

Ocean Sightseeing with Victoria Waterfront Tours

Victoria Waterfront Tours is known for their guided tour packages that take visitors to different areas around Victoria’s coast. These tours offer a fun and unique way to explore parts of Victoria that not everyone gets to see. The best part? The kayak and gear needed for the tour are included in the cost. Additionally, a warm, knowledgeable, and certified guide will lead you to some of Victoria’s best points of interest and teach you about the beautiful coastal habitat.

Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or completely new to the sport, Victoria’s coastal city offers some of the best sights that can only be experienced by venturing out onto the water. For experienced kayakers who know the area and prefer one-on-one adventure, renting a kayak is the best way to go. However, for inexperienced kayakers, booking a tour with Victoria Waterfront Tours is the perfect opportunity to see the best aspects of Victoria guided by someone who is very knowledgeable about the area.

Victoria Waterfront Tours offers a unique and unforgettable experience to even inexperienced kayakers, allowing them to see parts of Victoria that few people have the privilege of seeing. Book a tour now and experience Victoria’s breathtaking coastal beauty like never before.

Saxe Point Park

Esquimalt Blending Beauty and Diversity

Located at the very end of Fraser Street and just 5 minutes’ drive from the Archie Browning Sports Center on Esquimalt Road, Saxe Point Park is a hidden gem in Victoria. Though not among the largest parks in the city, this 7.5-hectare park has a unique history that is connected to the military. While it was officially designated as a park in 1934, during World War 2, the trees in the area were cleared to make way for a searchlight, which was installed as part of Victoria’s shoreline defense. While the park no longer serves this purpose, visitors can still catch glimpses of military ships traveling to and from the dockyards at the Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt.

Highlights of Saxe Point Park

  • 5 hectares
  • Free access
  • Ample Parking
  • Public Restrooms
  • Picnicking Area
  • Outdoor Wedding/ Event Venue
  • 10 Minutes from Downtown

Weddings at Saxe Point Park

If you think the park might make a great spot for a summer wedding… you’re right! Amid the

brightly coloured flowering gardens and mature Douglas Fir trees, and overlooking the Strait of

Juan de Fuca, with the Olympic Mountains beyond that, outdoor weddings conducted here will

have a strong Victoria-esque flavour, showing off the landscape, ocean and mountain views and

gardens that the city is noted for. Not only will you have a great venue for your ceremony, but

you will also have a fantastic spot to have your wedding photography done! If you are

interested in booking a wedding or other event at Saxe Point Park, you will need to do so

through the Township of Esquimalt, by speaking to Francis Mathieson at: 250-412- 8525.

Things to do at Saxe Point Park

Saxe Point Park is a delightful local spot ideal for family picnics, dog walks, exploring the wooded area, or taking in the stunning view from the shore. With its vast green lawn, picnic tables, and ample parking, this park is perfect for hosting family events and fun activities. The park also boasts public restroom facilities for visitors’ convenience.

The rocky shoreline that rounds the point is an excellent spot for the adventurous to explore, with little inlet pebble beaches that are perfect for treasure hunting during low tide. Besides, visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Olympic Mountains on a clear day and Victoria’s beautiful shoreline homes.

Suppose you’re seeking a serene atmosphere to unwind after a long day at work. In that case, Saxe Point Park receives a light flow of visitors, making it an ideal spot to find a few moments of almost meditative quiet.

Naval & Military Museum

Naval & Military Museum

Victoria boasts a long naval and military history dating back to the late 1800s. Despite that, the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum remains relatively unknown. This hidden gem, located near the intersection of Colville Road and Admirals Road, is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Canadian military history. 

Highlights of CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum 

  • Government-issued identification is required for base entry
  • The museum focuses on the four military groups with the greatest historical impact: Canada’s Navy on the West Coast, the Canadian Women’s Army Corps, the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service, and the West Coast Defences
  • The museum acts as an archive for local military historical artifacts, photos, and documents
  • Self-guided or guided group tours are available
  • Admission is by a suggested donation

The museum may not be as big as some of the more popular museums in Victoria, but it is filled with comprehensive displays, artifacts, and historical information. Visitors can explore the exhibits alone or take a guided group tour. However, it is important to note that group tours must be booked at least one to two months in advance to ensure availability since the museum is run entirely by volunteers.

Social Responsibility at CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum

The museum’s admission fee is low, but it can be a challenge for groups with limited funding to pay for guided tours. To make the museum more accessible, the staff often waives the fee for organizations that support veterans, people with disabilities, youth, and educational groups. All they need to do is ask. 

The museum operates solely on donations, which allow it to engage in research projects, improve and maintain its collection, and add new exhibits when possible. This also means that it is not as “out in the open” as some of the bigger museums in Victoria. As a result, the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum remains one of those hidden treasures that make Victoria such an amazing place to live.

In addition to being a great destination for adults, the museum has a fun kids’ area with interactive displays and activities geared towards teaching children in a more age-oriented, engaging way. The museum’s staff is dedicated to preserving Victoria’s military and naval history and educating the public to ensure that knowledge carries on.

Macaulay Point Park


Macaulay Point, located in British Columbia, Canada, has a rich history that dates back to the days of Hudson Bay farming. Over time, it evolved into part of Fort Macaulay, only to become a municipal park since 1985. Today, the 7.6-hectare park is a favorite destination among birdwatchers, hikers, and dog walkers. Visitors can explore the park’s native vegetation, including grasses, plantain, and common cat’s ear, along with a remarkable array of plants such as roses, lupins, gumweed, wild onions, and biscuit roots. 

The park boasts a historic look with its former military ramparts, bunkers, lookouts, and defensive berms. Several trails and access points also lead to views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Moreover, the park is home to many rare and endangered plant species that are protected under Canada’s Species At Risk Act. To help preserve this fragile area, visitors and their dogs are required to stay on designated paths.

Macaulay Point can be accessed from Fleming Beach and Clifton Terrace off Munro Street. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful walk or an opportunity to observe rare plant species, Macaulay Point is a must-visit destination.

Macaulay Point Park

Macaulay Point Park is a hidden gem that most locals are not aware of, located in the Esquimalt (Esk-kwi-malt) community, a short drive from downtown Victoria. It’s situated just 10-15 minutes away from downtown, making it easy to access via a one-hour walk or a shorter bike ride. The park boasts a breathtaking view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Peninsula beyond, along with a beautiful beach and climbing wall at Fleming Beach. Visitors can also wander through the neat old military ramparts, which add to the park’s historical significance.

Macaulay Point Park is a popular spot for families, dog-walkers, bird watchers, and couples looking for a romantic stroll. Fleming Beach is a popular boat launch that offers picnic facilities. The park’s paths are easily navigable, with gravel, level dirt, and paved options, making it wheelchair-accessible (when not too muddy!). Visitors can park their vehicles at Fleming Beach or find street parking at the end of Clifton Terrace.

It’s important to note that some areas directly adjacent to the park are Canadian military facilities, so visitors should not attempt to climb over the fenced areas.

Here’s the “official description”

Macaulay Point began as a Hudson Bay farm, then later became part of Fort Macaulay. It has been managed as a municipal park since 1985.

This 7.6 hectare park is popular with birdwatchers, hikers and dog walkers. Native vegetation is mixed with grasses, plantain, and common cat’s ear. A remarkable array of plants has adapted, including roses, lupins, gumweed, wild onions and biscuit roots. At the eastern limit of the park boundary, a small grove of trembling aspens grows.

A number of trails and access points lead to views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, as well as former military ramparts. Bunkers, lookouts and defensive berms give the park an historic look.

The park is home to rare and endangered plant species protected under Canada’s Species At Risk Act. Visitors and their dogs are required to stay on designated paths to help protect this fragile area.

Macaulay Point can be accessed from Fleming Beach, as well as from Clifton Terrace off Munro Street.

Lighthouse Brewing Company

Lighthouse Brewing Company

Craft beer is enormously popular among the residents of Victoria, with a total of 12 breweries and brewpubs currently operating in the city. Victoria’s inhabitants are not only passionate about the craft, but they are also keen to learn about the production process and the sustainable practices employed by these companies. The Lighthouse Brewing Company ticks all the boxes in this regard, offering high-quality, eco-friendly brews and educational tours of its facilities. Although you can book a multi-brewery tour that includes the Lighthouse Brewing Company, it’s also possible to arrange a private tour by calling or booking through their website. For the ultimate craft beer experience, be sure to check out the West Coast Brewery Tour.

Highlights of the Lighthouse Brewing Company

  • Minutes from Downtown
  • Private tours available
  • Part of the West Coast Brewery Tour
  • Quality products
  • Environmentally sustainable practices
  • Product is available through pub, restaurants, liquor stores, and their on-site shop.
  • Friendly, knowledgeable staff

The Lighthouse Brewing Company prides itself on being progressive and putting quality above all else. Their very first brew, Race Rocks Amber, was distributed to Victoria area pubs and restaurants in 1998. It soon gained popularity and, in fact, it remains one of the most popular local brews today. Alongside Race Rocks Amber, today’s Lighthouse Brewing Company product line-up has expanded to include: Jackline Rhubarb Grisette, Keeper’s Stout, Numbskull Imperial IPA, Pacific Sunset Belgo-American Mild, Seaport Vanilla Stout, Shipwreck IPA, Bowling Pilsner, Beacon Extra Special Bitter, Tasman Pale Ale, Company Lager and Broadside Northwest Ale.

Lighthouse Brewing Company: A Socially-Minded Brewer

Lighthouse Brewing Company is a well-known name in the world of craft brewing, renowned for producing top-quality refreshments. However, what sets this company apart is their commitment to sustainable brewing practices, ensuring the best possible flavour and quality, while minimizing their impact on the environment. All of the beers produced by Lighthouse Brewing Company are natural and made with locally sourced ingredients, which adds to their unique flavour. 

In addition to their focus on quality, the company is also socially responsible. They recycle all by-products that result from the brewing process by distributing them to local organic farmers. The farmers then use the grain to either feed their livestock or help fertilize the soil as part of their compost. This recycling process helps keep their waste out of landfills and helps local farmers tend their farms and livestock in a natural and cost-effective way.

Located in Victoria, Lighthouse Brewing Company is a preferred choice for those who love craft brewing and care about the environment. The company’s commitment to sustainable brewing practices and social responsibility has earned them a loyal following. If you’re a fan of craft beer, you should definitely try out their unique and flavourful brews.

Esquimalt Recreation Centre

Esquimalt Recreation Centre

Victoria offers a healthy lifestyle to its residents through various nature and sports parks, pathways, and community recreation centers. Among the many facilities, the Esquimalt Recreation Center is widely considered one of the best, providing an inclusive and enjoyable wellness center to its patrons. 

Highlights of Esquimalt Recreation Center

  • Single drop-in or prepaid admissions available
  • Affordable pricing
  • 4,500 square foot weight room
  • Popular family and fitness aquatics area
  • Ultraviolet pool filtration system for chlorine-sensitive swimmers
  • Licensed out-of-school care, preschool, and kinder gym
  • Wide variety of fitness and special interest classes
  • Open 7 days a week, from 5:30 am to 10:30 pm

The Esquimalt Recreation Center offers an inclusive atmosphere, catering to patrons of all ages. Parents of young children can avail fully licensed care programs, kinder gyms, and parent-oriented fitness classes. Seniors can take age-specific fitness classes, including Aquafit and other popular programs. For those in between, the center offers a variety of fitness programs, special interest classes, social groups, and drop-in programs, including public and family swim times.

Convenient Fitness at the Esquimalt Recreation Center

Incorporating fitness and wellness into your life becomes easier when the facilities and programs are easily accessible. The Esquimalt Recreation Center is within walking distance from most parts of Esquimalt, making it convenient for residents. For those who don’t live in the area, the center is easily accessible from Esquimalt Road, at 527 Fraser Street.

Overall, the Esquimalt Recreation Center provides state-of-the-art equipment, spacious community class rooms and fitness areas, an outside exercise area, playing fields, and friendly knowledgeable staff, making it the perfect place to work wellness into your busy life.

Esquimalt Lagoon

Esquimalt Lagoon

Between Hatley Park and the Strait of Juan de Fuca is one of Victoria’s hidden treasures, the Esquimalt Lagoon. Ocean Road, which runs along the Cobourg Peninsula in Colwood, separates the two halves of the area commonly referred to as the Esquimalt Lagoon: the actual lagoon itself, and the beach that opens onto the Strait.

Highlights of Esquimalt Lagoon

  • Migratory Bird Sanctuary
  • Free
  • Quiet location
  • Spectacular views
  • Nearby beach area

For avid birders and beach-goers, the Esquimalt Lagoon represents a little slice of heaven. On any given day, even on sunny summer holidays, you’ll find that the area is not too crowded. For those interested in the lagoon itself, you’ll be treated to a beautiful view of Hatley Castle, since the lagoon sits at the bottom of historic Hatley Park. This natural tidal pond is a stopover site located along the Pacific Flyway, a sort of highway for migratory birds that links North and South America. As such, you’ll see an abundance of different species of birds, both native to the area and non-native. Some of the birds you may find here include: Caspian terns, Black-Bellied Plovers, Northwestern Crows, Black Oystercatchers, Red-Breasted Mergansers, Mallards, Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles, Belted Kingfishers and many more. The Esquimalt Lagoon had been designated as a federal Migratory Bird Sanctuary, allowing the many birds who visit here a safe haven.

The Beach at Esquimalt Lagoon

Located just across Ocean Road, the beachfront on the Strait of Juan de Fuca is a perfect spot for spending some quality time with friends and family. Whether you’re alone or with your furry friend, lounging on the sandy beach or paddling in the water is a great way to unwind. With ample parking available almost along the entire Cobourg Peninsula, you won’t have to worry about carrying your supplies too far. This makes it an ideal spot for family picnics or barbecues. The beach itself boasts a nice gradual slope that’s perfect for families with toddlers, who just want to paddle around in the shallows. You can also find large driftwood logs closer to the parking area that offer a great place to sit or lean against, if sitting on the sand isn’t your thing.

The beach offers a stunning view of Hatley Castle beyond the Lagoon, Fisgard Lighthouse, the spotlight emplacements at Fort Rodd Hill, and the dockyard at CFB Naden. You can catch glimpses of whale-watching boats, fishing and sailing boats (including some tall ships), and cargo ships making their way through the Strait. Esquimalt Lagoon is also popular with divers who come here to explore the underwater world and catch some crabs. Except for a few events taking place throughout the year, the area usually remains pretty quiet, allowing visitors to enjoy a peaceful visit amidst the pleasant sounds of bird calls and waves crashing onto the shore.

Esquimalt Gorge Park

Esquimalt Gorge Park

Esquimalt Gorge Park is a popular destination for families in Victoria, British Columbia. This park is a focal point for community events throughout the year, from outdoor concerts to Easter egg hunts for kids. It boasts a variety of attractions that make it an enjoyable place for people of all ages.

Highlights of Esquimalt Gorge Park

  • Ample parking
  • Picnic tables
  • Playground
  • Public restrooms
  • Stroller and wheelchair-friendly multi-use trails
  • Water access
  • Japanese Garden
  • Nature House

Visitors can enjoy a range of activities in this park, including picnicking on the broad green lawns, exploring the gorgeous Japanese Garden, boating or fishing in the nearby water, and hiking on the accessible multi-use trails. The playground area is also a hit with kids who love to run around and play.

Esquimalt Gorge Park’s Japanese Garden

The park’s Japanese Garden was designed by Isaburo Kishida in 1907, making it North America’s first Japanese Garden. Unfortunately, the original garden was destroyed during World War II when Canadians of Japanese descent were sent to internment camps. However, the Township of Esquimalt has taken steps to refurbish and update the park over the past few decades, including recreating the Japanese Garden, which is still a popular attraction in the park.

Caring for Esquimalt Gorge Park

Esquimalt Gorge Park is not only a destination for family fun but also a great place to learn about the local ecology. The Gorge Waterway Nature House offers visitors an interactive way of exploring the Gorge Waterway’s ecology. The park is also home to many heritage trees, which are carefully maintained to preserve the park’s natural beauty.

Esquimalt Gorge Park is a testament to the power of community involvement and care. Through the efforts of the Township of Esquimalt and organizations like the World Fisheries Trust, this wonderful family park has been revived and will continue to be enjoyed by people of all ages for generations to come.