North Saanich is a stunning location situated on the Saanich Peninsula in Canada. It boasts of a magnificent 20 km ocean shoreline that surrounds the town on three sides. Its temperate climate ensures that residents can enjoy outdoor activities all year round, without worrying about snow. With easy access to Victoria, residents have ample opportunities for employment and post-secondary education. North Saanich is a popular tourist destination, thanks to its proximity to Victoria International Airport and the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal.
North Saanich Sub-Area Attraction Pages:
Victoria Lavender Farm
If you’re visiting North Saanich on southern Vancouver Island, don’t miss Victoria Lavender Farm. This stunning farm boasts 10,000 lavender bushes, bird sanctuary/rescue center, and beautiful gardens, perfect for leisurely strolling. In July and August, the main field is in full bloom, offering a breathtaking view, while other varieties bloom throughout the summer.
Apart from the lavender fields and gardens, Victoria Lavender Farm also breeds rare birds and acts as a rescue sanctuary for peacocks, chickens, and ducks. The farm’s resident sheep and birds are kept under control by Max and Cosmo (2 border collies) and Zak (A Great Pyrenees).
Visitors can enjoy self-guided tours and consulting throughout the summer months, and admission to the farm is free. While the farm is a great place for children to explore, pets must be kept in their vehicles due to the livestock and birds on the farm. The farm provides wheelchair access, and group tours can be arranged with advance notice. Wedding parties are also welcome to take one-of-a-kind photos at the farm, and the staff is happy to accommodate such photo sessions with advance notice.
The farm store offers a wide variety of lavender products, including luxury skin cream, salt scrubs, body lotion, bath oil, handmade soap, shampoo & conditioner, pet shampoo, and more. Visitors can also purchase edible products like preserves & jellies, cake & brownie mixes, mustard, sugar, and more. The farm store also carries products like Aromatherapy Candles, Sachets, and Laundry Tumblers.
Victoria Lavender Farm also raises rare breeds of feather-legged poultry, such as Black Copper Marans from France. The farm store sells extras of these amazing dark brown Marans eggs, and heritage roosters that have been nurtured through their rescue program. Peacock chicks that are 3 to 4 months old can also be purchased from the farm.
If you want to know more about the farm’s hours, group tours, wheelchair accessibility, wedding photo sessions, or anything else, you can call them at 250.857.2526. Check out their website for specific food recipes and cooking tips.
Pat Bay Air Floatplane Tours
There is simply no better way to see the scenery and wildlife that is all around us on Vancouver Island than from above in a floatplane. Ocean Air in north Saanich offers spectacular charter flights and scenic tours of Vancouver Island and the surrounding coastal areas. In addition to their breathtaking tours, Ocean Air has also been helping aspiring pilots earn their Canadian Seaplane rating since 2003.
With thousands of hours conducting coastal seaplane flights and their tremendous knowledge about local attractions as well as lesser known amazing get-away destinations, they can help you plan the perfect adventure. Some of the more popular charters and tours can include:
- Fly-In Fishing: Experience the fishing trip of a lifetime going after Pacific Halibut and Salmon along the west coast. Both novice and experienced fishers can book a simple “Day Trip” or arrange to be flown to a secluded Five-Star fishing lodge.
- Wine Tasting: Tours can be arranged to take you anywhere on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast, Tofino, Whistler, and more. Wine tasting on Saturna Island is a perfect getaway for a few friends or a romantic trip for just two.
- Salt Spring Island: The largest of the Gulf Islands, Salt Spring Island is home to an eclectic mix of restaurants, pubs, and amazing artisan shops. It’s almost too easy to get into the relaxed ambience of Island life while strolling through the Village of Ganges.
- Victoria City Tour: Leaving from either Patricia Bay or Victoria Harbour, this tour takes you along the shores of our provincial capital and gives you an amazing and unique perspective of Beacon Hill Park, Oak Bay, the Gulf Islands, the Butchart Gardens, and the Saanich Peninsula.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to fly a floatplane, be sure to schedule an Ocean Air Discovery Flight. This is a great one-hour lesson that will let you experience some take-offs and landings, and best of all, no pilot license is required.
For aspiring seaplane pilots, Ocean Air operates an air-taxi service, which means that the training you receive will include various issues and concerns along with the proper planning and level of professionalism that is necessary when serving the public. If you already have your license and wish to add Transport Canada’s Seaplane/FloatPlane rating, Ocean Air can help you with that too!
Floatplanes can fly much lower than commercial planes, providing stunning views of Vancouver Island’s coast, mountains, and wildlife. Until March of 2015, Pat Bay Air also offered many of these charters and tours, but unfortunately, they are no longer in operation.
Book your adventure with Ocean Air today and discover the beauty of Vancouver Island from above.
John Dean Provincial Park
From the top of Mount Newton, John Dean Provincial Park overlooks the Saanich Peninsula, the Cascade Mountains, and the Gulf Islands. Located on southern Vancouver Island, the Park is home to one of the last old-growth Douglas fir and Garry Oak forests on the Peninsula. This day-use park offers several hiking trails ranging from easy to more challenging that take you through this pristine forest. Spring brings with it a display of native B.C. wildflowers some of which include:
- Common red paintbrush
- Blue camas lilies
- Sea blush
- Shooting stars
The park offers visitors the opportunity to explore a diverse range of ecosystems and experience stunning views of the Saanich Peninsula. Here are some activities you can enjoy during your visit to John Dean Provincial Park.
John Dean Provincial Park offers six kilometers of trails that range from easy hikes to more challenging ones. The highlight of the park is the Mount Newton Summit Trail, which leads hikers to the top of Mount Newton. From there, you can witness the glorious sunset and observe the soaring ravens, bald eagles, turkey vultures, and red-tailed hawks.
Cycling is permitted in John Dean Provincial Park, but all bicycles must stay on the roadways. Remember, bicycle helmets are required in British Columbia.
The park is home to many at-risk plant communities, and you can spot the Calypso orchid along with some of the more mature Douglas fir trees. Pileated woodpeckers make this old-growth forest their home and play a significant role in protecting the Calypso orchid. Pets and other domestic animals are allowed in the park but must be on a leash at all times. Be sure to stay away from backcountry areas with any pet to avoid confrontations with bears and other wildlife. There is a wildlife viewing platform at Pickles Bluff that also offers awe-inspiring views of the Saanich Peninsula.
John Dean Provincial Park is an excellent place to spend the day with its picnic tables and beautiful scenery. A pit toilet and an information shelter are also located near the parking lot. Vehicle traffic is prohibited from November to March, and the park gate is locked from dusk until 8:00 a.m.
John Dean Provincial Park is a must-visit for anyone who loves nature. With its diverse ecosystems, stunning views, and a range of activities, this park has something for everyone. Whether you want to hike, cycle, or simply enjoy a picnic, John Dean Provincial Park is the perfect place to spend a day.
Glen Meadows Golf Club
Located on sunny Vancouver Island just a short distance from Victoria, Glen Meadows Golf Course is a premier country club that offers much more than just an 18-hole championship golf course. It is the only club in the region that provides the added benefits of curling and tennis as well. With its expansive clubhouse that boasts two beautiful lounges, visitors can enjoy the games happening both indoors and outdoors.
The peaceful country setting of the grounds make it an ideal venue for hosting a wide range of special events, including weddings, conferences, banquets, office luncheons, and special ceremonies. Whether you’re an experienced golfer looking for a challenge or a beginner just starting out, Glen Meadows has something to offer for golfers of all levels.
Glen Meadows Golf and Country Club, located in South Vancouver Island, is a semi-private club that offers a wide range of sports and activities for everyone. Whether you’re a golf enthusiast, a tennis player, or a curling fan, Glen Meadows has something to offer you.
Glen Meadows is home to a widely respected 18-hole championship golf course that has hosted several tournaments, including The North American Indigenous Games, The BC Open, The World Left Handers Tournament, and the Canadian Tour. The course has four sets of tees that allow for all levels of play, and course hazards have been deliberately constructed to help direct shots. As a club member, you are entitled to preferred bookings and unlimited use of the course. For more information about the Pro Shop or tournaments, you can call them directly by phone at (250) 656-3921 or (250) 656-3136, or fax (250) 656-3127.
The club has three, night illuminated, outdoor tennis courts and locker facilities with saunas and showers. The tennis club holds monthly round robins, club tournaments, and socials that all members are welcome to attend.
Glen Meadows boasts a six-sheet ice rink and viewing area where you can watch the action while enjoying a light lunch and a beverage. The season runs from October to the end of March and has Men’s, Women’s, Mixed, Master’s, and Junior curling leagues.
Every private function held at Glen Meadows is truly a special event. The staff is helpful and dedicated, and the beautiful panoramic views and superb catering options will make any occasion, big or small, a day for all to remember. For larger events, the clubhouse has a beautiful banquet hall that holds 200 guests, a fully licensed lounge and bar, and a huge dance floor made of solid maple. Weddings get special attention, and the staff will work with you every step of the way to ensure that your special day will be a day to savor by both the lucky couple and all their guests. You can download their Booking Function Contract as well as their Banquets Brochure directly from their website.
Glen Meadows welcomes everyone to come for a visit and enjoy some unique South Vancouver Island hospitality. Find out all you need to know about club memberships and fees on their membership page. As a semi-private club, they are open to the public every day to enjoy any one of their sports as well as a bite to eat in one of their lounges.
BC Ferries is a vital transportation system for anyone living or visiting British Columbia’s west coast communities or islands. Whether it’s for work, vacation, or transporting goods, BC Ferries plays an important role in daily life. In this article, we will discuss the history of BC Ferries, travel options, fares, and onboard amenities.
History of BC Ferries
In the early days, the Hudson’s Bay Company provided passenger and freight service between the Mainland and Vancouver Island. After many years of planning, hard work, and much determination, the “British Columbia Toll Authority Ferry System” was mandated to provide this vital service. In the summer of 1960, bad weather played a large role in the rise of ridership. As more people discovered that the trip takes only slightly longer than flying, is less expensive, and offers a relaxing atmosphere, popularity began to grow quickly. Along with increased ridership, the name was eventually changed to what we know it as today, BC Ferries.
Today, BC Ferries offer an extensive range of travel options, including:
– An array of dining options
– Child play areas
– Vacation packages
– Free Wi-Fi
– Work or quiet areas
– Unique shops
Passenger Arrival Times
For most trips, it is recommended that you arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled departure. During peak times, passengers should arrive earlier to ensure a spot in the vehicle line-up. BC Ferries have specific cut-off times for ticket sales that will vary depending on whether you are a foot passenger or are traveling in a vehicle. Those with reservations must be at the terminal from 45 to 60 minutes prior to their scheduled departure time. If you are unsure when you need to arrive at your terminal, it’s worth checking BC Ferries website or giving them a quick call well before you plan to travel.
Fares for both foot passengers and vehicles will vary depending on your departure and destination points as well as the time of year one is traveling. BC Ferries also has a wide range of travel schedules that include departures to and from the Mainland as well as travel to and from the area’s many islands. Their main departure points include:
– Metro Vancouver/Vancouver Island
– Sunshine Coast
– Saanich Inlet
– Mid coast Bella Coola/Haida Gwaii
– Southern Gulf Islands
– Northern Gulf Islands
Traveling on BC Ferries can be an experience unto itself when you consider all the onboard amenities they offer. You can begin by enjoying a meal at one of their many restaurants then spend some time shopping in one of their unique boutique outlets. Experience an all-inclusive buffet at the Pacific Buffet or enjoy a selection of healthy options at the Coastal Café self-serve restaurant.
BC Ferries is a vital part of the west coast communities of British Columbia. It connects people and goods and makes travel convenient and enjoyable. Whether you are taking a vacation or commuting to work, BC Ferries provides a reliable and safe transportation system. Visit their website to find out more about schedules, fares, and onboard amenities.