| Saanich Peninsula
Saanich, British Columbia
The District of Saanich is a municipality on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. It is located north of the provincial capital, Victoria. It has a population of 110,387, making it the most populated municipality on Vancouver Island. The municipality is named after the Saanich First Nation.
Saanich is part of Greater Victoria and a member municipality of the Capital Regional District.
The Municipality of Saanich was incorporated on March 1, 1906. With an area of 111.79 kmē , it is the largest of the core municipalities making up Greater Victoria. The topography is undulating with many glacially scoured rock outcroppings. Elevations range from sea level to 213 metres. The physical setting is greatly influenced by water. There are 8.1749 kmē of fresh water lakes and 29.61 km of marine shoreline.
Within Saanich is located part of the University of Victoria which straddles the boundary with the neighbouring Municipality of Oak Bay. Saanich is fairly large in area and contains a wide variety of rural and urban landscapes and neighbourhoods. Saanich is the location of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory near Elk Lake. The Municipality of Saanich contains a long shoreline with sandy beaches located at a number of ocean bays. Two of the beaches are Cadboro Bay Beach and Cordova Bay Beach. Cadboro Bay is known as a place to view the "Cadborosaurus", a mythical sea monster that may or may not exist. Saanich's notable parks include Mount Douglas Park, Mount Tolmie Park (with viewpoints) and Gyro Park.
Neighbourhoods of Saanich
As with many other Greater Victoria municipalities, Saanich contains a number of "village" like shopping areas (for example, Cadboro Bay Village, Cordova Bay Village, Broadmead Village).
Distinct residential areas include:
- Gordon Head is a comfortable middle class suburb near the University of Victoria.
- Broadmead (near Cordova Bay and Mount Douglas Park) is an upscale master planned community with contemporary west coast architecture in a wooded setting. Broadmead Village is the commercial shopping core for residents.
- Ten Mile Point (the extreme southeastern part of Saanich and most easterly point on Vancouver Island) is an exclusive, expensive, peninsular area known for its estate and waterfront properties. While Ten Mile Point is located within the urban part of Saanich, its setting has a rural, secluded feel.
- Tilicum Gorge is at the western edge of Saanich and middle class neighbourhood located close to the Gorge Waterway and the Tilicum mall. The Pearkes Arena and Rec Centre are at the core of the community.
- Mount Tolmie - middle class neighbourhood directly west of UVic. At the top of Mount Tolmie itself (located within this area) is a viewpoint offering a spectacular view of Victoria.
- Cadboro Bay is a scenic residential area east and adjacent to UVic with sandy beach (including concrete octopus and sea monster Cadborosaurus) and charming village shopping area.
- Cedar Hill is west of the Mt. Tolmie region. It includes a recreation centre and golf course.
- Cordova Bay is situated east of Elk and Beaver lakes.
- Royal Oak, south of Beaver Lake, is the location of Saanich Commonwealth Place, originally used for aquatics at the 1994 Commonwealth Games.
- Glanford, south of Royal Oak and north of the Town and Country Mall, is a residential area that includes a number of 1950s-era subdivisions. It's centrally located east of the Panama Flats agricultural area and west of the Pat Bay Highway.
Saanich has been the home to First Nations people for thousands of years. The non-native history begins with the arival of the Hudson's Bay Company in the 1840s.
The Craigflower Schoolhouse (originally called Maple Point School), the oldest surviving school building in Western Canada, was built on orders from Kenneth MacKenzie. He came from Scotland with his family in 1852, on the Hudson's Bay Company ship Norman Morison, to establish a farm for the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, a subsidiary of the Hudson's Bay Company. A school was needed for the children of farm employees, as well as those of arriving settlers.
The Dominion Astrophysical Observatory telescope was designed by Dr. John Stanley Plaskett, astronomer with the Department of the Interior in Ottawa. The 72 inch (1.8 m) reflecting telescope was the largest of its kind in the world when it was built, though this was only the case for a few short months in 1918
Saanich is home to half of British Columbia's third largest university, the University of Victoria. It is also home to both major campuses of Camosun College - the one at Lansdowne and the main campus on Interurban.
Saanich is bisected by two school districts - School District #61 - Greater Victoria and School District #63 - Saanich
Central Saanich Highlands View Royal Esquimalt Victoria Oak Bay
Dominion Astrophysical Observatory is located on Little Saanich Mountain in Saanich.
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