While originally a famous daffodil farm, this oceanside community was developed in the 1970’s and is a great family friendly area, still featuring many of the original homes. Lots here are larger, parks are plentiful, there are great schools, and the area is safe. Part of the University of Victoria resides in this community, also making it a favourite community for student renters.
Many of the homes in Gordon Head were built around the same era, with split levels and ranchers being the most popular floor plans. Nowadays, there is a push for new development – you don’t have to go far to see one of the numerous subdivisions currently being built. On the coastline there are also a number of impressive high bank oceanfront estates, proving the variety of housing types in the area is quite diverse.
What to Love
- Varied types of housing
- Close to the water and parks
- Family friendly
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Dining and shopping options in the community are generally limited to commonly found national chains, that said, there are some stand out small businesses in the area. Township Coffee is one of these great authentic neighbourhood hangouts, providing locally sourced coffee and tea.
Since 2008, The Root Cellar has been a community favourite, offering the largest selection of produce on the island, while also providing locally sourced goods, and ethically raised meats from their in-house butcher. If you’re in the area, make sure to grab some of their renowned ‘green sauce’ – a secret recipe condiment that is seriously addictive.
Fairways Market is another exceptional grocer, now one of Vancouver Island’s largest independently owned grocery stores. They offer a diverse range of fresh, local produce and imported specialties including an extensive selection of international products.
Tuscany Village is one of the more recent retail hubs to pop up in the area, landing on major bus routes, and just a short walk from the university. Completed in 2007, and modelled after a European village, Tuscany Village was the first commercial plaza to materialize in Saanich in generations. With a mix of condominiums and retail, visitors can find everything from a grocery store and drug store, to office supplies, and numerous other local and national retailers.
Things to Do
Gordon Head is a seriously green community, with over 28 parks, access to greenspace, playgrounds, and tennis courts is abundant. Not to be missed is Mount Douglas Park, the largest park in Saanich, which at 450 acres provides a number of different trails, perfect for walking and hiking. It also has a superb lookout at the top, providing one of the best vantage points in the city.
While there are numerous beach access points in the neighbourhood, Mount Douglas Park Beach is a great option for outdoor picnics, whale watching, and beach walks. With stunning views over Cordova Bay, the Gulf Islands, and San Juan Islands, it’s the perfect place to spend a quintessential west coast afternoon.
If the weather isn’t cooperating, spend the day at the Gordon Head Recreation Centre. This community facility has everything from a 25m lap pool with a climbing wall, leisure river pools, and a weight room, while also backing on to a youth park perfect for skateboarding, bmx, or rollerblading.
- Torquay Elementary School
- Hillcrest Elementary School
- Braefoot Elementary School
- Campus View Elementary School
- Gordon Head Middle School
- Ecole Intermediaire Cedar Hill Middle School
- Lambrick Park Secondary
- Mount Douglas Secondary
- St. Margaret’s School
- ArtsCalibre Academy
- Maria Montessori Academy
- Arbutus Global Middle School