Vic West lies just west of the city centre, accessed over Victoria’s recently completed Johnson Street bridge. This is where you’ll find many of the city’s new developments, with even more change slated for years to come. Interestingly enough, it’s also one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city, which is evident just west of the glass high-rises, where you’ll find 100-year-old houses and eclectic architecture. While one of the smallest neighbourhoods in the city, Vic West truly is a vibrant, exciting, and ever-changing community.
Located west of Vic West, and about 10 minutes from the downtown core, Esquimalt offers a distinctive combination of preserved historic sites, with numerous recent development projects, all in a truly exciting and eclectic community. With strong ties to the Canadian Navy (and still home to a sizeable Canadian Forces Base), the area is rich in historic sites, while also offering a ton of greenspace, and a number of stunning beachfront parks.
What to Love
- Walkability to the downtown core
- Mix of historic homes and modern condos
- Eclectic atmosphere and culture
- Future potential / development
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Housed in the Delta hotel, Lure Restaurant is an elegant yet casual waterfront dining option, with a diverse menu, great cocktails, and tons of outdoor seating. Whether you’re looking for a romantic spot for dinner, or space for a celebratory brunch, Lure offers a consistently great experience.
Boom + Batten is both one of the newer restaurants in the city, while also being one of the most popular. Offering an idyllic view over the International Marina and the inner harbour, this upscale eatery and café provide an elevated approach to fine dining, while celebrating the Pacific Northwest surroundings.
Housed in an 1884 historic home, Spinnakers Pub sits on the edge of Lime Bay Park and the Songhees Walkway, and has been a neighbourhood mainstay for decades. Known for pioneering the craft beer industry (and paving the way for modern brewpubs in Canada), this brewery, pub, and hotel continue to offer a number of beers made in house, all in a space within walking distance to the downtown core via waterfront path.
On the edge of Banfield Park, near the Vic West Community Centre, are a number of eclectic small businesses, with Fry’s Red Wheat Bread Bakery being one of the standouts. This family run wood-fired bakery uses organic flours, and locally sourced ingredients, to create some delicious bread, pastries, and pizzas.
Westside Village Shopping Centre is a large, centralized shopping centre in the Vic West Neighbourhood, which features many national chains, a grocer, as well as a number of small businesses.
Things to Do
Originally opened in 1930, Gorge Vale Golf Course is an 18-hole course located only a few minutes from the downtown core. This mature, traditional course offers 143 acres of park-like settings, a restaurant, as well as a pro shop.
Running every Thursday from April through September, the Esquimalt Farmers Market is an outdoor community market featuring over 70 local vendors from throughout Vancouver Island. Grab some local produce, fresh baked artisanal bread, or even a cold beer from a local brewery.
With stunning views of the ocean, some great walking paths, and picnic tables for a causal meal (and to take in the view), Saxe Point Park is a community favourite. Originally designed in the 1930’s, during World War 2, many trees on the site were cleared as a searchlight was installed as part of the shoreline defence. Nowadays the site is popular due to its changing topography and easy access location.
Macaulay Point Park is another idyllic spot – at almost 8 hectares, all of which offers spectacular views over the Olympic Mountains, it’s a popular spot for hikers, birdwatchers, and dog walkers alike. Originally a Hudson Bay farm, it later had military significance, which can still be seen with the former military ramparts, bunkers, and lookouts found throughout.
As one of Victoria’s most successful gentrification projects, the Galloping Goose Trail and E&N Trail system help link each part of the city by biking or walking paths, much of which is paved and separate from motor vehicles. Much of the trail system was originally defunct railroad tracks – now the E&N portion runs through Victoria, Esquimalt, and out towards View Royal, connecting each community by direct, easy to maneuver paths.