The West Shore

The region immediately west of Victoria, is known as the Western Communities, or West Shore, and stretches westwards from Esquimalt Harbour to Rocky Point, along the shoreline of the Juan de Fuca Strait.

This part of Vancouver Island was opened for farming in the 1860s to provide fresh produce for the burgeoning population of gold miners and attendant settlers in the nearby Victoria region. As such, the natural ambience here remains pastoral, particularly in Metchosin and the Highlands. Today, the Western Communities is a largely residential and rural area of Greater Victoria, offering a number of excellent parks, golf courses and many other sports facilities. The population (2006 Census) is 58,450 including the West Shore municipalities of Langford, Colwood, Metchosin, View Royal and the Highlands. The area is accessed from Victoria by Douglas Road, which becomes the Trans-Canada Highway 1, and the West Coast Highway 14 (Sooke Road).


Incorporated in 1985, the City of Colwood has a population of over 14,000. The city is divided into residential pockets such as Triangle Mountain, Colwood Creek, Colwood Lake Estates, Wishart and Lagoon areas. There are business centres at Colwood Corners and Hatley Park.

The area offers a variety of recreational pursuits. The Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre is considered to be one of the most complete sport complexes in the province. For the golf enthusiast, there highly rated courses, the Royal Colwood golf course and the Olympic View golf course and the nine hole Juan de Fuca course. The area offers a nature reserve as well as a beach for sun tanning, swimming, wind surfing, sailing or just walking. Views of downtown and views of the American coast over the Strait of Juan de Fuca are also enjoyed. In addition, there are a number of smaller parks.


Victoria is loved for its diversity—a city where the youthful energy of the West Coast blends with time-honoured British, European and Asian traditions. Where it is just as natural to picnic on a beach as it is to take tea in a formal tearoom, where you can explore on a bicycle or by a horse-drawn carriage, and where splendid historic buildings house galleries of contemporary art. Victoria is a city of beautiful contrasts, where the elegance of history mingles with the panache of modern life. It is a place to relax and restore your sense of balance and also a place to experience thrilling adventures.


As an Island, there are many transportation modes to the Island. From the International Airport to floatplane service in the Inner Harbour, you can be here or off the Island quickly. By ferry, Vancouver Island and Victoria is well serviced to the mainland of BC and Washington state. A variety of air porter and taxi services, public transport, train service and bus service makes traveling a breeze.


Population statistics show the Victoria municipality population at 78,057, although the Greater Victoria area (Capital Regional District) is 330,088; while Vancouver Island is 699,645. Victoria offers a daily newspaper, twice weekly local newspapers, weekly entertainment guide, and many other publications. There are several local radio stations and a local TV Station based in Victoria. An active Chamber of Commerce, a variety of business organizations, service clubs and local and national charitable organizations. Victoria is served by 2 major hospitals and many local medical clinics. Churches and organized/unorganized religious opportunities abound as well as educational institutions from world-class universities and colleges to exceptional language training programs.


If you are an avid golfer, you probably already know all about the amazing golf courses in the Vancouver Island region. Courses designed by masters like Jack Nicklaus, A.V. Macan, and Les Furber. Courses that have challenged the likes of Tiger Woods, Mike Weir and Scott McCarron and have been acclaimed in Golf Digest and Score Golf Magazine, and then there are the classics courses like the Victoria Golf Club and the Royal Colwood!

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