Victoria, BC, Canada : Western Communities
The Western Communities (a.k.a. West Shore) of the Victoria Capital Region (CRD) consists of many smaller communities and neighbourhoods including Langford, Colwood, View Royal, The Highlands, Sooke and Metchosin.
The West Shore is what we would consider the backcountry of the Victoria, BC region. There are long country roads exploring through forests, along coastlines, through neighbourhoods, pass farm fields and over rivers.
The network of roads exploring the Western Communities connect to village centres, marinas, sandy beaches, trails, attractions and parks. Each West Shore community is unique in its own way.
Langford is one of the fastest growing communities in the Victoria area. Langford is a shopping and an activity destination. The village streets are lined with shops, boutiques, services, bistros and strip malls. On the outskirts of the community are a mixture of big box stores and industrial businesses.
Entering Langford there are two very popular activity and park destinations. Goldstream Park is a salmon spawning park with trails, information signs, picnic area and wildlife educational programs. Thetis Lake Park is a beach park with trails, a sandy beach and many opportunities for swimming.
[more information on Sooke] is the largest of the West Shore communities. The village centre provides many services important to travelers like tours, restaurants, grocery store, gas station, banks, accommodations and more. The community is a tourism village with an especially high number of art galleries and bed and breakfasts.
East Sooke Park is a must see adventure destination when in the region filled many trails and natural attractions. The
Galloping Goose Trail is a historic rail line now a recreation trail spanning over 60 kilometres connecting Sooke with Victoria.
Metchosin is an agricultural and wilderness destination in the Western Communities popular for hiking, sightseeing, farming and bird watching. Many in the community are involved with agriculture, the environment and/or participate in the local art scene.
There are some parks and wilderness areas in Metchosin which attract plenty of attention like Witty's Lagoon and Albert Head Lagoon. Both are popular birdwatching destinations located in the Metchosin area. And Metchosin is also located on the Galloping Goose Trail which connects to the City of Victoria.
Collwood is a residential area with a growing commercial core and some impressive heritage attractions like the St. John Baptist Church, Fisgard Lighthouse and the Hartley Castle located on the grounds of Royal Roads University.
View Royal is more of an urban-friendly style residential neighbourhood with a large population participating in the local arts community. The community original comprised of four farms in the mid to late 1800s.
Today, the Craigflower Manor is now a heritage landmark and a popular attraction in the region. For travelers there are services in View Royal like accommodations, restaurants, retail stores, coffee shops, banks, gas stations, grocery stores and the Victoria General Hospital.