Oak Bay is a highly desirable area of Victoria – beautiful homes, a “village” feeling, beautiful beaches and golf courses are part of the charm. Oak Bay real estate is just minutes from town and home to a great range of both public and private schools (as well as having both Camosun College and the University of Victoria on its shared border with Saanich).
Neighbourhoods in Oak Bay
Oak Bay Village
Acting as the main street of Oak Bay, Oak Bay Village features shops, banking and public services. The library is just off Oak Bay avenue, and the Starbucks there is a popular meeting place. Oak Bay Recreation Center is close by as well.
Located in the heart of Oak Bay, tree-lined residential streets surround Carnarvon Park. The park features a baseball diamond and soccer pitch, and a clubhouse. The quiet surrounding neighbourhood is close to both the shops of Oak Bay Avenue and the sea and the Oak Bay Marina.
Called an “undiscovered gem”, Estevan Village is located about three blocks from the beautiful white sand of Willows Beach at the foot of Estevan Road.
The village is home to a small grocery store, a gym, various boutiques (including an independently-run toy store), and the Village, a popular bistro that prides itself on its breakfasts. There’s also a fish and chip shop that is great for picking up dinner on the way to the park at Willow’s Beach.
Olmsted’s vision for Uplands has been largely maintained. Even today, Uplands is an elegant neighbourhood with estate-sized lots, serpentine streets and the signature green, globed, ornate lamp posts selected by Olmsted himself.
The beautiful houses of Uplands are visually stunning, with lush gardens that are carefully manicured.
Oak Bay’s tony Uplands neighbourhood is one of Greater Victoria’s most desirable places to live. The beautiful houses, tree-shaded boulevards and proximity to the sea all combine to make Uplands a wonderful place to live. The Oak Bay suburb dates back to 1907 when the original land was sold to visionary developers who named prominent landscape architect John Olmsted to design a “garden suburb.” Olmsted was a founding member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and helped create the US National Parks Service.
Parks in Oak Bay
Estevan Village’s real attraction is Willow’s Beach, one of only two sandy beaches suitable for building sandcastles in Greater Victoria (a third, Witty’s Lagoon is a bit of a drive – followed by a bit of a hike – from the city).
Willow’s is a popular summertime family destination for its long beach, as well as a beautiful shaded playground, a large lawn great for volleyball, and a volunteer-run canteen that sells great french fries and ice cream.
Close by lies Cattle Point, with plenty of rocks and tide pools to explore, and, if you like fishing and sailing, there is a boat launch.
Cattle Point gets its name from its role 150 years as a cattle barge landing for the Hudson’s Bay Company, which owned a large farm that covered the area of what is now the Uplands neighbourhood (many of Victoria’s first European residents were brought over to work the HBC farm at Uplands).
Schools in Oak Bay
Willows Elementary School, offering a French Immersion program, is located about a block from Estevan Village. Glenlyon Norfolk School (aka “GNS”) has its main campus on Beach Drive, a short walk from Willows Beach. Monterey Middle School is set at the heart of Oak Bay.
This top-performing public high school he school enrols about 1300 students in grades 9 – 12. Called “amazing” and “inspiring” Oak Bay High School has been completely rebuilt and is one of the newest schools in the province.
Oak Bay High is known throughout Victoria for its band program, its reputation as a sports powerhouse and for academics. Oak Bay High School also offers a French Immersion program that gives students a chance to travel to France during the summer.
Monterey Middle School
Monterey Middle School is a public school featuring English-stream education, with some of the highest performing students in the province. Sidewalks and a residential setting make walking to school possible.
You can learn more about Monterey on its website here.
This public French immersion school dates back to 1910 and is located in the heart of Oak Bay, close to Beach Drive and Willows Beach.
Learn more about Willows here.