An Introduction to Victoria West
Victoria West, commonly known as Vic West, is a dynamic neighbourhood with a wide array of land uses including industrial, retail, commercial, single and multi-family residential.
A Quiet Heritage Neighbourhood
Vic West is a quiet heritage neighbourhood located on the western shore of the Gorge waterway, just west of the Bay Street Bridge and within walking distance of downtown if you cross the Johnson Street Bridge. The neighbourhood’s location on the far side of the bridge, close to Esquimalt means Vic West can slip underneath the radar as one of the most liveable places in the region. The tree-lined streets of Vic West are within easy walking distance of downtown Victoria, and the Galloping Goose multiuse trail provides human-powered access to the Saanich Peninsula and the Westshore region. Vic West’s location on the Gorge Waterway also means easy access to the ocean for anyone who enjoys paddle boarding, kayaking or rowing— activities that capture the essence of West Coast living.
Vic West’s Rich History
The neighbourhood has been the centre of human activity for a long time. Vic West was originally the site of the Songhees First Nation village. Later on, the waters lying between Vic West and Rock Bay to the east were an anchorage for HBC cargo ships. The old E&N railyards are located in Vic West, although today the area is the site of vibrant condo developments. People love living in Vic West because of the range of architectural styles, the heritage buildings and the sheer variety of things to see, from skateboard parks to working shipyards.
Living in Vic West
The heart of Vic West is the Gorge Waterway, a narrow, sheltered tidal inlet that stretches north to Saanich’s historic Craigflower neighbourhood. Majestic broadleaf maples line the shores of the waterway. Along the shoreline there are also many jetties and other places to launch a kayak or paddle board. The Galloping Goose runs along the water in Vic West. In one direction cyclists and walkers can travel into downtown Victoria. In the other direction the Galloping Goose travels over the restored Selkirk trestle to the Jutland neighbourhood and on to Uptown and beyond.
Schools Around Vic West
Vic West lies within School District 61. While there are several excellent public elementary schools nearby, Vic West is also within walking distance of the excellent Selkirk Montessori School, just on the other side of the Selkirk Trestle. Esquimalt High School offers an acclaimed Challenge Program for high school students as well as a French Immersion program. In nearby Esquimalt, L’école Victor-Brodeur is a K-12 francophone school for students whose first language is French.
Shopping in Vic West
Westside Village is home to Save-On-Foods, while the trendy shops of Lo-Jo lie just a short walk over the Johnson Street Bridge. Uptown Shopping Centre is also close by, either by bicycle on the Galloping Goose regional trail or by car and by bus.
One of Canada pioneering craft breweries, Spinnakers Gastro pub is also located in Vic West. It’s a great place to enjoy fine food, delicious beer and fantastic views.
Transportation and Commute
Vic West lies within walking and bicycling distance of downtown Victoria. The Old Island Highway also travels through the neighbourhood and provides an alternative route out to recreation and shopping opportunities in the Westshore.
Often overlooked, Vic West is a true hidden gem that offers the best in Victoria living.