VREB divides Saanich into West Saanich and East Saanich but in reality they are one municipality.
The eastern side of Saanich is dominated by the University of Victoria, which is very much a part of the local life of the community. Also another large post-secondary facility Camosun College has one of its main campuses on the southern edge of Saanich. Some very popular outdoor areas are Swan Lake, Mount Douglas Park, Mount Tolmie and Cadboro Gyro Park. Gordon Head Recreation Centre and Cedar Hill Recreation Centre are popular facilities in East Saanich. On the west edge of East Saanich is the expansive Uptown Centre which is changing that entire area significantly. Broadmead Village Shopping Centre is another major mall at the north-west corner of East Saanich. On a smaller scale, Saanich has several "villages" which are a tiny concentration of stores and services. Cadboro Bay Village and Cordova Bay Village are examples of this concept which helps city folks get together on a more personal level.
A good part of Saanich West is rural in nature, including Elk and Beaver Lake Regional Park, the Prospect Lake area and Francis/King Regional Park. The properties in the northern part of Saanich West are often larger and some agriculture takes place, mostly on properties under the ALR restrictions. Tucked into this mainly rural area is a major campus for Camosun College and the impressive high technology facility Vancouver Island Technology Park. The other large enterprise in that area is the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence. Closer in is the Saanich Commonwealth Place which is a world-class pool and fitness centre and is popular with all ages of Saanich residents. Pearkes Recreation Centre is farther west in the municipality and adjoins the Tillicum Mall, complete with movie theatres. Prospect Lake has another one of the small “villages” popular in the area.
The landscape of Saanich is unique because of its ecological diversity and leisure potential. There are 170 municipal parks, three regional parks and a cycling network route. The parks include natural areas as well as cultivated areas and sports fields. Saanich has more parks per capita than any other municipality in B.C. The regional multi-use Galloping Goose and Lochside Trails both pass through Saanich. These trails travel over picturesque former railway lines. There are also several golf courses in Saanich including Cedar Hill, Cordova Bay and Highland Pacific.
The VREB district of Saanich West, part of the Core region, corresponds to the western half of the municipal District of Saanich and is sub-divided into 17 neighbourhoods.
The VREB district of Saanich East, part of the Core region, corresponds to the eastern half of the municipal District of Saanich and is sub-divided into 19 neighbourhoods.
Look at the VREB website to see more details on the neighbourhoods.
For more information on Saanich, visit the web site of the District of Saanich.