Saanich West is a community stretching from the established suburban neighbourhoods of the Gorge area north to the rural farmland around Elk Lake and Prospect Lake.
The Gorge waterway is a beautiful setting and a popular area for families who like to live close to town. The Tillicum mall, Town and Country shopping center and the Silver City movie theatre are all conveniently located. The Victoria General Hospital is little farther West and North among the family-oriented neighbourhoods of Strawberry Vale, West Burnside and Glanford Area. Interurban campus of Camosun College lies in the middle of this growing area which is also seeing many new subdivisions of single family residential development.
Further North is the Prospect Lake community, a well established area featuring a 9 hole golf course and a lakeside retreat atmosphere. Elk Lake/Beaver Lake and the Old West Saanich Road areas include many horse farms and small acreages.
Distinct residential areas include:
Beaver Lake-Elk Lake - A rural area just south of the Central Saanich
border, bounded by Old West Saanich Road and the Patricia Bay Highway
, dominated by Beaver and Elk Lakes, and Bear Hill Regional Park.
Glanford - A mix of all kinds of residential homes. Located between Carey Rd., Patricia Bay Highway, and Vanalman Rd. It is named for the central thoroughfare of the neighbourhood, Glanford Rd.
Gorge-Tillicum - A mix of lower-middle and middle-class homes, as well as mixed industrial and commercial neighbourhoods, bounded to the northwest by Portage Inlet, to the southwest by the picturesque Gorge waterway (a narrow channel leading from Selkirk Water to Portage Inlet), to the east by Interurban and West Burnside Roads, to the north by the Trans-Canada Highway
, and to the southeast by the border with Victoria, running along Harriet Road. This area has shown evidence of gentrifcation as homes are being renovated and upgraded.
Interurban - A largely rural area, with some considerable wooded areas still remaining, located to the east and west of Interurban Road. Newer subdivisions are creeping in, but much of the agricultural land is protected. The neighbourhood, lying west of Wilkinson Road and south of West Saanich Road, is home to the Interurban Campus of Camosun College
, the Greater Victoria Technology Park (a light industrial park), and the historic Wilkinson Road Jail, a provincial maximum security jail housing sentenced and remanded inmates.
Marigold - Bounded by West Burnside Rd., McKenzie Ave., Carey Rd., and Wilkinson Rd. Some farmland, notably "Panama Flats" remains undeveloped because it has been designated a protected parkland. This is part of an extensive greenbelt which also includes the famous Galloping Goose trail. The bird watcher may have a field day here, as the flats provide home to many types of water fowl, hawks and songbirds. The Marigold area is being developed extensively and no longer has many post-war homes. There are many new neighbourhoods and luckily, they have been developed with respect for the multitude of wildlife found here. "Marigold" is one of many "flower-themed" roads in the neighbourhood.
Prospect Lake - A largely rural and wooded area, with some newer subdivisions, in the northwest of the municipality. It lies just east of the Highlands
municipal boundary. It contains a number of wooded parks (notably Prospect Lake and Francis/King).
Strawberry Vale - Bounded by Wilkinson Rd., View Royal
, and the Layritz Park area. An area in transition, it is a mix of small farms, older subdivisions, and newer subdivisions.
Tillicum Village anchored by Tillicum Mall (Old Navy, London Drugs, and Linen'n Things) and the Silver City Movie Theatre Complex, this developing village area is also home the George Pearkes Recreation Center and the new Saanich Centennial Library. This commercial area also has a collection of small locally owned businesses and restaurants in nearby Burnside Plaza.
Town and Country - A largely commercial and industrial zone in the southwest corner of Saanich, next to the Victoria border, between Blanshard St., Burnside Rd., and Tillicum Rd. Residentially, it contains mainly small, post-war, lower middle-class housing, and low-rise apartments. The municipal hall and two large shopping centres - Mayfair and Town and Country - are located in this area.
Westview Heights - A classic 1950s residential subdivision bounded by Interurban Road, Tillicum Road and Carey Road. This area was planned Gordon Rolston, who was also the planner for the development of Broadmead. Common traits of the area with Broadmead include sloping landscaping, integration of natural features with the residential development, and the construction of quality middle-class homes. The land was originally owned by William Rowland, and is known for its clear views of the Olympic Mountains and the Sooke Hills.