A rapidly developing village on Saanich Inlet north of Victoria, Brentwood Bay is home to the world-famous Butchart Gardens. Brentwood Village offers excellent accommodation, waterfront restaurants, and all amenities, and is also a jumping-off point for kayakers, canoeists and mountain hikers.
Previously named Slugget, after pioneer John Sluggett who settled in the area in 1876, the village of Brentwood Bay was given the rather more appealing name in 1925.
Brentwood Village takes its name from the English town of Brentwood in Essex, home town of R.M. Horne-Payne, president of the British Columbia Electric Company in the 1920s.
The Brentwood Bay-Mill Bay ferry is a convenient 25-minute route across the Saanich Inlet for those travelling to or from the Swartz Bay terminal and destinations north of Victoria. This scenic route bypasses Victoria and the Malahat.
Once a limestone quarry, Butchart Gardens is now filled with flowers, a luxurious 20-hectare estate attracting over one million visitors a year. Butchart delights visitors from around the world with wonderful floral displays and spectacular views as visitors stroll along meandering paths and expansive lawns. From the exquisite Sunken Garden to the charming Rose Garden, this show garden still maintains the gracious traditions that have spanned almost 100 years.
Take a side trip to Victoria Butterfly Gardens and stroll amidst hundreds of exotic butterflies flying free in an indoor tropical rainforest. Witness the entire life cycle of these amazing insects. The spectacular flowering plants and foliage, fascinating birds, waterfalls and stream all contribute to make this a photographer’s paradise, and a truly memorable experience for the entire family.
Located a short 20-minute drive from Victoria, on the beautiful Saanich Peninsula, Victoria Estate Winery is a wonderful place to enjoy a perfectly balanced glass of wine with friends and family.
The Saanich Fall Fair, held every Labour Day weekend features prize-winning produce and livestock, farm and crafts displays, live entertainment and a midway.
The annual Central Saanich Days celebration is held at Centennial Park on BC Day Weekend, the first weekend in August, sponsored by the Central Saanich Lions Club. Festivities include pancake breakfasts, hay rides, face painting, children’s games, a petting Farm, a slowpitch tournament … and lots more!
Diving: With an artificial reef slowly taking shape offshore from Brentwood Bay in the Saanich Inlet, there’s plenty of diving action locally, including Tod Inlet, just south of Brentwood Bay.
Diving around Vancouver Island.
Visit Coles Bay Regional Park, a quiet refuge on Coles Bay in the Saanich Inlet. The 4-hectare park has a rough, barnacle-covered rock beach typical of the Saanich Peninsula’s west side. A mixed wooded creek flows past towering western red cedar into a muddy beach rich in tidal lagoon life, a great spot for bird watching and hiking. The water in this deep fjord is always invigorating. Bring along a pair of beach shoes to best enjoy the environment.
Gowlland Tod Provincial Park protects a significant part of the Gowlland Range, one of the last remaining natural areas in Greater Victoria. Also protected is a portion of the natural shoreline and uplands in Tod Inlet, which adjoins the Saanich Inlet south of Brentwood Bay. Old mining and logging roads in the park now provide over 25 miles (40 km) of hiking trails. There are three access points to the park, which shares a common boundary with Mount Work Regional Park. For those hikers who enjoy easygoing trails coupled with access to Tod Inlet’s shoreline, take Wallace Drive from either of its two intersections with Hwy 17A. The trailhead at the north end of the park is located on the west side of Wallace Drive opposite Quarry Lake. A second trailhead is located on Willis Point Road west of Wallace Drive and is shared with Mount Work Regional Park. Trails provide seaside access to McKenzie Bight and climb to spectacular viewpoints and rocky outcroppings on Partridge Hills and Jocelyn Hill. The southern entrance to the park is reached by following Millstream Road north from Hwy 1 to Caleb Pike Road, then a short distance west to the trailhead. From here trails lead to Holmes Peak, Mount Finlayson, and Jocelyn Hill.
Three small lakes dot the slopes of Mount Work Regional Park. Depending on your mood, the weather, and the season, freshen up in Durrance Lake or Pease Lake on the north side of the park once you’ve completed the hike to the top of the mountain, or just relax at lakeside and enjoy the woodland ambience. Fork Lake lies at the south end of the hiking trail to the summit of Mount Work. To reach Durrance Lake, take Wallace Drive west of Hwy 17A, then follow Willis Point Road until the lake appears on its north side. Pease Lake is a short distance farther west. Follow Willis Point Road to Ross Durrance Road and head south to the lake. Fork Lake is reached by following Millstream Road north of Hwy 1 west of Victoria, then turning northeast on Munnis Road.
John Dean Provincial Park on Mount Newton straddles the boundary between North Saanich and Central Saanich, just a few miles north of Brentwood Bay. The park was the first donated provincial park in British Columbia, and the mountain and the surrounding area feature prominently in the culture of the native Saanich people.
Wildlife: Gowlland Tod Provincial Park is home to deer, cougars, black bears and over 100 species of birds – more than 20% of British Columbia’s rare plants grow here! To the west, Saanich Inlet is a unique, shallow-mouthed fjord – a fragile backyard wilderness visited by eagles, ospreys, minks, river otters and on occasion pods of killer whales.
Hiking: Although there are many hiking trails in rural Central Saanich, just walking the country roads through lovely pastoral landscapes of rolling fields and hedgerows can be very pleasant, with many of the quiet roads being used to link up the more popular hiking trails. One such walk commences at John Dean Provincial Park, descending southward following the Gail Wickens Horse Trail, Thomson Road, Mount Newton Cross Road, Malcolm Road (at Saanichton School) and Tomlinson Road to Centennial Park, which is criss-crossed with walking trails.
Butterfield Park on Mount Newton Cross Road at Thomson Place offers pleasant strolls through 5.3 hectares of what was once the South Hill poultry farm. Willow Way is a pleasant 10-km circle route for cyclists, hikers and horseriders through narrow roads and along unopened road rights-of-way beside fences, in the flat or rolling farmlands of Central Saanich. Commencing at Centennial Park, the route takes in Gore Nature Park, Hardy Park, and the seawall promenade at Brentwood Bay, before returning via Wallace Road and West Saanich Road to Centennial Park.
Golf: Victoria boasts 8 championship golf courses in close proximity, including Arbutus Ridge Golf Club, Cordova Bay Golf Club, Olympic View Golf Club, Gorge Vale Golf Club, Royal Colwood Golf Club, and Bear Mountain Golf and Country Club. Nearby Oak Bay has the Uplands Golf Course and Victoria Golf Club.
Victoria Golf Vacations.
Vancouver Island Golf Vacations.
The closest community to Brentwood Bay is Saanichton, well known for flowers and rose gardens. Bed and breakfast homes and riding stables are nestled alongside parks, campgrounds, old-growth forests and small farms.
North of Brentwood Bay is Central Saanich, which has a rich agricultural heritage, with farmland in the rural community comprising almost two-thirds of the municipality. While enjoying the benefits of a high-quality rural lifestyle, Central Saanich is within easy access of Victoria, the Victoria International Airport, and the BC Ferries’ terminal at Swartz Bay.
The Brentwood Bay/Mill Bay ferry is a convenient 25-minute route across the Saanich Inlet for those travelling to or from the Swartz Bay terminal and destinations north of Victoria. This scenic route bypasses Victoria and the Malahat, providing a convenient connection to Highway 1 north of the Malahat, particularly when the Malahat is closed due to an accident or heavy snowfall.