Originally one of four large farms established by the Hudson’s Bay Company in the 1850’s to supply the steadily increasing population of Fort Victoria, Colwood is now itself a thriving satellite city in the largely residential area of the Western Communities.
Colwood is bordered by the town of View Royal and the district of Langford to the north and west, and by the district of Metchosin to the south.
Colwood is one of the West Shore municipalities of Langford, Metchosin, View Royal and the Highlands, located to the west of Victoria. This region is known as the Western Communities, or West Shore, and stretches from Esquimalt Harbour to Rocky Point, along the shoreline of Juan de Fuca Strait.
Although only incorporated in 1985, Colwood has a rich heritage dating back to the 18th century and is proud of its many historic landmarks, such as Hatley Castle and Fisgard Lighthouse.
Today, Colwood in the Western Communities is one of the most rapidly growing municipalities in the greater Victoria area, with a variety of recreational opportunities and facilities.
Location: Colwood is located 6 miles (10 km) west of downtown Victoria.
The community of Colwood is very proud of its history and heritage. Learn more about the The History of Colwood.
Hatley Park is Canada’s largest and most diverse National Historic site. At the centre of this authentic and beautifully preserved 565-acre Edwardian estate is a magnificent castle built in 1908 by former British Columbia Premier and coal baron, James Dunsmuir. Enjoy tours of Hatley Castle, visit the museum, or stroll through the Japanese, Italian, and Rose Heritage Gardens. Visitors can also participate in one of the many visitor programs, or enrol in a garden workshop, attend a special seasonal event, or grab a bite to eat at the Habitat Cafe while visiting Hatley Park National Historic Site. Hatley Castle and the park grounds are now home to Royal Roads University.
The Royal Roads University and Gardens are surrounded by an urban forest containing elements of all biotic zones of Vancouver Island except alpine and coastal rain forest. The campus area borders on a saltwater lagoon, which is a bird and wildlife sanctuary. From most parts of the grounds and gardens, it is possible to look across the straits of Juan de Fuca towards the Olympic Mountains of Washington State.
Fisgard Lighthouse, the first lighthouse on Canada’s rocky west coast. Built in 1860 by the British when Vancouver Island was still a crown colony, Fisgard remains the oldest working lighthouse on the West Coast, providing a welcome guide for mariners to Royal Roads anchorage and Esquimalt naval base, and pointing the way to Victoria harbour for merchant ships and recreational vessels.
The former keeper’s house now contains exhibits, artifacts and display panels. Access to Fisgard Lighthouse is through the large grounds of Fort Rodd Hill.
Stroll through peaceful meadows at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Park, overlooking Esquimalt Harbour, a coastal artillery site from 1878 to 1956 built to defend Victoria and the Esquimalt Naval Base. The large grounds also boast the Fisgard Lighthouse.
On summer weekends, local and visiting military bands often perform at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Park. One of the glorious things about the Victoria region is that you can picnic here year-round, something that much of the rest of the province has always envied. This 18-hectare park has rolling lawns, wooded glens and stretches of beach, an excellent place for a family picnic.
St. John the Baptist Church is a beautifully restored heritage Church, sited adjacent to the Pioneer Cemetery on Glencairn Lane in Colwood. The Anglican parish of St. John the Baptist was officially designated in 1912, and the church completed in 1913. St. John has recently been restored with a grant from BC Heritage Trust. A fine example of Carpenter Gothic, the church boasts the original tongue and groove cedar interior and vaulted raftered ceiling, and period heritage lamp standards line the walkway through the quiet churchyard. The church regularly hosts weddings, organ concerts, classical violin recitals, vocal ensembles and storytelling.
Fire Fighter’s Museum: The Historical Society operates this museum and education center adjacent to the fire station to promote the preservation and restoration of the history and firefighting artifacts of the local communities. The museum preserves the past educates younger residents on fire safety. Located at 3215 Metchosin Road.
Cole Island is national Historic site located in Esquimalt Harbour, just off Colwood’s shore. The beautiful island is easily accessed by boat and is a favourite stop for kayakers and family picnics and community events. Historically, Cole Island was strategically important to the Royal Navy as an ammunition depot. In 1859 the first two powder magazines were constructed, and five of the original structures remain today. The island is open from sun-up to sun-down.
Esquimalt Lagoon: A pleasant spot to relax at on a summer day is Esquimalt Lagoon, a saltwater lagoon located near Fisgard Lighthouse and Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Park. Watch the seabirds in the sanctuary and enjoy the view of Victoria and Esquimalt, and the Olympic Mountains of Washington across Juan de Fuca Strait. The land above Esquimalt Lagoon boasts Douglas fir trees that are among the top 10 biggest Douglas firs in British Columbia.
The Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, situated on 98 acres in Colwood, offers the sports enthusiast a variety of activities, including 9 holes of golf on a scenic course, skating, curling, tennis, lacrosse, baseball, lawn bowling, swimming, or jogging on two beautiful chip trails (1 km and 2.75 km).
Golf courses in Colwood include the Olympic View Golf Club and Royal Colwood Golf Club, and the spectacular new Bear Mountain Golf and Country Club in neighbouring Langford.
Victoria Golf Vacations.
Vancouver Island Golf Vacations.
Whether you enjoy hiking, cycling, roller blading, horseback riding, or just going for a stroll, the Galloping Goose Trail is the place to be. The 100-km multi-use trail links the communities of View Royal, Colwood, Langford, Metchosin, and Sooke.
North of Colwood is the Western Communities town of Langford, situated between Colwood and the Malahat, and incorporating the head of Finlayson Arm and Mount Finlayson. Langford offers an accessible diversity of beautiful parks and lakes and limitless recreational activities.
West of Colwood is the Western Communities town of Metchosin, a rural community of wide open spaces, pastoral countryside and bountiful farmland. Metchosin was first inhabited by Coast Salish peoples.