The Township of Esquimalt is located at the southern tip of Vancouver
Island about 5 km (3 miles) west of downtown Victoria.
Esquimalt is one of the oldest settlements on Vancouver Island mainly
because of its military significance. Esquimalt was first surveyed
and established by the British in 1848 mainly because of the presence
of a natural harbour and the close proximity to the United States.
At the time British Columbia was being overrun by American fortune
seekers travelling up into the Fraser River towards Lillooet
and the British Royal Navy had to maintain law and order plus protect
and establish the border with America.
Esquimalt is situated on a peninsula formed by Esquimalt Harbour,
Victoria Harbour, an inland waterway called The Gorge, and Portage
Inlet. To the west of Esquimalt borders the community of View
Royal, to the east, also on the peninsula, is a section of Victoria
called Vic West and to the north across the other side of the Gorge
waterway is Saanich.
Pacific Naval Fleet
Ever since 1905, Esquimalt has been the official home to Canada's
Pacific Naval Fleet with MARPAC - Maritime Forces Pacific base located
at the end of Esquimalt Road. With this presence, MARPAC has helped
drive the local economy of Esquimalt, creating jobs and establishing
many economic spin-offs throughout the Capital Region District.
Everywhere within the whole community you'll be able to witness
the co-existence between the navy and the local community.
Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum
To view Esquimalt's proud past and learn about the men and women
who served and are presently serving in Canada's naval operations,
try and get a chance to visit the CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military
Museum. The Military Museum is situated on Naden Way, just off Admirals
Road north of Esquimalt Road.
The commercial and business district of Esquimalt is located on
Esquimalt Road around the 1100 block. Here you can find a grocery
store, restaurants, Esquimalt City Hall and Library, the multi-use
Archie Browning Sports Centre and the Esquimalt Recreation Centre,
which features a swimming pool, weight training and wellness facility.
Numerous other businesses also nearby include a Serious Coffee,
a McDonalds, Action Motorcycles who sell Hondas, Suzukis and KTM
motorcycles, Marty's Mountain Cycle and a real local favourite,
the La Belle Patate Restaurant plus nearby at Admirals Road the
Tudor House Liquor store and the Red Barn.
The weather in Victoria and the rest of the Capital Regional District
enjoy some of Canada's mildest weather. What you won't know is that
Esquimalt is probably the sunniest of the area with its south western
exposure on the horizon. Even on days that you think the weather
won't clear up, every once in a while the sun will start to shine
Esquimalt is home to a number of access points along the waterfront.
A good walk is the one along Saxe Point Park where you will be able
to see various ships at berth. This park has a nice level walking
trail along the water through beautifully kept gardens.
If you happen to enjoy ocean fishing and have a boat there is an
excellent boat launch available in Esquimalt at Fleming Beach. Located
at the foot of Lampson Street near Macaulay Point Park, the service
is operated through the Esquimalt Anglers Association. From here
the fishing grounds located off Macaulay Point in the Strait of
Juan de Fuca are very close at hand.
of Juan de Fuca
A very popular area for ocean fishing is called the Constance Bank
where salmon and halibut are caught. Just remember though, that
between here and the Olympic Peninsula, the Strait of Juan de Fuca
in Washington State is a major shipping lane with ocean traffic
moving all year. This can prove to be very dangerous, especially
during rough seas and foggy conditions.
If you're not fishing but enjoy scenery, Macaulay Point Park is
where you can have incredible views across the Strait of Juan de
Fuca over to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State and of the
breakwater at Ogden Point in Victoria. Also, if you enjoy history,
situated in Macaulay Point Park are some WW II vintage gun emplacements
that are located throughout the grounds.
There are also a number of properties that have been deemed heritage
sites and locations buildings located throughout the community,
with some being considered as National Heritage status such as St.
Paul's Anglican Church situated at 1379 Esquimalt Road.
Situated in 11.75 acres Highrock (Cairn) Park give you access along
rocky knolls and natural meadows to one of the best views of southern
Vancouver Island. The view from the Cairn at 262 feet is a complete
360-degree view towards Colwood, Langford,
Mount MacDonald and Mount Tolmie in Saanich. Victoria,
Esquimalt, the Juan de Fuca Strait and the Olympic Mountain Range
are also very scenic.
& N Trail
Esquimalt is home to a number of green belt areas allowing access
by the public to travel throughout the community visiting various
parks. The E&N Trail which follows the route of the E&N
Railway will take you to downtown Victoria in the south and north
Provincial Park in the north with plans to eventually reach
The Gorge is a very historical inland sea where past generations
of Victorians would spend summer days swimming, sunbathing, canoeing,
rowing and generally lazing around. You can gain access to the Gorge
at the Esquimalt Gorge Park situated off Tillicum Road near the
border with Saanich.
Vale Golf Course
For golfers Esquimalt has a beautiful course found at Gorge Vale
Golf Course. This historic challenge which is open year round, weather
permitting, can be found at 1005 Craigflower Road, which is at the
corner of Craigflower and Tillicum Roads. Guests are welcome.
Other places worth exploring include the 5.5 km (3.5 miles) one-way
West Bay Walkway situated at the foot of Head Street near Captain
Jacobson House. The West Bay Walkway takes you along the waterfront
connecting with the Westsong Walkway eventually going through Vic
West along the shoreline across Johnson Street Bridge to downtown
Marine Village and R.V. Park
Also situated near Captain Jacobson House is the Westbay Marine
Village and R.V. Park where you can find the start of a waterfront
walkway that takes you to Downtown Victoria, a marina facility and
RV Park which features waterfront sites. Another RV Park and boat
launch near Esquimalt is located in the Songhees First Nation lands
off Admirals Road on Maplebank Road called Maple Bank Campsite.
One event well worth visiting at the Archie Browning Sports Centre
is the very exciting Victoria Curling Classic. This annual tournament
happens during the end of March and presents a world classic curling
performance that includes some of Canada's best performing in perhaps
the highest-ranking Canadian Curling Association tour series.