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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > The Islands  > Esquimalt

Esquimalt
The Township of Esquimalt is located at the southern tip of Vancouver Island about 5 km (3 miles) west of downtown Victoria.

British Royal Navy
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.

The Gorge
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.

Canada's 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.

CFB 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.

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 Zap Thai Restaurant plus nearby at Admirals Road the Tudor House Pub.

Sunny Weather
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 in Esquimalt.

Saxe Point Park
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.

Fleming Beach
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.

Strait 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.

Incredible Views
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.

Heritage Sites
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.

Highrock (Cairn) Park
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.

E & 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 to Goldstream Provincial Park in the north with plans to eventually reach Shawnigan Lake.

The Gorge Waterway
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.

Gorge 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.

West Bay Walkway
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 Victoria.

Westbay 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 a waterfront café called the Fin & Gill Bar & Grill which features the old Princess Mary Restaurant, 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.

Victoria Curling Classic
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.

Information on Esquimalt

 

 

Map of Esquimalt
click map for larger image

 

The Gorge
The Gorge

 

MARPAC - Esquimalt Graving Dock
MARPAC - Esquimalt Graving Dock

 

Munro Street
Munro Street

 

Walking Pier at Flemming Beach
Walking Pier at Flemming Beach

 

Saxe Point Park
Saxe Point Park

 

Esquimalt Anglers Association
Esquimalt Anglers Association

 

View of Ogden Point
View of Ogden Point

 

Kayaking of Macaulay Point
Kayaking of Macaulay Point

 

View From Highrock (Cairn) Park
View From Highrock (Cairn) Park

 

Denniston Park
Denniston Park

 

Gorge Vale Golf Course
Gorge Vale Golf Course

 

Westbay Marine Village
Westbay Marine Village

 

Fin & Gill Bar & Grill
Fin & Gill Bar & Grill

 
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