The District of Oak Bay is located in the very south east portion
of Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula with an eastwardly view
of Haro Strait and San Juan Island in the background. Oak Bay is
part of the Capital Regional District (CRD) and borders the communities
of Victoria in the west and Saanich in
Oak Bay is surrounded by ocean waterfront in the east side and south
sides starting with Cadboro Bay in the north, south to Cattle Point,
Willows Beach, Turkey Head, Gonzales Point, McMicking Point, McNeill
Bay, Harling Point and Gonzales (Foul) Bay and the border with Victoria.
The main commercial, retail businesses and shops are generally located
on Oak Bay Avenue west of Foul Bay Road. Along this area you can
find the major banks, Fairway Market, small intimate restaurants,
Penny Farthing Pub and most other businesses including a Starbucks
and the Blethering Place Tea Room and Restaurant where you'll find
an authentic British Tea Room.
Along with Vancouver's Shaughnessy, Oak Bay is home to one of British
Columbia's older wealthier residential areas called the Uplands.
Made up of large stately manors and big estates, the Uplands is
home to one of British Columbia's more exclusive areas, many with
ocean waterfront views towards San Juan Island in Washington State.
There is an excellent driving tour that takes you through the Uplands
neighborhood from the Victoria waterfront. Take Dallas Road from
Beacon Hill Park east to Hollywood Crescent to Crescent Road, then
up and along King George Terrace to Beach Drive. The route takes
you along the ocean past stately homes and the prestigious Oak Bay
Golf Club, Oak Bay Beach Hotel and the waterfront past the Oak Bay
Marina to eventually Cattle Point and the Uplands Gates.
Guided Bus Tours
Watch for the driving tour signs posted along Beach Avenue if you're
driving or, better still, take a convenient guided bus tour that
leave the City of Victoria every day. Gray Line West offers a package
that takes you through a number of areas including the Uplands called
the Victoria Grand City Drive Tour.
Bay Tea Party
One event you'll want to attend in Oak Bay is the annual Oak Bay
Tea Party at the beginning of June. This all-weekend long event
includes a parade, an air show at Willows Beach including a sea
rescue demonstration, bathtub race, live entertainment on stage,
midway and lots of food including a pancake breakfast, baron of
beef, corn on the cob and tea from Tetley's Tea. During the evening
you can enjoy the fireworks along the shores of Willows Beach in
Uplands Park at Cattle Point.
There is a beautiful beach promenade walk along Willows Beach that
goes from the parking lot on Dalhousie Road all the way along Esplanade
to Cattle Point. Willows Beach is a very popular spot, especially
in the summer for people to enjoy sunbathing along Oak Bay. If you
have a chance, try and visit the small tea room operated by the
Oak Bay Kiwanis located at Willows Park.
Other walks in Oak Bay that are also nice include the walk along
McNeill Bay. Here you can find a beautiful pebble beach with a wonderful
southerly view of nearby Trial Island. If you're lucky there is
a possibility of spotting a pod of killer whales or seals off the
rocky shoreline. Another area worth considering visiting is Gonzales
Bay and Gonzales Hill Park near the border with Victoria.
For history buffs there is an old Chinese graveyard overlooking
McNeill Bay at Harling Point near the end of Crescent Road. The
cemetery has a number of very old headstones of Victoria's Chinese
past and has been deemed so important by the Government of Canada
that it has been declared as a National Historic Site.
If you would like to go boating there is a very nice boat ramp at
Cattle Point. From here there are lots of exploring and fishing
opportunities close by. For transient moorage and general information
go to the Oak Bay Marina on Beach Drive right near Newport Avenue.
At the Oak Bay Marina you can also find a coffee shop and a restaurant,
assistance finding a fishing guide, a large parking lot and a walking
path along the waterfront near Turkey Head.
If you already have a boat and know where to cruise, there is also
a very good boat ramp located at Cattle Point. Cattle Point has
lots of parking for vehicles and boat trailers.
Galley Fish & Chips
There is also one other smaller business district located on Estevan
Avenue near Willows Beach called the Estevan Village. Here you'll
find a small grocery store, café and the famous Willows Galley
Fish & Chips Shop. For those who enjoy a good fish and chip
meal, try the Willows Galley, you won't be disappointed as it is
definitely an Oak Bay tradition.
on Oak Bay