Saanich Peninsula

Geographical location

The Saanich Peninsula (English Saanich Peninsula ) is a peninsula in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The peninsula itself is the pulling of the actual southern, south-east end of Vancouver Iceland and belongs to the administrative district Capital Regional District.

On the principle uniformly densely populated peninsula, there are different communities. In addition to lying on the peninsula reserves of First Nations, which are inhabited by few natives, are located on the peninsula of John Dean Provincial Park and the Gulf Islands National Park, the few larger sparsely populated areas or not. Furthermore, the parks are also tourist attractions, as well as the British Columbia Aviation Museum, the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory and Butchart Gardens.


The peninsula tapers off from their base north of the city of Victoria, further north, with the Fährteminal Swartz Bay BC Ferries the end. Westward the Saanich Inlet cuts far into the island and thus separates the peninsula from the rest of the island from. To the east the peninsula bordered by the waters of Haro Strait. The southern end of the peninsula is not precisely defined. According to current definitions, the Saanich Peninsula does not include the entire peninsula, but its southern boundary runs approximately from the center of Saanich Inlets ( approximately at the transition in the Finlayson Arm ) to the opposite coast ( approximately at the level of Cordova Bay).


The peninsula is basically crossed by a slightly wavy surface and with numerous small lakes. The coastline is characterized by rocky and rugged shores. Larger cuts or coves can be found along the peninsula more. Highest point of the peninsula is the Mount Newton, with 306 m height. South of the Peninsula can be found with Mount Work ( 449 m altitude ) and the Jocelyn Hill ( 434 m) two more mountains.

On the Saanich Peninsula to find rock formation from the Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, and the Quaternary. The most common rock types are basalt, diorite, dacite and limestone and rare andesite, sandstone and shale.

Flora and Fauna

Within the ecosystem of British Columbia, the peninsula is mainly associated with the Coastal Douglas Fir zone. Same biogeoklimatische zones are characterized by a respective same climate and the same or similar biological and geological conditions. This results in the respective zones then also a very similar inventory of plants and animals.

After the last forestry use and reforestation grow on the peninsula, especially in the protected areas, mainly Douglas fir, western hemlock American, giant trees of life, Oregon oaks and coastal pines. Also can be found on the peninsula some of the American arbutus. The forest here has, if available, an understory of mahonias, broom and bearberry. In addition, can be found on the tooth lilies, forest lilies and snow berries Peninsula. In the undergrowth, there are still the Nuttall's flowering dogwood, also known as Pacific Dogwood Blossoms (English Pacific dogwood ), the coat of arms plant of British Columbia.


Due to the usually prevailing wind directions, the entire peninsula is relatively well protected from the otherwise quite frequent and highly productive rain on Canada's west coast. The entire peninsula is regarded as one of the driest areas on the coast. Exactly the temperature are moderate in both summer and winter.


The peninsula is originally settlements and hunting grounds of the eponymous people of Saanich, which belong to the First Nations. On the peninsula lived several groups, the Tsartlip that Pauquachin that Tsawout and Tseycum. Also can be found on the peninsula still preserves these groups.

The European history dates to the first expeditions of the British and Spanish back in the 1770s. However, it is uncertain who has this area where entered. Surely this is only with the expedition under George Vancouver in 1792. The first European settlers settled in 1850 on the peninsula down. The first settlement was focused in the area of ​​today's District Central Saanich. The first settlers, who settled here, establishing farms on behalf of the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, a subsidiary of Hudson 's Bay Company ( HBC). 1852 was Governor James Douglas, who was also at the same time still Chief Executive of the HBC, with the Saanich two contracts, as part of the so-called Douglas Treaties, concluded at the exchange of blankets against the country. These treaties and the interpretation by the Europeans allowed this another land grab on the peninsula. The interpretation of the Treaties, which are seen by the Saanich not as contracts, but only as a personal consultation, leading up to today disputes.

With the creation of the Crown Colony of Vancouver Iceland and the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, the demand for food increased more and more. Therefore settled on the peninsula more and more settlers and founded farms. This development continued. However, many farms were abandoned in favor of residential areas, especially after the First World War. Today prevail on the peninsula residential development and infrastructure.


On the Saanich Peninsula about 37,600 people live. Accurate determination of the population is not possible because there is no exact limit is determined according to the south.

On the peninsula are, from north to south, the following municipalities:

  • North Saanich
  • Sidney
  • Central Saanich
  • Saanich (only the northern part of the municipality is counted for Peninsula)
  • Highlands ( only the southern part of the municipality is counted for Peninsula)


The peninsula is crossed by two major traffic routes. Both the Highway 17 and Highway 17A extending in a north-south direction. The Highway 17 opens while the eastern areas of the peninsula, while the Highway 17A crosses the western territories. Common northern end of both highways is the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal. From here, the connection to the Lower Mainland and Vancouver. Due to this ferry traffic on Highway 17 is tightly sealed.

In addition to the ferry terminal at Swartz Bay, there is a small ferry across the Saanich Inlet. The small ferry from Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay.

Near the northern end of the peninsula is the Victoria International Airport. It is the largest of the airports on Vancouver Iceland and therefore of corresponding importance. Although the tracks do not allow the landing or starting large aircraft, it is served by several regional airlines in both domestic and international traffic.

Furthermore, there is also public transport, which is ensured by various bus routes. Currently Victoria Regional Transit System operates nine bus routes on the peninsula. Rail transport does not take place on the Saanich Peninsula.