Oak Bay Neighbourhood Guide
Historic, polished, and fully of charm.
One of the oldest and most prestigious neighbourhoods in the city, this affluent community is popular for its picturesque treelined streets and its stunning historic properties. Oak Bay is truly a spectacular area, filled with boutique shopping and dining, warm sandy beaches, and a strong sense of community. Living up to its reputation of grandeur, homes in the area can range from stately Colonials in The Uplands, to landmark Tudor waterfront estates. Attractions such as the Oak Bay Beach Hotel and the Oak Bay Marina draw both local and international visitors alike, proving the area is truly exceptional.
What to Love
- Historic, stately homes, all in an incredibly safe and desired community
- Peaceful neighbourhoods with close access to parks and beaches
- Small town feel
- Boutique amenities
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Oak Bay Village is a dynamic shopping destination, with the feel of a small-town village centre, yet filled with modern amenities. Whether you’re wanting to shop at the boutiques for local goods, browse the art galleries, or grab a coffee at one of the numerous cafes – Oak Bay Village really has it all. Right in the centre of the avenue is the Penny Farthing Pub, a true English pub, which provides a distinct atmosphere with dark wood interior and four crackling fireplaces. Not to be missed (and right next door) is Vis-à-Vis, a French inspired restaurant, ideal for charcutier and a glass of wine.
If you’re looking to shop, Hughes Clothing recently moved to the avenue and should not be missed. With almost 40 years in the business, they carrying quality lines from all over the world, making it easy to find something great each and every visit.
Estevan village is the second centralized shopping area found in Oak Bay. Albeit smaller than its counterpart, it still is a much-loved destination just a few blocks from the beach. The Village - Estevan is a locally owned spot great for brunch (be sure to try their benny’s on house made potatoes latkes). Just around the corner you’ll find Pure Vanilla Bakery, a quintessential neighbourhood café which offers an incredible array of freshly baked goods.
Things to Do
Whether it’s a day at the beach or a day on the water, living in Oak Bay provides an intimacy with the ocean that you’re hard pressed to find anywhere else in the city.
Willows Beach is a warm sandy enclave popular year-round. It provides superb views of Discovery Island and Mount Baker and is a perfect spot for ocean swimming or paddle boarding. The area even plays host to the Oak Bay Tea Party, a nearly 60-year long tradition, which hosts everything from carnival rides to air shows, and is a highlight for the community each summer. If you’re looking to get out on the water more seriously, the Royal Victoria Yacht Club provide excursions throughout the area. Just down the road is the Oak Bay Marina – their restaurant features some of the finest locally inspired cuisine around, all to be enjoyed with serene views of the water.
Considering you can golf almost every day of the year here in Victoria, the popularity of the local courses should come as no surprise. The world-renowned Victoria Golf Club was founded in 1893, is the oldest 18-hole golf course in Canada. Consistently ranked as one of the best courses in the country, it truly is an idyllic location, with views of the coastline, Olympic mountains, and rolling greens. Another great local option is the Uplands Golf Club, albeit with less history and prestige than its older rival, this parkland style course is great for golfers of all abilities.