Oak Bay, British Columbia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the electoral district, see Oak Bay (electoral district).
Oak Bay
District municipality
The Corporation of the District of Oak Bay[1]
Coat of arms of Oak Bay
Coat of arms
Oak Bay, British Columbia is located in British Columbia
Oak Bay, British Columbia
Location of Oak Bay in British Columbia
Coordinates: 48°25′35″N 123°19′22″W / 48.42639°N 123.32278°W / 48.42639; -123.32278Coordinates: 48°25′35″N 123°19′22″W / 48.42639°N 123.32278°W / 48.42639; -123.32278
Country  Canada
Province  British Columbia
Regional District Capital
Incorporated 1906
 • Mayor Nils Jensen
 • Governing Body Oak Bay Municipal Council
 • MP Murray Rankin (New Democratic Party (Canada))
 • MLA Andrew Weaver (BC Green)
 • Total 10.53 km2 (4.07 sq mi)
Elevation 34 m (112 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 18,015
 • Density 1,710.3/km2 (4,430/sq mi)
Time zone Pacific Time Zone (UTC−8)
 • Summer (DST) Pacific Daylight Time (UTC−7)
Area code(s) 250, 778
Oak Bay

Oak Bay is a municipality located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, in the Canadian province of British Columbia, Canada, and is a seaside community. A member municipality of the Capital Regional District, it is a community east of and adjacent to the city of Victoria. It is one of the 13 municipalities of Greater Victoria.

Notable features[edit]

Oak Bay has several notable features which include:

  • The Oak Bay Village is the heart of Oak Bay, which runs along Oak Bay Avenue.
  • Home to one of the largest collections of Art & Crafts Galleries on Vancouver Island. A leisurely stroll through the Village finds 7 superb Art Galleries and Craft Studios representing some of the finest Canadian art & crafts available.
  • Its beautiful and rugged shorelines and beaches, popular with boaters.
  • Its two marinas the Oak Bay Marina & Royal Victoria Yacht Club.
  • Well-maintained houses and gardens throughout the municipality.
  • Oak Bay has a large number of old style and heritage homes.
  • The Oak Bay community is known for being stringent against structural and landscape changes.
  • The discrete area of the Uplands is a residential neighbourhood that is home to many of the most expensive properties in Canada, including stately turn of the century houses of the Arts and Crafts and Faux Tudor styles, as well as new high-end construction. Several of the waterfront residential properties in the Uplands and South Oak Bay count themselves amongst the most expensive private properties in Canada and North America.
  • In 2011, the average price of a single family home in Oak Bay was $936,355.[2]
  • Retirement homes and communities - Oak Bay is well known as a popular retirement destination.
  • A selection of excellent restaurants, deli's, bistro's antique shops, as well as an English-style pub, and other establishments geared towards both families and seniors.
  • A long-standing opposition to large commercial development and suited homes.
  • Its three golf courses the Victoria Golf Club, Uplands Golf Club & Oak Bay Recreation henderson golf course.

Oak Bay is a community of British heritage, and has a stereotyped reputation as a quaint, charming neighborhood with an elitist British atmosphere. Oak Bay has been referred to as being located "Behind the Tweed Curtain",[3] a lighthearted allusion to the Iron Curtain. Tour guides continue to refer to it as "More English Than England Itself".

Oak Bay is home to several popular beaches, most notably Willows Beach.

Oak Bay's motto, from its coat of arms, is Sub Quercu Felicitas, Latin for "Under the Oak, Good Fortune".


Cattle Point, Oak Bay, British Columbia

Prior to the arrival of Europeans, Oak Bay was home to the local Coast Salish people of the Songhees First Nation. Evidence of their encampments has been found along local shores, including Willows Beach. Following the establishment of Fort Victoria on the Inner Harbour, the Hudson's Bay Company established Cadboro Bay Farm to supply food for the small settlement. Cattle Point, where cattle were brought ashore to avoid taxes, between Cadboro Bay and Willows Beach recalls the early history of this area. Early European settlers of the area included John Tod, whose home still stands and is reputed to be haunted.

Oak Bay takes its name from the Garry Oak tree, which are found throughout the region, and the name of the large bay on the Eastern shore of the municipality, fronting onto Willows Beach.

Originally developed as a middle class streetcar suburb of Victoria, Oak Bay was incorporated as a municipality in 1906. Its first Council included Francis Rattenbury, the architect who designed the Legislative Buildings and Empress Hotel located on the inner harbour in Victoria. Rattenbury's own home on Beach Drive is now used as the junior campus for Glenlyon Norfolk School. In 1912 the former farm lands of the Hudson's Bay Company were subdivided to create the Uplands area, but development was hampered by World War I. After the war, development of expensive homes in the Uplands was accompanied by the construction of many more modest dwellings in the Estevan, Willows and South Oak Bay neighbourhoods. In addition to being an attractive retirement area, Oak Bay has also long appealed to families with young children and others seeking safe and well-maintained neighbourhoods. Oak Bay boasts wonderful beaches, the Oak Bay Marina, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, and the Royal Victoria Yacht Club located on the shore of Cadboro Bay.

The Victoria Golf Club is located in South Oak Bay. It was founded in 1893, and is the second oldest golf course west of the Great Lakes. It is a challenging 6000 yard links course which hugs the ocean side, and claims to be the oldest golf course in Canada still on its original site.[4]

The Royal Victoria Yacht Club was formed on June 8, 1892, and moved in 1912 to its current location, at the location of the old Hudson's Bay Company cattle wharf.

The Oak Bay Marina was built in 1962 and officially opened in April 1964. It replaced the Oak Bay Boat House built in 1893. The breakwater was built in 1959 and funded by the federal government.

There have reportedly been sightings of a sea monster known as the Cadborosaurus off Oak Bay, with modern day accounts and ones dating back to first nations accounts.

Canada 2006 Census Population  % of Total Population
Visible minority group
Chinese 430 2.4%
South Asian 180 1%
Black 25 0.1%
Filipino 155 0.9%
Latin American 65 0.4%
Southeast Asian 30 0.2%
Arab 15 0.1%
West Asian 65 0.4%
Korean 45 0.3%
Japanese 170 1%
Other visible minority 10 0.1%
Mixed visible minority 25 0.1%
Total visible minority population 1,225 6.9%
Aboriginal group
First Nations 260 1.5%
Métis 0 0%
Inuit 0 0%
Total Aboriginal population 260 1.5%
White 16,200 91.6%
Total population 17,685 100%



Oak Bay is within School District 61. There is one public elementary school, Willows Elementary, one public middle school, Monterey Middle School, and one public high school, Oak Bay High School, with the second largest student population in the Greater Victoria School District.[8]

Residents in the South Oak Bay area may also register their children at the nearby Margaret Jenkins Elementary (in Victoria).

There are two private schools located in Oak Bay, Glenlyon Norfolk School and St. Michael's University School.

Half of the University of Victoria campus is located within the District of Oak Bay, while the other half is in adjacent Saanich.


Parks & Recreation Centres[edit]


  • Anderson Hill Park
  • Bowker Creek Walkway
  • Carnarvon Park
  • Causton's Green
  • Chinese cemetery (national historic site)
  • Cochrane’s Common
  • Entrance Park
  • Fireman’s Park
  • Gonzales Hill Regional Park - Gonzales Observatory (CRD park)
  • Haynes Park
  • Henderson
  • Kitty Islet
  • Lafayette park
  • Lokier Garden
  • McMicking Park
  • Monteith Allotment Gardens
  • Native Plant Garden
  • Oakdowne Park
  • Queen’s Park
  • Trafalgar Park
  • Turkey Head Walkway
  • Uplands Park / Cattle Point (A Garry Oak Meadow Ecosystem. FLICKR photos at [1])
  • Walbran Park
  • Willows Park
  • Windsor Park
  • Mary Todd Island
  • Quimper Park
  • Nottingham Park

Recreation Centres

  • Henderson Recreation Centre
  • Monterey Centre
  • Oak Bay Recreation Centre
  • Windsor Pavilion

Marinas, Anchorages & Boat Ramps[edit]


  • Oak Bay Marina
  • Royal Victoria Yacht Club
  • The Oak Bay Beach Hotel has some seasonal docking facilities


  • Cadboro Bay Anchorage
  • Oak Bay Anchorage

Boat Ramps

  • Cattle Point
  • McNeill Bay (non-trailerable boat's only)
  • Queen’s Park (locked)

Golf Courses[edit]

  • Oak Bay Recreation - Henderson Golf Course
  • Uplands Golf Club
  • Victoria Golf Club

Public Safety[edit]

  • Oak Bay Emergency Program
  • Oak Bay Fire Department - The Oak Bay Fire Department was formed in 1937. [9]
  • Oak Bay Police Department - The Oak Bay Police Department was formed in 1906.
  • Oak Bay Sea Rescue (OBSR) - Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 33 (RCM-SAR) - Oak Bay Sea Rescue was formed in 1977, and is a volunteer organisation. The Unit's Boats are based out of Oak Bay Marina [10]

See also[edit]

McNeill Bay (British Columbia)





Oak Bay, British Columbia: in Photographs 1906-2006 (book)

Only in Oak Bay Oak Bay Municipality: 1906-1981 (book)

External links[edit]