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Greater Victoria and Area

CFB Esquimalt

HMC Dockyard Esquimalt, at the end of Esquimalt road, hosts a large ship repair unit for maintaining naval vessels. 
CFB Esquimalt is primarily a naval base with an English language designation.  The Base employs around 4500 military members and 2500 civilian personnel.  Approximately 10-15% of its military population is Francophone.
The Base has several locations spread over 25 kilometers in different communities surrounding Victoria.  Most of the CFB Esquimalt facilities are located in the Esquimalt community approximately 4 kilometers from downtown Victoria.

Welcome to CFB Esquimalt Workshop Recording

Learn about posting to CFB Esquimalt with this workshop recording from June 2023.


Getting to know Victoria

  • Cultural Heritage/Tourism
    Victoria is a city rich in it diverse cultual heritage:  you can immerse your self in the "British feel" of the area by going to teh Empress Hotel for afternoon tea or explore the legacy of the First Nations people by visiting on of their many cultural centres.  Bictoria is also world-renowned for its majestic Butchart Gardens.  The city is a favoured tourist destination, and the streets during the summer season are full of visitors exploring the city and all of its attractions.
  • Dogs
    • Most municipalities have a list of dog-friendly and off-leash parks
    • The CRD website ( has a list of parks where dogs are welcome and a list of off-limit areas in each park
    • All pets must be on a leash and under control at all times in BC Provincial Parks
    • The Capital Regional District (CRD) Bylaw and Animal Care Services manages dog licensing for Colwood, Langford, Metchosin, Highlands, Sooke, Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, Salt Spring Island, Southern Gulf Islands and View Royal.  Purchase licenses through Bylaw Services or through select vendors listed on their website
    • Residents of larger municipalities in the CRD Bylaw Enforcement Area can purchase a license at their municipal hall
    • Every municipality can purchase a license at the CRD Animal Shelter (5401 Pat Bay Highway)
  • Emergency Preparedness
    The Greater Victoria region is subject to the risk of earthquakes, severe winter wind and rain storms, and simmer fire hazards.  There is information available from the BC government at to help you gain awareness of the hazards and how to respond.  Preparing for emergencies is everyone's responsibility.
  • Geography and Climate
    Victoria is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.  In order to get to Victoria by car, you will need to take a ferry from Vancouver (Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal).  The trip is approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes.  The unique location of Victoria gives tha area a temperate climate with warm summers (the average temperature is 22 Celsius) and with more hours of sunshine than other regions on mainland BC.  Nature trails and bicycle lanes abound in the area, making the city very pedestrian and bicycle friendly.
    A warm coat and umbrella are sufficient for winters in the Victoria region since they are usually the mildest in Canada with an average January temperature of 6 Celsius.  When it does snow, it often does not stay long.  The area is a haven for morotcyclists, cyclists and golfers.  However, if you do prefer traditional winter activities such as skiing, you can visit Mount Washington, which is a 3 hour drive nort of Victoria.  This ski resort is located near the 19 Wing Comox Canadian Air Force Base.
  • Language
    While the primary language in Victoria is English, you will hear a variety of languages spoken through the area.  French can be heard in some parts of the downtown areas close to govenment offices and around CFB Esquimalt.  If your primary language is French, there is a French language school system, a Francophone society and free second language training available through the MFRC.  Victoria has one of the highest levels of registrations in French immersion programs in Canada.

Greater Victoria Quick Facts & Stats

  • Faith/Religion
    • Numerous demominations are available in the Greater Victoria Region
    • Services in French (Roman Catholic: Paroisse St-Jean-Baptiste)
    • Canadian Forces Base: 3 Churches ( 2 Roman Catholic and 1 Protestant)
  • Garbage and Recycling
    • The CRD provides curbside recycling to over 121,000 homes in the region
    • Kitchen scraps are restricted from your garbage and are picked up every two weeks with garbage collection
    • Some municipalities provide their own garbage collection.  In some areas like Colwood, Langford and Sooke, you may be required to contract your own provider
  • People
    • Overall population of Greater Victoria 367,770
    • Language spoken: English
    • Accessibility for disabled people: Cross walks for the blind, bus transit wheel chair accessible, special transportation available (HandyDart)
    • Access Victoria Accessible Transit Services at
    • Legal age of majority: 19 years old
  • Provincial Laws
    • Smoking laws :  Legal age (19) required to purchase tobacco product, smoking forbidden in all indoor public spaces and workplaces, as well as within three metres of public and workspace doorways, open window or air intakes.
    • Distracted driving law:  Illegal to use a cellular phone and other devices while driving
    • Liquor providers:  Private and governmant owned stores.
    • Bicycle helmet:  Mandatory
    • Speed limits:  30-50 km/h in town and 70-100 km/h on highways
    • Right turn on red light:  Permitted
    • Green flashing light does not mean advanced turn, it means the intersection is pedestrian controlled.
    • Car Seat:
    • Seat belt:  Mandatory
    • Sales Tax 7% PST and 5% GST
  • Usage of Phone
    Phone: Need to dial 10 digits (including 250,778,236 and 672 area code)
  • Utility Providers
    • Electricity: BC Hydro
    • Gas: FortisBC
    • Oil: Columbia Fuel and others
    • Cable: Shaw and TELUS
    • Telephone: Shaw and TELUS (for land lines)
    • Internet: Shaw and TELUS
    • Water: CRD

View Municipalities

Greater Victoria consists of thirteen municipalities. View a gallery of maps that compares the location of CFB Esquimalt as it compares with those communities.

Community Links for Greater Victoria

Community  Notes
Central SaanichCentral Saanich is about 20km from downtown Victoria.  This community has a rich agricultural heritage with easy access to transportation facilities.  One of the major attributes of this community is its 20 km of shoreline. Central Saanich enjoys the benefits of being located close to Victoria but still possesses a rural ambience.
ColwoodColwood is located 12km from Dockyard and contains other sections of CFB Esquimalt, the Colwood Pacific Activity Centre(CPAC), Fleet dive Unit, and the Damage Control School.  In this community, you will find the largest proportion of Residential Housing Units in an area called Belmont Park, adjacent to Royal Roads University.   11% of military families live in Colwood.
EsquimaltThis area of town hosts the largest portion of CFB Esquimalt and is the home of Canada's Pacific Naval Fleet.  Dockyard, Naden and Work Point Housing Units are also located in Esquimalt.  Workpoint is also home to Venture (the Naval Officer Training Centre).  20% of military families live in Esquimalt.
HighlandsThe Highlands are located further north and provide a quiet rural setting.  Small hobby farms and large residential acreage co-exist.  There are beautiful scenic parks with extensive walking and hiking trails.  This area is home to unique wild life. 
LangfordThe community of Langford is adjacent to Colwood.  It is a young, growing community that offers affordable housing and a wide range of services and amenities.  Residents enjoy a wealth of recreational activities.  15% of military families live in Langford.
MetchosinMetchosin is a picturesque, semi-rural community.  Nature trails, scenic marinas, and sandy beaches are some of the natural beauties that this community offers.  Metchosin has a farmer's market where you can purchase local fruits and vegetables, homemade bread, jams and pickles, and "free range" eggs.  9% of military families live in Metchosin.
North SaanichNorth Saanich is located on the Saanich Peninsula approximately 25km north of Victoria.  The area is surrounded on three sides by 20km of ocean shoreline.  the long coastlines here offer local homes an unparalleled view of the ocean, distand islands and mountains.  This community is home of the Air Force Detachment's 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron.  this squadron is located adjacent to the Victoria airport and is only a few kilometers from the ferry terminal. 
Oak BayOak Bay offers its English manner through Tudor style homes, tearooms and picturesque gardens.  Walks are delightful along both the sandy Willows Beach and along the ocean boulevard known as the Scenic Drive. .
SaanichSaanich is a major residential area in the Capital Regional district.  This part of Greater Victoria has an important agricultural base.  This community has provincial parks, public beaches and picturesques waterfalls at Beaver Lake and Swan Lake.  If you enjoy beautiful views, you will be delighted when you will reach the summit at PKOLS (Mount Douglas Park) and contemplate the City of Victoria below.
SidneyApproxomately 40 minutes from downtown Victoria along Highway 17 is the town of Sidney.  This community is close to 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron.  This scenic coastal community offers romantic seaside walks, countless sandy beaches and picturesque marinas.  The waters off Sidney's shores are a favourite for scuba divers to explore both surrounding marine life and two atrificial ship reefs.
SookeSooke is located west of Esquimalt and is about a 40 minute car ride from downtown Victoria.  Scenic oceanviews and the grandeur of the Olympic Mountains are common vistas in this community.  Several members of the military community have chosen this family-oriented community for their home.  Sooke is home to many provincial parks, scenic beaches and rainforests. 8% of military families live in Sooke.
VictoriaVictoria is the capital city of British Columbia and home to the provincial government. Office buildings, shopping districts and heritage buildings dominate this area.  The second oldest Chiantown in North America can be found here, and the Inner Harbour is alive with street buskers, visual artists, craftsmen and singers during the summer season.  
View RoyalAdjacent to Esquimalt is the community of View Royal.  You may travel through this quaint little community if you commute to the Dockyard from the West Shore communities.  View Royal envelopes a tranquil bay and sits at the doorstep of the Greater Victoria's urban core.