Saanich is where people come to stay and play

The largest municipality on Vancouver Island, Saanich is a place where people come to work and learn—and they stay to live and play.

Saanich protects its agricultural land while developing its urban centres and corridors to promote businesses and residential development. Home to the University of Victoria (UVIC) and Camosun College, there are also some of the best educational opportunities in the province, and Saanich recognizes this role in driving the local economy.

The university is the impetus behind Saanich’s technology park, which is an incubator for tech entrepreneurs who have graduated from UVIC and now are situated to take their discoveries to market. Camosun College has two campuses in Saanich and offers both trade and academic programming.

The  District of Saanich focuses its economic development efforts at a regional level by participating in the South Island Prosperity Project (SIP). SIP led to an application for a Smart Cities grant from the federal government, and the municipality was one of the few in the country to be shortlisted for funding of up to $10 million for a project that would improve transportation in the broader Greater Victoria region. The grants will be announced early in 2019.

Business interests also include agriculture and food security—all of which are at the forefront of Saanich’s urban containment boundaries. This has led to the development of farmers’ markets, distilleries and artisanal food companies as secondary markets.

“One of the other key points that sets us apart from other municipalities is that we’ve got everything you could possibly think of in one complete community, from the natural areas with 170 parks and recreational facilities that are second to none, to the urban development on the fringes of Victoria,” says Paul Thorkelsson, Saanich’s chief administrative officer.

“It also sets the foundation for people who pursue an education and afterwards can remain in a place where people want to stay with their families.”

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