In many ways, View Royal is the gateway to the West Shore.
It is unique in the fact it borders on five different municipalities and First Nations, but it is also a major through-route for commuters travelling to and from the Greater Victoria core and the West Shore.
The growing community of about 11,000 residents is seeing more home buyers looking at the area for such factors as its wide range of housing options, amenities such as ocean and lake waterfront and nearby access to major regional trail systems, and its proximity to the West Shore and downtown Victoria.
“I think we’ve got the right balance of amenities, the schools are close, the parks and trails are amazing, and we’ve got great services,” said View Royal Coun. John Rogers, noting that the Eagle Creek Village development will add a little more of everything to the mix when it opens up this year.
“It’s a liveable community where it’s easy to the West Shore and easy to get downtown.”
The Town of View Royal has embraced development in the past 10 to 15 years. Recognizing its place in the region, both geographically and as a locale where large chunks of developable land were available, the Town has laid the groundwork for the construction of a number of large-scale detached home and multi-family housing projects, which have helped reinvigorate the municipality and provided a valuable boost to its tax base.
Companies including the Limona Group have worked with the Town to create micro communities as Thetis Vale, Stoneridge, Riverside, Coho and even stretching back to the 1990s, Aldersmith near Admirals Walk.
“We’re having great success in implementing our official community plan, which does speak to slightly more intensive housing happening in certain areas of the municipality,” said Lindsay Chase, director of planning and development for the Town of View Royal.
Much of that newer development has taken place on the north side of the Galloping Goose Trail, an area stretching roughly from Victoria General Hospital in the east to Thetis Lake Park in the west.
And the selling prices for the townhomes and detached single family homes have been on the more reasonable side when compared to the region’s Benchmark Home values. As an example, the 1900 Watkiss project under construction on Watkiss Way next to Eagle View elementary has roomy homes starting for less than $500,000. Other developments around the municipality have offered similar value for dollar.
This year’s B.C. Assessment figures valued the typical single family detached home’s assessed value at $509,200, for the section of View Royal falling within the boundaries of School District 61 (which is most of the municipality). Not surprisingly that leaves it pretty much in the middle of real estate values on the West Shore.
Not only are there a variety of purchase options, the municipality is excited about how new rental opportunities coming on stream at Eagle Creek Village will add to the diversity of housing in View Royal, Chase said.
As for future trends, she said a trend has already started of moving toward smaller lots, giving the final two phases of the Thetis Vale development accessed off Six Mile Road, as an example.
From a planning standpoint, Rogers said Town staff and council continue to work hard at creating more walkable communities by facilitating the location of new developments near services.
The last word on choosing goes to Chase on why potential home buyers should consider View Royal:
“If you’re looking for a pretty extraordinary quality of life and a relative short commute (either way), View Royal is well positioned for people to have that.”