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Esquimalt & Nanaimo Train Station

The City of Langford is B.C.'s fastest growing city [1] and is the business hub of "Westshore", a group of municipalities to the west of Victoria. The city has excellent amenities for its residents (shopping, entertainment, physical activity). Visitors would primarily enjoy the lakes and trails which are less busy than similar offerings closer to Victoria downtown core. Free Wi-Fi is available in key parts of the city (Goldstream Village, City Center).

The city provides a good map of Langford.

Get in

By car

Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway) passes through Langford on its way between Victoria and the other cities further north on Vancouver Island. Highway 14 connects with Highway 1 in Langford.

On weekdays, traffic congestion is considerable getting in/out during rush hour. This is an issue in all of Victoria's West shore communities.

Goldstream Ave from Colwood is the other main way into Langford.

By Bicycle

The Galloping Goose Regional Trail passes through Langford and is a favorite of cyclists.

By Bus

The two main public transport hubs are Langford Exchange at Westshore Town Centre (formerly CanWest Mall), south of Langford's "downtown"; and Western Exchange at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre in Colwood. See BC Transit for information.

By Train

The train no longer runs on Vancouver Island.

Get around

Local Trolley

The free (by donation)Langford Trolley service is a good way to get around the whole municipality. The trolley loop is 30 minutes. The stops are well marked. The "bus" itself has an old charm with the wooden benches and big windows.

Walking

Getting around on foot is fine for the downtown core but a bicycle or vehicle are better options for the outskirts including shopping at the big box stores.

Cycling

The city has created marked bike trails along key roads allowing easy travel throughout the city. The Galloping Goose Trail, bike\pedestrian trails along the old railroad tracks and along Goldstream Ave connect well the different sections of the city. [2]

City Center Park has bicycle rentals.

See

  • Goldstream Village, the town center, is on Goldstream Ave where local businesses, the library, the Veteran Memorial Park, police station and City Hall are found. A traffic circle around a musical beautiful fountain, sidewalks and cafe's create for a pedestrian friendly environment.
  • A secondary hub is forming around City Center Park with nearby lakes and sports fields. The main shopping mall, WestShore, and cinemas are nearby also.
  • Western Speedway. Is Vancouver Island's largest racecourse and hosts exciting races every weekend. There is a motocross track on site.

Western Speedway is located at 2207 Millstream Road, north from Highway 1.

  • Watch high caliber Rugby Matches at City Center Park.

Do

Local Lakes and Trails

Fishing from the pier at Glen Lake
  • Glen lake. Has a new kid playground and sandy beach. Fishing for bass off the pier is pleasant.
  • Langford Lake. Is good for swimming, boating, and fishing (nice boat launch, trout and bass).

There is also Florence lake but it's not quite as interesting.

Cycling

The Galloping Goose Trail, the Langford section is mostly packed dirt and gravel, is great to commute toward downtown Victoria . Going West the trail is great with kids as it goes through active farms (horses, sheep, cows, chickens, ducks…), there are also birds and deer wildlife in abundance. The trail is wide. The fall colors and the section near Hatley Memorial Gardens (cemetery) is especially nice; that section is great to grab blackberries in the Summer and the branches from mature trees on each side of the trail form a tunnel.

Good road options are going to Happy Valley Road, to Metchosin Road, (shortcut at Latoria Rd), further through to the Coburg Peninsula, then to Sooke Rd and back on Goldstream road (15-25KM).

There are four or more little independent bikes shops around town happy to help cyclists. The one by the Galloping Goose Trail at Sooke Rd comes in handy to trail travelers.

Skateboarding

A skateboarding park is located on Kelly Rd near Westshore shopping area. The park is never without 5-40 teenagers practicing their skills.

Golf

Photography

  • The trails, lakes and parks offer plenty to the hobbyists and enthusiasts alike. Events at City Center Park and Western Speedway offer live sporting options. The old rail vestiges have interesting views and they lead all the way to the trestle in Goldstream Provincial Park.

Memorial Park Events

  • In the summer there are regular concerts, markets and events. Check the city web site for info.
  • Remembrance Day ceremonies (11 hour, 11 month (11:00, Nov 11)) are attended by thousands in the park.
  • The fountain and Vimy Rigde partial replica statue give a solemn feeling to the park. The other end is playful with the bandstand and kid playground.

Bowling

  • City Center Park has the only bowling alleys in greater Victoria. Book early it’s often full.

Go Karts

  • Go-cart racing is available at Western Speedway.

Other ideas with young kids

  • There is a water parks and new playground at Centennial Park on Carlow St that is good for young children (free).
  • There is a significant water park (free for residents) at City Center Park.
  • Memorial Park has a good kid playground.
  • Glen Lake Park has a good playground and a sandy beach. It’s is quieter than most lakes shore areas.
  • Mini Golf and Playzone at City Center Park

Other stuff

Goldstream Provincial Park

Goldstream Park - Waterfalls
Goldstream Park - Train Trestle
Goldstream Park -Salmon run

Goldstream Provincial Park is a noteworthy provincial park with old growth forests, salmon streams, eagles, picnic areas, nature house and spectacular hiking trails.

Drive north along Highway 1 until you see the park entrance on your right to access the more popular locations within the park.[3] Parking is free along the highway. Or you can help pay for the park and use the park pay parking nearby.

Between October and December the Goldstream River within the park has people flock to the creekside to witness the annual salmon run.

A popular and slightly challenging hike is Mount Finlayson, Greater Victoria's tallest mountain. The views on top are spectacular. Depending on your level of fitness going up is 50-90 minutes. There are precipices and for those scared of heights or with young children you may want to pass.

There are also two waterfalls located within the park: Goldstream River takes a small plunge over Goldstream Falls in the southwest corner of the park; and Greater Victoria's very own Niagara Falls are a very tall and thin chute on Niagara creek.

Although not technically apart of Goldstream Provincial Park, the Niagara rail trestle is another popular attraction, accessed by Goldstream Park trails. Crossing the highway is best done using a tunnel underneath.

The nature house is great for kids. It has an eagle cam, various bones and animals on display. A gift shop well stocked with books on the local nature, coffee and lights snacks are also available.

Buy

Langford is the hosts of the big box chains in Victoria. For everyday needs there is no better overall shopping area. There is little in terms of unique whimsical boutiques where to find souvenirs.

Goldstream Village Shopping Areas

This is the downtown core area. There are cafes and smaller shops. Visitor can also find an affordable movie theater. In the Summer check out the Farmer's Market in Goldstream Village.

Millstream Village Shopping Area

Millstream Village is an outlet style strip mall area. Home Depot, Future Shop, Costco and others are also nearby.

Westshore Town Centre Shopping Area

Westshore Town Centre is a blend of fee standing large store and mid size traditional shopping mall. Nearby visitors can also find Walmart, The Brick, Rona, Canadian Tire, and others.

Finding local groceries

To find locally sourced vegetable and meat The Red Barn Market at Latoria Walk and The Market on Millsream are your best bet. Glen Woods Meats, an old fashion bustling local butcher shop, is off the beaten path with great staff and great meats.

Eat

Drink

Sleep

  • Cycle-Inn. Is right alongside the Galloping Goose Trail.
  • Camping sites are available at Goldstream Provincial Park.[4]

Large Hotel with conference centre

Go next

You can head southwest along Highway 14 to reach Sooke or head north along Highway 1 to reach Shawnigan Lake or Duncan.

In Metchosin you will find:

  • The expansive Witty's Lagoon Beach (great for skimboarding!)[5], Matheson Lake[6], a drive up Lombard Drive, and a visit to My Chosen Cafe (on the corner of Metchosin Road and Happy Valley Road). Metchosin is connected to Sooke Road in Westshore by Happy Valley Road (in Langford) and Metchosin Road (in Colwood). It is also connected to Sooke by Rocky Point Road.

In Colwood you will find:

  • Fisgard Lighthouse is a long time running historic lighthouse at the head of Esquimalt Harbour. It can be reached by footpath from Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Park.[7]
  • Explore the underground magazines of Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Park. This popular attraction features an exciting array of historical gun batteries and bunkers. The site is filled with informative panels and there is an entrance fee. 250-478-5849.[8]
  • Hatley Castle on the grounds of Royal Roads University is a gorgeous piece of architecture. Featured in many films, it is most famous as Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters in the X-men movie series. There is an admission fee of $8 to enter the university grounds, but once you do there are many paths through gorgeous gardens to wander.[9]

In View Royal you will find:

  • Swimming at Thetis Lake Park located in the small town of View Royal between Langford and Saanich (though technically part of Westshore). Kayaking, beaches and trails are all available here. This popular lake is accessible by Six Mile Road and by Greater Victoria public transit (catch #50 to Langford from downtown, get off at Six Mile Road, then hitch a ride to the park... everyone on Six Mile Road seems to be heading to the lake and it is probably one of the easiest places in Greater Victoria to hitchhike).[10]
Routes through Langford
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