When you look at a map of Victoria, it can confuse even a life-long local.
The big districts are broken into many smaller neighbourhoods, and most neighbourhoods have their own central hub that locals will usually reference as though that part is its own neighbourhood! As such, we thought we would start sharing some of what we know about each part of our fair city–both in terms of history and what makes each place great to visit or live in today!
First off the docket is Rockland. Fittingly, one of the oldest parts of Victoria and easily one of the greenest, there is a sense of old-world grandeur and opulent elegance lingering here.
Developed in the 19th century, it was once a rocky hilltop home to glamorous mansion estates and dotted with Garry Oak trees native to the Pacific Northwest.
Popular at the time was the Arts & Crafts style, perpetuated throughout Victoria by famed architect Samuel Maclure. Many of these properties have been designated heritage homes, their different owners in time having restored or maintained their varied stylistic traits. Around Victoria you’ll find a variety of buildings with similar designations that look totally different! This speaks to the many changes that Victoria has undergone in its 158 year-old history, and to the blend of people and mixed social classes that lived in it’s different neighbourhoods as it slowly changed from fort to city.
Where Joan Crescent and Craigdarroch Road meet, you’ll find the area’s only official park (and the neighbourhood association’s pet project), known as the “Rockland Woodland Garden”. But, a touch more remarkable, and perhaps world-renowned, are two nearby national heritage sites that we all take for granted far too frequently: Government House and Craigdarroch Castle.
Situated an easy walking distance to the downtown core and a few different sections of coastline, there is nothing you’ll miss by living here–talk about location, location, location!
To this day, Rockland is primarily a residential and extremely peaceful neighbourhood, with a few spots of commercial activity to the West and North. Deer roam freely, as do the locals that you can find strolling down hidden paths and winding roads as they go to and from other parts of town. Most of the old properties have been revived and converted into character apartment suites, townhouses, care facilities, or single family homes. With a range of great schools nearby, community and recreation centres, shops, cafes, and the like, Rockland sits well with all!