Moving to Victoria – Where should I live? – 2024

Choosing a place to live in Victoria, BC depends on your personal preference and the cost of living. Located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria is the capital city of British Columbia, celebrated for its distinctive mix of historic charm and modern amenities.

The city features stunning waterfronts and neighborhoods that provide different living experiences. You can choose from areas with historic architecture like James Bay or Fernwood, or enjoy the coastal atmosphere of Oak Bay. Moreover, large green spaces like Beacon Hill Park make it even more attractive for those who want a mix of city life and natural beauty.

Read on to discover the top 5 neighborhoods in Victoria that offer the best quality of life.

Methodology

Based on “Best” being a subjective word, below is our methodology to compile the best places.

Using our existing ranking of the safest and cheapest places to live in Victoria and Greater Victoria Area, we based our ranking on 3 criteria: safety, affordability and quality of life. 

Our safety ranking methodology is based on a careful analysis of the total number of crimes, which is derived from the data of the Victoria Police Department and recorded from each neighborhood’s data from the third quarter of 2023. The crime rate is calculated per 1,000 people. The crimes are listed as violent crimes, property crimes, theft, disorder or disturbance, 911 and police calls.

Affordability takes into account the prices of housing and renting. Statistics come from Redfin.ca for the average cost of buying a property and Zumper for the average cost of rent for a 1- to 2-bed apartment.

The “Best quality of life” aspect is measured based on feedback from real people who have moved to this area in our database or real people from trusted online forums. More specifically, we look for positive feedback on job opportunities, quality of education, quality of healthcare, feeling of safety, public transportation, environment (cleanliness), as well as availability of recreational facilities and parks.

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Moving to Victoria – Best Neighborhoods in Victoria with the Best Quality of Life

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1. Oak Bay

oak bay bc
  • Crime rate: 0 crimes per 1,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $2,850
  • Average property buying cost: $775,000

Oak Bay is an ideal neighborhood for families with children, thanks to its proximity to excellent schools like Oak Bay High School and St. Michaels University School, along with the University of Victoria nearby. Plus, it is extremely safe, as it has reported a crime rate of 0 crimes per 1,000 people.

Homes in this area tend to be more expensive because of their waterfront proximity, complemented by attractions like Oak Bay Marina and Royal Victoria Yacht Club, and beautiful beaches. Typical housing options include condominiums and townhomes, with an average rent of $2,850 for a 1-bedroom apartment and an average property price of $775,000 as of November 2023.

Oak Bay (Oct 2023)Local Logic (Nov 2023), Zumper (Nov 2023) & Redfin (Nov 2023)

Oakbay, BC

2. Cadboro Bay

Apartment in Cadboro Bay
  • Crime rate: 0 crimes per 1,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,800
  • Average property buying cost: $1,499,000

Located along sandy shores, Cadboro Bay offers convenience and natural beauty. With restaurants, pubs, cafés, and parks like Cadboro-Gyro Park, complete with picnic areas and playgrounds, people enjoy easy living. It reports a crime rate of 0 per 1,000 people, providing residents with a strong sense of security.

Housing options include single-family homes and luxury apartments with sea views. As of November 2023, the average property price is $1,499,000 and 1-bed apartments are renting for around $1,800.

Local Logic (Nov 2023), Rent Cafe (Nov 2023) & Redfin (Nov 2023)

Cadboro Bay, BC

3. Victoria West

victoria west
  • Crime rate: 1.04 crimes per 1,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $2,190
  • Average property buying cost: $819,900

Victoria West provides scenic waterfront walkways and connects to downtown Victoria via two city bridges and the Selkirk Trestle. This walkable and bikeable neighborhood offers residents access to shops, restaurants, and waterfront parks like Banfield Park, which features playgrounds and dog-friendly off-leash areas. With a crime rate of 1.04 crimes per 1,000 people, it ensures a secure environment for residents.

Home to 7,670 residents, Victoria West offers diverse housing options, including residential and multifamily dwellings. As of November 2023, the average property price is approximately $819,900, with renting a 1-bed apartment costing around $2,190.

Local Logic (Nov 2023), Pub Victoria (Nov 2023) & City Protect (Nov 2023)

Victoria West, BC

4. James Bay

james bay
  • Crime rate: 1.08 crimes per 1,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $2,111
  • Average property buying cost: $1,100,000

James Bay, the oldest neighborhood in Victoria, is a quiet residential area located south of downtown. Surrounded by water and parks, like Beacon Hill Park, and with its pedestrian walkways and a walkscore of 73, it makes it an ideal place for those who prefer walking for errands. With a reported crime rate of 1.08 crimes per 1,000 people, it provides a secure environment.

The housing is varied, featuring a mix of beautifully maintained heritage homes alongside modern condominium buildings. As of November 2023, the average property price in James Bay is approximately $1,100,000, with a 1-bed apartment renting for around $2,111.

Local Logic (Nov 2023), Pub Victoria (Nov 2023) & City Protect (Nov 2023)

James Bay, BC

5. Fernwood

fernwood victoria bc
  • Crime rate: 2.15 crimes per 1,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,900
  • Average property buying cost: $699,000

Located east of downtown Victoria, Fernwood is a residential area renowned for its heritage homes and tree-lined streets. The neighborhood has several parks, including Stadacona Park, which is an excellent spot for walking dogs and taking walks with your family, according to its residents.

Fernwood offers diverse housing, from preserved homes to modern buildings. As of November 2023, the average property price is $699,000, and the cost of renting a 1-bed apartment is around $1,900. This neighborhood reports a low crime rate of 2.15 crimes per 1,000 people, reinforcing its status as a safe and appealing community.

Local Logic (Nov 2023), Pub Victoria (Nov 2023) & City Protect (Nov 2023)

Fernwood, BC

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Conclusion

When choosing the best neighborhood to live in Victoria, consider factors such as amenities and proximity to Downtown Victoria. Each neighborhood has a unique mix of characteristics. Keep in mind the varying costs of living and the lifestyle each neighborhood offers as you make this important decision.

For a stress-free move, research the best moving companies in Victoria in advance.

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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