The eastern side of Saanich is dominated by the University of Victoria, which is very much a part of the local life of the community.
The landscape of Saanich is unique for its ecological diversity and leisure potential. There are 170 municipal parks, three regional parks and a cycling network route to see and explore. Saanich has more parks per capita than any other municipality in B.C. There are several excellent golf courses in Saanich: Blenkinsop Valley, Cedar Hill, Cordova Bay and Prospect Lake golf courses.
Saanich's distinct neighbourhoods include: Gordon Head, a solidly upper middle class family area with several shopping malls, restaurants and movie theatres within a short driving distance; High Quadra, which overlooks the Blenkinsop Valley; Broadmead, with its imaginative West Coast architecture; and Cordova Bay, which is perched along the seaside and includes a mixture of cottages, small farms, sizable family homes and new subdivisions.