New Residents

Welcome to Saanich

Incorporated in 1906, the District of Saanich is the largest municipality on Vancouver Island.

Our community mixes urban and rural neighbourhoods with 169 parks, more than 100 km of trails, four recreation centres, numerous beaches and amenities for all ages.

Saanich is part of the Capital Regional District (CRD). The CRD is a regional government body that oversees certain services for Saanich and 12 other municipalities. For example, the CRD oversees our drinking water and recycling and manages regional parks.

Saanich has one Mayor and eight Councillors. We hold municipal elections every four years.

Provincially, Saanich has more than one electoral district. Confirm your district via Elections BC or find your Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) online.

Federally, Saanich residents belong to the Saanich-Gulf Islands electoral district. You can find out more about your Member of Parliament from the Government of Canada website. 

Getting to know Saanich

This information will help you and your family get settled in Saanich. 

  • Agriculture and food security: Find out about local food initiatives, how to access community gardens and having backyard chickens. 
  • Building permits: Are you building, renovating or making other changes to your property? We can help you with the permit process. 
  • Business licences: All businesses operating in Saanich must have a valid Saanich business licence or a valid Intermunicipal Business Licence. 
  • Community groups and organizations: Most Saanich neighbourhoods have community associations. 
  • Dogs in Saanich: You must licence all dogs over the age of four months each year. Find out where to get your dog licence and where your dog can enjoy off-leash time. 
  • Emergency Program: This program responds to emergencies, major emergencies and disasters. Learn how to prepare for, or volunteer in our emergency program. 
  • Fire: In an emergency, dial 911. Saanich Fire responds to more than 4,000 emergency incidents per year as well as provides safety and fire prevention education. This includes dealing with oil tanks, outdoor burning and smoke alarm maintenance. 
  • Getting involved in government: Participate with your government and community. There are a number of ways to get involved. 
  • Organics recycling, garden waste & garbage services: We collect organics and garbage waste once every two weeks. Find out when we’ll pick up yours. 
  • Parks and trails: Saanich has 169 parks with lots of amenities, from water features to connected trails. 
  • Police: In an emergency, dial 911. Saanich maintains an independent, full service police department. It consists of sworn members, civilians and volunteer Reserve Constables. 
  • Property taxes: We send annual property tax notices in mid-May to all registered property owners. Your deadline to pay is the first business day after July 1. 
  • Recreation: Saanich has four recreations centres. This includes pools, teen centres, skate parks, tennis courts, an ice rink and a golf course. 
  • Recycling/Blue Box: The CRD oversees the Blue Box Program. Please visit their website for details. 
  • Students: New to renting in Saanich? We have a handy new renter guide.
  • Utilities: We meter all water except for rural area residents who are on wells. We bill utility accounts once every four months and include water, sewer and garbage charges. 
  • Yard and garden waste: You can drop off accepted garden recycling at the public works yard at 1040 McKenzie Avenue. Learn about what we accept and when we’re open.