The District of Saanich (English pronunciation: /sænɪtʃ/) is a district municipality on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, within the Greater Victoria area. The population was 114,148 at the 2016 census, making it the most populous municipality in the Capital Regional District and Vancouver Island, and the eighth-most populous in the province. The district adopted its name after the Saanich First Nation, meaning “emerging land” or “emerging people”.
The Municipality of Saanich was incorporated on March 1, 1906. With an area of 103.44 square kilometres (39.94 sq mi), it is the largest of the core municipalities making up Greater Victoria. The topography is undulating with many glacially scoured rock outcroppings. Elevations range from sea level to 229 metres (751 ft). The physical setting is greatly influenced by water. There are 8.1749 square kilometres (3.1563 sq mi) of fresh water lakes and 29.61 kilometres (18.40 mi) of marine shoreline.
Saanich is home to part of the University of Victoria which is bisected by the boundary with the neighbouring district municipality of Oak Bay. Saanich is fairly large in area and contains a wide variety of rural and urban landscapes and neighbourhoods stretching north to the Saanich Peninsula. Saanich is the location of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory near Elk Lake. The District of Saanich contains a long shoreline with sandy beaches located at a number of ocean bays. Two of the beaches are Cadboro Bay Beach and Cordova Bay Beach. Cadboro Bay is known as a place to view the “Cadborosaurus“, a mythical sea monster that may or may not exist. Saanich’s notable parks include Mount Douglas Park, Mount Tolmie Park (with viewpoints) and Gyro Park.