To the District of Saanich, Sunnymead doesn‘t formally exist as a named neighbourhood - it simply forms part of Cordova Bay, a local area of Saanich. But the Victoria Real Estate Board has given Sunnymead ‘map area’ status, and so this is about the map area of Sunnymead.
Sunnymead is entirely residential, and give or take a house or two, it was developed mainly between 1987 and 1992. Family homes here typically fall in the 1,700 to 2,500 square foot range. Lots are large by today’s standards - most are close to ¼ acre. In the 20 years or so since the development was built the landscaping has matured, and as in most areas around Victoria, pride of ownership is evident everywhere.
This little community is conveniently located within three good transportation corridors (Royal Oak Drive, Cordova Bay Road, and Lochside Drive), and so it’s just a short hop by car or an easy bike ride to shopping and nearby amenities. If you frequently travel, you will appreciate that it's only about 15 minutes to the Victoria Airport, and just slightly further to the BC Ferry terminal at Swartz Bay.
One of the transportation corridors bordering Sunnymead is the Lochside Trail - one of the Capital Regional District’s most popular trails. On weekdays it’s widely used by cyclists commuting to work in Victoria from as far away as Sidney. On weekends or holidays its shared by hikers, bikers (of the pedal bike variety), strollers and joggers of all ages.
A leisurely stroll of about twenty or thirty minutes up Lochside Trail will take you to Mattick’s Farm, a trendy little retail area popular with locals and tourists alike. For a little more exercise, Mount Doug Park is within an easy walk in the opposite direction along the Mount Doug Parkway. Once there you can follow the hiking trails through the park. The wraparound views from the top are spectacular!
The community of Cordova Bay wraps itself along the bay for which it is named. The bay is largely sandy beach, and there are several public access points within a few minutes by bike from Sunnymead up Cordova Bay Road. Cordova Park, Agate Park and Parker Park are three of them.
Go two or three kilometers to the west along Royal Oak Drive and you’ll find yourself at Broadmead Village, the area’s preeminent suburban shopping centre. A short distance further, across the Pat Bay Highway, you can turn left and go to a second shopping centre (Royal Oak), or turn right and you will soon arrive at Commonwealth Place, the finest recreational facility in the greater Victoria area.
If you are wondering about schools, Sunnymead is within Saanich School District #63. There are two public elementary schools nearby for Kindergarten to Grade 6, one public Middle School (Claremont), and one high school (Claremont High).
McMinn Park is located in Sunnymead, It has tennis courts, good playground equipment for youngsters, picnic tables and plenty of open space to burn off calories. And by mid August the wild blackberry patch around the park comes to life as blackberry lovers pick this delicate fruit from its extremely prickly vines. It’s a great way to wile away an hour or two on a lazy, sunny August afternoon.