Here’s Why You Should Move to Langford, One of B.C.’s Fastest Growing Communities
Looking to own property, start a family or just to get away from the hustle and bustle of the B.C. south coast’s busy metropolitan areas? You might be a fit for Langford.
According to the latest Statistics Canada data, the community of Langford on southern Vancouver Island is among the fastest growing communities in B.C.
The suburb of Victoria has a population of just over 46,000 people, and has seen a 30 per cent population increase since 2016.
Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider moving to Langford or at least paying it a visit the next time you hop a ferry.
Under the helm of a pro-business mayor and council, Langford has rolled out the red carpet for businesses and development, turning a rural outback of Victoria nicknamed “Dogpatch” into one of Canada’s fastest growing municipalities.
The city installed sewers and street lights, built parks and recreational facilities, including Starlight Stadium, home of Rugby Canada and soccer club Pacific FC of the Canadian Premier League.
It fast-tracked development that raised funds for community amenities and is working to revitalize its downtown core with high-rise towers, parks and perhaps even a university in the future.
New schools are in the pipeline: An elementary and middle school are slated to open this fall, while the provincial government has promised a future secondary school on a site near Costco.
“It’s really a desirable place to live,” said Stewart Young, who has served as mayor for 29 out of the 30 years since Langford was incorporated. “It’s quite exciting to see the transformation to a thriving family-oriented community.”
(Relatively) affordable housing
Most of the growth in the Greater Victoria region in recent years has been on the Westshore, which comprises five municipalities including Langford.
Langford attracts families looking to live close to nature and to town at a more affordable price point than other neighbouring municipalities, said Darren Day, a realtor who has worked and lived in the Westshore for nearly three decades. “What people like out here are all the parks and the ocean, and it’s really only 15 minutes to downtown Victoria.”
The city has a good mix of strata and rental condos, townhouses, and single-family homes. Prices have caught up, but it’s still relatively affordable.
According to the Victoria Real Estate Board, the benchmark price for a single-family home in Langford last month was $968,900, up 33 per cent from last year’s $728,700, but lower than Victoria, Saanich, and other parts of the Westshore.
Plus, “we have some of the best views in the city,” said Day. Atop Bear Mountain, scenic views overlooking downtown Victoria abound. “It feels like you’re in West Vancouver overlooking downtown Vancouver.”
Lakes, trails and parks
Langford boasts a number of trails and lakes for those seeking outdoor adventures.
Lakes include Thetis Lake, Langford Lake, Florence Lake, and Glen Lake.
The 55-kilometre Galloping Goose Trail, a picturesque former railway line that connects Victoria and Sooke, goes through Langford. You can stroll, cycle, even ride a horse through some sections. Downtown Victoria is a nice walk away.
Langford is also home to Goldstream Provincial Park, which has a popular provincial campground and trails suitable for beginners and experienced hikers alike. Visitors flock to the park for the fall salmon runs in the Goldstream River and the accompanying sightings of bald eagles. The steep hike up Mt. Finlayson offers scenic views looking south towards Langford.
For a small municipality, Langford has been raking in the accolades.
It was ranked best community in B.C. by Maclean’s magazine, and 18th best in Canada.
B.C. Business Magazine also rated it Most Resilient City two years in a row in its annual list of the province’s best cities for work, highlighting Langford’s “unique and growing array of business services and amenities, including a dynamic restaurant scene.”
The ranking is based on factors including financial vulnerability, residents’ sense of belonging, residential greenhouse gas emission rates, rental vacancy rate, housing starts, residential sales, and economic diversity.
If you’re not ready to make the move to Langford, consider making a stop to check out some of its attractions.
Climbing fans will enjoy BoulderHouse, the largest climbing facility on Vancouver Island, while the 14-acre Jordie Lunn bike park, which opened last year, draws cyclists of all ages and abilities with its dirt jumps, pump track, cyclocross and mountain bike trails.
Speed enthusiasts can check out car racing track Westshore Motorsports, formerly known as the Western Speedway, for the 2022 season (the site was sold in 2020).
Golfers can practice their swing at the mountaintop Bear Mountain Resort, which is also home to a luxury spa.
Getting to Langford
By ferry: From Vancouver, you can access Langford by taking a BC Ferry from Tsawwassen terminal to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. Once you’ve crossed the water, it’s about a 40-minute drive to Langford or an hour to hour-and-a-half bus ride.
By plane: You can also fly from Vancouver’s downtown harbour into Victoria’s harbour via Harbour Air. From there, it’s just a few minutes drive or bus ride into Langford.