The Colwood Waterfront features miles of breathtaking ocean beachfront with a view across to the City of Victoria at one end and the amazing snow capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains at the other. Fisgard Lighthouse completes the view.

Across the road from the beach is Esquimalt Lagoon National Migratory Bird Sanctuary — a large, shallow lagoon enclosed within a sand spit and connected to the ocean by a tidal channel at the one end. It's a favourite spot for birdwatchers and kayakers.

For thousands of years, this shoreline was a vital source of food as well as a meeting and gathering place for first peoples. Activities in this area are carried out with the highest respect for the deep history of the land and its cultural significance to local First Nations.

The lagoon is one of seven Migratory Bird Sanctuaries in British Columbia, and an important stopover for birds journeying between North and South America. Look around and you’ll see a wide variety of birds, including blue heron standing gracefully in the shallow water, oyster catchers and terns along the shore, mallards and mergansers paddling by, and bald eagles soaring overhead. Please keep dogs on-leash to protect this sensitive habitat and nesting area. 

People flock to the lagoon to see the wildlife, walk along the beach, picnic, beach comb, sun bathe on the sand, splash in the cool water, kayak and scuba dive.

Beyond the lagoon sits the majestic Hatley Castle and its surrounding gardens and old growth forest, which are now home to Royal Roads University.

Not an overnight destination

Please note: Overnight parking is not permitted along the Colwood waterfront (one hour after dusk to dawn). There are several camping areas on the West Shore, including Goldstream Campground, Fort Victoria RV Park and All Fun RV Park.

Learn more about the environment, history & culture of the area

Along the Lagoon are several signs to highlight some of the significant aspects of this unique area. Click on an image below to download a larger pdf file.

Indigenous History and Culture

Historical Timeline of the area 

The daily ebb and flow of life at the lagoon

Birds of the lagoon

Below the surface of the lagoon

How the waterfront is changing over time

How water flows into the lagoon