This area is primarily residential, and is only 15 minutes from Victoria. Some parts of the community have great views. 16,000 people live in this community. The focal point of Central Saanich is Brentwood Bay, beside Butchart Gardens. There is a ferry from Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay, giving quick access to the northern part of Vancouver Island. The area's hospital is in the northern end of the District on the Newton Cross Road.
The largest pockets of residental development are Brentwood on the west, Keating in the middle and Cordova Bay on the east. This community is attracting middle-income families. Port Royal Estates is a newer townhouse development, right on the Bay. Elk Lake, and Beaver Lake are surrounded by park land, with lovely rural homes on the north and west sides of the park, and more urban communities on the east of the Pat Bay Highway.
Central Saanich has four public schools, one in Keating, one on the Newton Cross Rd and one on the Stellys Cross Road (near Brentwod Bay) and one on the South Saanich Indian reservation, so most children get bused to school. The District has Mount Neton high school on the Keating Cross road in the middle of the district. There is a public library is in Brentwood Bay.
There are a couple of small plazas in the area in Saanichton, Brentwood Bay and Keating. . Serious shoppers, though, head down the Pat Bay Highway into Saanich to the Town & Country Shopping Centre.
The District is very rural in nature, with lots of open country. The larger parks are Gowlland-Tod Provincial and Mount Work Regional on the west, Island View Regional on the east coast (with it great beaches), and John Dean to the north. The Panorama Leisure Centre, just south of the airport, is the recreational hub of the Saanich Peninsula., though Commonwealth Place which is six kilometres to the south may be more spectacular.
Just south of Central Saanich is the Dominion Observatory on Little Saanich Mountain, great for stargazing. Also just south is Elk-Beaver Lake Regional Park, with lots of freshwater recreation, including boating, fishing and swimming.