I lived in Victoria BC for the latter half of 2015 attending the university there, and had the fortune to find a place in Cordova Bay. I had no idea before I went there how nice it was outside the city centre, as I had always gone to Victoria in a tourist frame of mind.
Cordova Bay is on the southeast side of Vancouver Island/Victoria and located in Saanich. I rented a suite on a property that backed on to Mount Douglas Park, a wilderness park within the city. The mount is well known and attracts hikers who are rewarded with a spectacular view when they reach the top. I could access the park right through the property or walk down Cordova Bay Rd/Mt Doug Parkway for about 15 minutes to access some of the pathways. My suite was surrounded by Garry Oaks and a large buck liked to sit right outside my window. There were many woodpeckers and other birds to keep me company.
In the other direction I could drive or take a long walk to a lovely beach where I swam in September when it was still hot. Later as it got cooler, it was a terrific place to walk. While there in the summer, I saw a whale breaching far out into the strait.
For anyone contemplating a holiday in Victoria, this is a great area to stay in and there are places nearby available through Air BNB. Shopping is excellent and I was amazed at the number of vegetable stands nearby. It takes only 20 minutes to get downtown from there.
For someone like me who prefers small communities and lots of nature, it made it possible to live in Victoria and enjoy the amenities while still having peaceful surroundings.