View Royal is a town in Greater Victoria and a member municipality of the Capital Regional District of British Columbia, Canada. View Royal has a population of approximately 9,381 residents and was incorporated as a municipality in December 1988.
The main built-up area of View Royal straddles the neck of the Esquimalt peninsula between Esquimalt Harbour and Portage Inlet. A larger, mostly wooded area stretches northward around Thetis Lake Park. View Royal borders Esquimalt Harbour to the south, Colwood and Langford to the west, Highlands and Saanich to the north, and Esquimalt and the Esquimalt Nation reserve to the east.
View Royal has a rich history that is closely linked to the entire region. The Esquimalt First Nation, a Coast Salish indigenous people, have occupied View Royal since time immemorial. European settlement began in the 1850s by Kenneth Mackenzie who established a farm known as Craigflower Manor and Dr. John Helmcken, Vancouver Island's first doctor and later speaker of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly. Several historic sites can be found in View Royal including the Four Mile Pub, the oldest continuously operating pub in the province of British Columbia, founded in 1855.
Following incorporation of the Capital Regional District in the 1960s, View Royal remained as one of the unincorporated electoral areas until incorporation as a town in 1988.
Several changes have gone on in View Royal in recent years, including the move by Great Canadian Casinos into a large complex on the Old Island Highway, with the municipality receiving a percentage of the profits in a contractual agreement for the next 20 years. In 1983, the Victoria General Hospital relocated to View Royal.
View Royals' town center is a 3 minute walk from the shoreline, and has sandy beaches with many small caves littering the coastline where it is known for marine life such as seals to come ashore and take refuge within these caves. The shoreline is also littered with many big boulders and rocks as you approach the water line. Marine life can be viewed instantly on these rocks, with starfish, crabs, and other wildlife such as clams cling to life. The short walk to the town center sees a very gradual incline in elevation, and the use of a small set of stairs is necessary to get from the road to the beaches. These beaches in the summertime are beautiful and experienced mainly by those that inhabit View Royal, making at a hidden gem for tourists and visitors.