(The material below is adapted from the sites linked at the bottom of this page.)
Located in the Capital Regional District on the southwestern tip of Vancouver Island, the District of Sooke is a scenic 45-minute drive from downtown Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia. A BC Transit stop two blocks from West Wind Harbour Cohousing provides hourly bus service to and from Victoria. The urban energy and amenities of Victoria supplement Sooke’s quiet, small town atmosphere and abundant access to nature. The incorporated community's approximately 11,000 residents enjoy a relaxed, casual lifestyle in a rural setting that also affords many of the amenities of city life such as fine dining, music, art, theatre, and a recreational centre with a pool and arena.
The community was named for its early Coast Salish inhabitants, the T’Sou-ke First Nation, who are now widely known for their solar power, greenhouse, and fisheries initiatives. The name T’Sou-ke is said to derive from the stickleback fish found at the mouth of the Sooke River.
Sooke's economy has shifted from its earlier base in natural resources to include many home-based businesses, a commercial core, and bustling tourism services, which entertain thousands of local, national, and international visitors each year.
Sooke is the gateway to the beaches and hills of the “Wild West Coast.” It offers numerous ecotourism adventures as well as the West Coast Trail, Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, and Galloping Goose Trail. Opportunities for scenic photography abound. Renowned local restaurants attract diners from around the island and the mainland.
Warm and dry summer months and wetter, mild winter months allow residents and visitors to enjoy outdoor amenities such as Whiffin Spit Park and Sooke Potholes Provincial Park. The SEAPARC Leisure Centre (arena, fitness, and aquatic centre) and the Sooke Region Museum (with visitor information centre) offer year-round activities. Those looking for local fishing opportunities are served by marinas and fishing charters. There are ample opportunities for sailing, hiking, cycling, horseback riding, and kayaking. Sun River Community Garden is a friendly place to grow food and get advice. Fresh, organic produce is available seasonally at local farm stands and famers’ markets.
The area’s vibrant arts community supports many talented artists and craftspeople whose beautiful works are available from both home-based studios and galleries in the commercial core. The annual juried Sooke Fine Arts Show is recognized as one of the finest events of its kind in western Canada. Musicians of every genre, from symphonic to choral to bluegrass, perform at a variety of events. The Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra is an unexpected cosmopolitan asset for a small town. There is also an enthusiastic theatre community that enjoys the 340-seat EMCS Community School theatre.
Links to some websites providing information about life in the Victoria and Sooke area: