Saanich, BC, incorporated as a district municipality in 1906, population 109 752 (2011c), 108 265 (2006c). The District of Saanich is located immediately northwest of the city of VICTORIA, and is an integral part of the Greater Victoria area. In the Straits Salish language the name Saanich means "elevated," possibly in reference to Mount Newton. This area of VANCOUVER ISLAND was inhabited by the Songhee, a branch of the Central Coast Salish who had settlements on Cordova and Cadboro bays when the Hudson's Bay Co (HBC) established FORT VICTORIA nearby in 1843. In addition to trade, the HBC attempted to promote agriculture in the area through its subsidiary, the Puget Sound Agricultural Company. By the 1880s there were several small communities in the Saanich area, and a number of productive farms. In 1906, as the population around Victoria continued to grow, encouraged by the construction of several interurban rail lines, Saanich petitioned for incorporation as a district municipality.
The southern part of the municipality was largely urban and the northern section, which was still agricultural, separated to become CENTRAL SAANICH in 1950. Saanich continued to grow as a residential and commercial community adjoining Victoria, and in 1966 it became part of the capital regional district that was established to co-ordinate and provide services to Victoria and adjoining suburbs.