Esquimalt has a population of 16,000 and is home to the naval and commercial dockyards for the area The town also serves as the western headquarters for the Canadian Navy, with employment of 7,000, which also has access to much of the community's coastal land. The district, though has lots of parks and green space.
Housing is a mix of single family homes, townhouses, and condominium apartments. The area has many heritage homes. The areas of Rock Heights and Saxe Point have great scenic views.
The community is mature and has a comfortable number of schools, including its own Esquimalt Community High School. There is also a public library in the community's main shopping district.
The main shopping area in Esquimalt is on Esquimalt Rd, though for serious shopping, the locals head up the road to Tillicum Shopping Centre, or into Victoria.
Esquimalt is surrounded by water on all sides, with the Gorge to the north, the Victoria harbour to the East, and the Esquimalt Harbour to the west, so water sports are a big part of the recreational opportunities here. Kinsmen Gorge Park gives great views of the long and narrow Gorge connecting the Portage Inlet with Victoria's harbour.
Saxe Point Park combines rugged beaches and views with quiet family picnic spots, while Macauley Point park offers magnificent views of Victoria's skyline, along with a boat ramp on it west side in Fleming Bay.