How about something like a 2-bedroom, 1200 square foot, very dated but beautifully positioned condo in Fairfield (just saw it on Realtor.ca). Yes, it's $175K over your $250K budget but, if you could rent that second bedroom for $600/month, that would go some ways towards offsetting the mortgage both from a qualifying and an outgoing monies standpoint.
There are ways and means, you just need to dig deep for solutions instead of looking for something obvious. It's not going to be easy and, I certainly feel for anyone young person trying to get on the housing ladder. Not everyone's going to be able to do that and, that's really unfortunate but, you sound like someone who is intelligent, with good prospects and a bright future.
I wish I could give you, and our 18 year-old daughter, a soothing answer but, I can't. If you want something, really want something, you need to work hard and long, make sacrifices, commute, share, walk, bike, whatever it takes. Even 30 years ago, when I was trying to buy in Toronto, it wasn't easy-peasy. The phrase "house poor" was everywhere. If a SDH is your dream and your priority, though, go for it 100%, just be prepared to do whatever it takes.
This seems an obvious thing and perhaps something you don't want to, or can't, do but, it sounds as if you, and your partner, have parents with what are probably quite nice properties, at the very least, well-located. It wouldn't take a lot more to boost you into the realm of purchasing something that you could rent out a portion of. Is there any way they can help? Co-signing?
Also, you say your parents are in Nanaimo. I'm in Nanaimo. The market here is much less than Victoria but, it's also appreciating nicely. I know of people who DO commute from here to there, out of necessity. It IS an option (read above, sacrifices), if you're willing. If only for a year or two, to build some equity.
Or, move into that lovely 3-bedroom of your partner's parents. Cramped - yes, cool - no, a big money-saver - absolutely. Just think of what a year's sacrifice of privacy would add to the mortgage coffers!