Posted by: cherylyoung | February 10, 2012

Saltspring island B.C, forested wide meadows and beautiful landscapes surrounded by emerald ocean and wonderful vistas.

Named by officers of the Hudson’s Bay Company for the cold

and briny saltwater springs on the north end of the island,

Saltspring Island is the largest, most populated, and most

visited of the Southern Gulf Islands.

The setting is West Coast Canadian; forested islands, wide meadows

and  beautiful landscapes surrounded by emerald ocean and

wonderful vistas.

Saltspring has been a seasonal home of the Coast Salish First

Nations since the time of European settlement, and evidence

suggests that permanent settlements existed for centuries

prior to that, on the south coast of the  island where the Tsawout

Band Reserve is located today.

The Wsanec people of the Saanich Peninsula and the Cowichan

people from the Cowichan Valley frequented the island’s shores

and harvested  its resources.

The island was explored by the Spanish and British in the 1700s,

and  Settled  in the 1850s by early pioneers who had abandoned

Their Fraser River gold rush hopes.

A group of 9 Negro slaves, who had purchased their liberty in

the U.S, arrived at Vesuvius in 1857.

Further black settlers, mainly from California, were followed

by European immigrants from Portugal and Scandinavia, and

British and Hawaiian (Kanakas) settlers originally recruited by

the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Early island pioneers lived under the constant threat of attack

by hostile natives.

In 1859, Captain Richards named the highest peak Mount Baynes,

in honour of Rear Admiral Baynes who was in command of the

Pacific Station at the time.

He also named the island Admiral Island, but islanders continued

to use the name Saltspring Island, which became the official name

of the island in 1905.

The township of Saltspring was incorporated in 1873, but strong

anti-government sentiment by island residents resulted in the

reversa of the incorporation by the BC Legislature ten years later.

Is the island named Saltspring or Salt Spring?

The Oxford Dictionary of Canadian Place Names indicates it was

called Salt Spring Island by the Hudson’s Bay Company in the

early 1800s.

In 1910 the name was changed to Saltspring by the Geographic

Board of Canadawhich often fused multiple-word place names.

So, officially it is one word, but local usage tends to prefer

two words, although it is not unanimous. Canada Post accepts

both spellings of the name.

The year-round residents of Saltspring Island include an eclectic

mix of artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs.


Many vacationers come to Saltspring simply to enjoy the relaxed

atmosphere and soak in the quiet island lifestyle and spirit.

If you raise an issue or express an opinion, expect a lively debate

from the locals.

Saltspring Island is the most densely populated of the Gulf

Islands and isalso home to the biggest Gulf Island provincial

campground, Ruckle Provincial Park.

The island’s shoreline is varied and beautiful, offering rocky shores,

tidal pools to explore, shell beaches for beachcombing, and a wide

variety of sandy beaches.

Of the 22 ocean beaches, 4 are designated for swimming.

The island has 225 farms and is known for its sheep-raising; be

sure to tour the rolling pastures on the north end (visit in the spring,

and you’ll never order rack of lamb again).

Saltspring is also known as a centre for arts and crafts, and

has an impressive selection of shops, restaurants and tourist


While a few of Saltspring’s attractions can be seen in a whirlwind

two-hour drive,a thorough exploration of Saltspring could take weeks.

Allow at least a full day or more…the serene island offers a tranquil

respite for solace-seeking travellers.

Saltspring Island has been engaged in one of BC’s most high

profile  environmental wars between local residents and the

Texada Land Corporation.

In late 1999 the private logging company purchased 10 percent of

Saltspring Island and promptly proceeded to log it.

Efforts to raise funds and support included the publication of

Preserve & Protect 2001, a tasteful best-selling calendar featuring

nude photographs of 35 island woman.

The rugged and mountainous southern end of the island is dominated

by Mount Tuam and Mount Bruce, separated from the equally

mountainous mid-island region by the Fulford Valley, located

between Fulford Harbour  and Burgoyne Bay.

The north end of the island has a lower elevation, with rolling

pastures, deciduous forests and the majority of residential d

evelopments,  mainly around the village of Ganges.

The local economy is service-oriented and reliant on the tourist

industry,with a high level of services on the island, concentrated

mostly in Ganges.

Saltspring offers 2 Hotels, 2 Motels, 8 Resorts, and many

Bed & Breakfasts and self-contained cottages and suites.

There may well be more B&Bs per capita on Saltspring than

anywhere else in Canada.

Farming is important on the island, which bills itself as the

Organic Gardening Capital of Canada, and local farmers and

growers formthe backbone of the popular Saltspring Market.

Farms include sheep and lamb products, poultry, llamas, cheese,

fruit orchards, and certified organic growers.

Saltspring is 17 miles (27 km) long and 9 miles (14 km) wide,

with 83 miles (133 km) of shoreline (182 square kilometres).

The island attracts visitors and prospective residents with its

mild climateand annual sunshine in excess of 2,000 hours.

Today, the cost of property on Saltspring Island is amongst

the highest in Canada, an indication of the popularity of this lovely,

trippy, safe and secluded island.

Vast tracts of protected land and strict building restrictions have

increased property prices, with limits imposed on development and

population density.

Land use on the island is governed by the Islands Trust, which aims

to preserve and protect the unique qualities of the Gulf Islands.

Popular with retirees who like the openness and sense of community

on the island, the median age of Saltspring is 47.6 years.

A public bus transit system covers the main routes on Saltspring Island,

and the Ganges Faerie MiniShuttle service operates between the ferries

(Fulford, Long Harbour, Vesuvius) and Ganges, Ruckle Park,

and Fernwood.

Visitors can also hire a taxi or rent a car, motorbike, scooter or even

a bicycle to take in some of the breathtaking views to be seen on

Saltspring Island.

Population: 10,000

Location: Saltspring Island is located in the sheltered waters of the

Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia, off the west coast of Canada.

Because of its close proximity to Vancouver Island, Saltspring is

the most accessible of the Gulf chain of islands, with the mos

t frequent ferry sailings on three routes to three ferry terminals.

BC Ferries links Fulford Harbour with Swartz Bay (near Sidney), and

also links Vesuvius to Crofton on Vancouver Island.

There’s a BC Ferries dock in nearby Long Harbour with   both

Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island and Tsawwassen on the BC mainland.

Floatplanes also link the village of Ganges to Vancouver and Seattle.

Ganges: On Saltspring, all roads lead to the village of Ganges, in

mid island, the biggest town in the Gulf Islands.

There are more shops, services, amenities, restaurants, and galleries

crammed into Ganges than exist on any other island.

After browsing the galleries, walk down to the water for lunch.

Ganges was named after HMS Ganges, the flagship of the Royal Navy’s

Pacific Station between 1857 and 1860. Built in 1821, the Ganges was

the last British sailing battleship commissioned for duty in foreign


Fulford Village, at the southern end of the island, bustles with activity

when the ferry arrives from Swartz Bay terminal on Vancouver Island.

The decidedly laid-back atmosphere of Fulford Village, the Fulford Inn,

the historic grocery store, the Mexican cafe, and the  crafts shops

combine to add to the unique character of Fulford Harbour and the

Ferry Terminal.

Visit the native artifacts museum housed in a beautiful log building.

Head to the heart of Ganges every Saturday to see the wares and talents

on display at the local Saturday Market (April to October).

The colourful event includes a variety of  musical performances

and the occasional theatrical or dance exhibition.

Saltspring is also known as a centre for arts and crafts.

Many local artisans open their studios for tours, including spinners

and weavers, sculptors and glass blowers, painters and potters.

Studios showcase ceramics, woodcraft, jewellery, furniture, metal craft,

stained glass, moulded candles, wool and fleece products, and many

other unique island products.

Pick up a Studio Tour Map from the Visitor Info Centre in Ganges.

The unique tour is a self-guided visit to over 30 resident properties

of artists  and artisans, showcasing their individual talents and


To see more of Vancouver Island and The Sunshine Coast check out

these videos from the Vancouver Island Tourist Board

This blog is courtesy of




For mo

re exciiting jewelery browse my site



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: