Posted by: cherylyoung | February 22, 2012

Day 25 Visit Sidney by the the Sea

 

 

Set amidst the natural beauty and unspoiled charm

of the Saanich Peninsula, thevibrant community of Sidney

-by-the-Sea is the  gateway to the BC Gulf Islands

and the US San  Juan Islands

This bustling commercial hub of the Saanich Peninsula is

blessed with majesticviews of the ocean, the Olympic and

Cascade Mountain ranges. Sidney is a tourist’s dream –

a friendly port with modern marinas and a multitude

of unique galleries, gift stores, antique shops, restaurants,

bakeries and coffee bars.

 Sidney-by-the-Sea appeals to those who enjoy bothseafaring

excursions and land-based adventures.

 

There are many inlets and nearby islands, 3 km ofpublic

accessible waterfront – including many beaches and great

beachcombing – and severalinteresting attractions in and

around this pretty littleresort town.

 

 Sidney enjoys a moderate Mediterranean type climate

with year-round mild temperatures, low rainfall andvery

 little snow.

 

Historically, Sidney was a small farming communityand the

location of Vancouver Island’s first flour mill.

 

The heavily wooded forests of the region soon fostered

sawmills and a thriving lumber industry.

 

The Saanich People have lived on the Saanich Peninsula

 for thousands of years prior to contact with Europeans.

 

The Hudson’s Bay Company obtained large tracts offorested

 lands from the Saanich People in 1852.

 

James Douglas purchased much of the land in North Saanich

in 1858, and one year later William andCharles Reay became

the first settlers on the northern portion of the Saanich

Peninsula when they purchased land from the Hudson’s

Bay Company.

 

Some of this land is now the town of Sidney,incorporated

as a village on 30th September 1952.

 

Sidney takes its name from nearby Sidney Channeland Sidney

Island, originally known as Sallas Island.

 

 Captain Richards of the survey ship Plumper renamed it

Sidney Island in 1859, after Fredrick William Sidney(later captain),

also a member of the Royal Navy.

 

The Saanich People knew the site as Tseteenus,meaning

‘sticking out’.

 

Sidney is ideally situated close to all the major arrival points

to South Vancouver Island.

 

By Air, visitors arrive at Victoria International Airport,which is

 only 5 minutes away.

 

BC Ferries provides year-round service to and fromSwartz Bay,

immediately north of Sidney.

 

Sidney is also the departure point for pleasure craftsailings and

ferry traffic heading to the San JuanIslands and Washington State

 in the United States.

 

Population: 11,849

 

Location: Sidney is located on the

Saanich Peninsulaat the southern tip of Vancouver Island, just

 east ofthe Pat Bay Highway 17, five minutes south of the

Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal and just 16 miles (26 km) north of Victoria.

 

View maps of the area:

Map of Sidney

Map of Greater Victoria

Map of South Vancouver Island

Sidney is known as Canada’s first Booktown – ten unique

 bookstores all withineasy walking distance of each other,

feature a browser’s bounty of new,second-hand, antiquarian

 and specialty books.

 

 

The Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre Aquarium and marine centre

located on VancouverIsland in Sidney.

 

 The 10,000 square-foot marine centre was created to provide

local residents and visitors to the area an opportunity to learn

 more about marine life and get up close and personal with

 state-of-the-art aquaticexhibits.

 

The centre features several fantastic exhibitsincluding the

 Gallery of the Drifters where visitorswill learn about jelly fish,

algae and plankton and havethe opportunity to view them

 up-close with a videomicroscope.

 

 

The Gallery of the Salish Sea is a complete marine aquarium

 that recreates the ocean and provides an underwater view

complete with hundreds of typesof fish, invertebrates and plant life.

 

The Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre provides touchpools where

 visitors can interact live with sea stars and urchins.

 

The Ocean’s Heartbeat is a complete wet lab andclassroom

that is used to further educate visitors and school groups about

 aquaitic life and the manyecosystems that support our Earth.

 

Explore the B.C. Aviation Museum – packed with vintage

 airplanes and equipment, including a reconstructed radio

control room. 

Discover original and replica planes dating back to 1910.

Barnstorming bi-planerides

may be arranged.

  

The world-famous Butchart Gardens are located just a short

drive west of Sidney. 

The influence of the neighbouring Butchart Gardens is showcased

 in thecommunity parklands and individual gardens of Sidney

businesses and residents. 

Just south of Sidney on the Pat Bay Highway is the Saanich

 Historical ArtifactsSociety, a 29-acre park and large heritage

 museum, with many outdoordisplays, picnic tables,

nature trails and a pond. A beautiful destination with lots

to see and do

Stroll among hundreds of dazzling buttterflies in an indoor

tropical garden.Butterfly Gardens, features the brilliant

Blue Morpho, the delicately pattenedGiant Owl and the

huge Atlas Moth. 

Knowledgeable guides help you find well-hidden eggs, caterpillars

and pupae in the lush rain forest vegetation.

 Rare South African Turocos and tropical ducks can also be found.

Visit one of the local vineyards to sample the new and

burgeoning vintages of Vancouver Island. 

Celebrate Canada’s birthday at Sidney Days on the Canada

 Day weekend withactivities and entertainment for the whole family. 

Come join us for the Sidney Summer Market every Thursday

evening fromJune to September, when Beacon Avenue is closed

 to vehicle traffic between5pm and 9pm. Shopkeepers,

 businesses and pedestrians fill Beacon Avenue, creating a

carnival atmosphere! 

Local residents and visitors alike enjoy musical interlude at

Sidney’s CentennialBandstand Gazebo from July through

September, with Sunday afternoonbandstand concerts during

July and August. 

 Exciting horse racing is presented year-round in the area with

 live harnessracing at the Sandown Race Track from June

until Labour Day. 

 

Treat yourself to a two-hour sea cruise around the harbour

and islands, with aclose-up view of local wildlife, or enjoy a

 fully narrated horse-drawn carriage tour of Sidney.  

Experience the thrill of a guided whale watching tour. T

he waters off Sidney are  home to three Southern resident

pods of orca whales, Dahl porpoises, sea lions and seals.

 From Port Sidney Marina you will view the islands from high

 speed boats thattrack the whale pods and wildlife to ensure

a memorable trip every time.  

Golf: Glen Meadows Golf and Country Club in Sidney is a challenging

18-hole championship golf course. 

 Nearby golf courses include Sunshine Hills Golf Course (9 hole – Par 3)

 onCentral Saanich Road in Saanichton and the challenging 9-hole

 Prospect LakeGolf Course on Prospect Lake Road in Central Saanich. 

The Victoria area boasts 8 championship golf courses in close

 proximity, including Cordova Bay Golf Club, Olympic View Golf Club,

Gorge Vale Golf Club,Royal Colwood Golf Club, and

 Bear Mountain Golf and Country Club.

 Nearby Oak Bay has the Victoria Golf Club and Uplands Golf Course.

Golf Packages in Victoria

Tulista Park is a little gem of a seaside park and boat launch at

the very end ofLochside Drive, next to the Washington State

 ferry terminal. With emerald green lawns and sparkling ocean

waters, Tulista offers a place forpicknickers and boaters to relax,

 have a barbecue, and toss a frisbee. The park offers a children’s

playground, concession stand, walking trails, plenty of free

 parking, and is wheelchair accessible.

 There’s a covered picnic area with ample benches and picnic

 tables as well aspublic washrooms. 

The paved waterfront walkway joins with the scooter-friendly

Lochside oceanfront walkway. 

Visitors can access beaches, benches and take in the

 fabulous view.

The double-wide boat launch off Lochside Drive is open daily

and tickets can be purchased on site.  Sidney is a hub for

saltwater fishing excursions.

Year-round salmon fishing is available, as well as cod, snapper,

 halibut, sole,crab, prawns and shrimp in local waters. 

Landlubbers can cast off the Bevan Avenue fishing pier.

 Boaters can launch at the Van Isle Marina, or at the Tulista

 Park boat ramp onLochside Drive, beside the Anacortes Ferry Terminal.

 

Diving: Sidney has a reputation as one of the most sought after

dive sites onLower Vancouver Island. 

 Underwater marine parks rich in spectacular natural scenery

attract divers fromaround the world. Divers can explore th

e wrecks of the G.B. Church and the HMCS Mackenzie, two

sunken diving reefs providing opportunity for some great

underwater exploration.Graham’s Wall, Tozier Rock,

The White Lady, Burial Islet, Octopus Point, and otherhot

spots off the peninsula’s coast are all accessible from

Sidney, either as daycharters or liveaboards. Kayakers will

find the sheltered waters, secluded coves, islands, and nearby

 marine parks ideal for exploring. 

Take a guided multi-day expedition to D’Arcy Island Marine Park,

 Reay Island,Rum Island or Princess Margaret Marine Park on

Portland Island. 

Sidney is the centre of the largest concentration of marinas on

Vancouver Island. 

Several marinas and boating facilities are located along

Sidney’s eastern shoreline,including the fabulous Port Sidney

Marina.

 Sidney is popular with the Northwest boating fraternity, with

 boaters fromCalifornia, Oregon, Washington and Vancouver

 choosing Port Sidney as thebest destination marina on the west coast! 

Take the little ferry to Sidney Spit Marine Park and spend the day

 beachcombing – no stores or restaurants here, so pack a

picnic lunch! 

 

 Be sure to visit the Gulf Islands National Parks Reserve

Operations Centre in Sidney –

 it’s certified as the most environmentally friendly in the country.

 

Ocean water provides the heat, low-flush toilets use rainwater

 and even the temperature rises and falls depending on the

 number of people inside. 

 

 Nearby McDonald Park provides an overnight stop for campers

arriving on a late ferry.

You’ll find a lot of marine traffic swirling around the area during

 the day, in the evening the pulse slows to a sleep-inducing

rhythm, especially once the last ferries

have sailed or docked for the night. 

 

 Island View Beach Regional Park south of Sidney offers a gentle

 cobble- and driftwood-strewn beach, with good views of

James and Sidney Islands and wildlife

viewing in the open fields behind the beach.

 

Locals use the beach area fronting Indian reserve land north

of the park for discreet, clothing-optional tanning.

 

Island View Beach is a favourite beachcombing area, and a

boat ramp is conveniently locate d at the entrance to the park. 

 

 Other parks near Sidney include Horth Hill Regional Park in

North Saanich, and John Dean Provincial Park to the southwest

of Sidney. 

 

 North of Sidney are the alluring Gulf Islands, snug in the Georgia

Strait between the BC mainland and the east coast of

Vancouver Island. 

 

 South of Sidney is Saanichton, well known for flowers and

rose gardens.

Bed and breakfast homes and riding stables are nestled alongside

parks, campgrounds, old-growth forests and small farms

CHERYL C YOUNG, REALTOR

SAANICH PENINSULA REALTY

SIDNEY BC.

www.cherylyoung.ca  for a slide presentation of Sidney

www.facebook.com/cherylcyoung

www.twitter.com/CherylCYoung

cbythesea@shaw.ca

         

    

 



 

 

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