Posted by: cherylyoung | January 13, 2013

Day 25 Visit Sidney by the the Sea


Set amidst the natural beauty and unspoiled charm of the Saanich

Peninsula  the vibrant 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 majestic views  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 of public

accessible waterfront – including many beaches and grea

t beachcombing – and several interesting attractions in and

around this pretty littleresort town.


Sidney enjoys a moderate Mediterranean type climate

with year-round mild temperatures, low rainfall and very

little snow.

Historically, Sidney was a small farming community and the

location of  Vancouver Island’s first flour mill.

The heavily wooded forests of the region 

soon  fostered  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 of

forested 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 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 theSwartz 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 within easy walking distance

of each other, 

features a browser’s bounty of new, used books,

Sidney is know as Book Town


The Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre

Aquarium and marine centre located on Vancouver

Island 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 aquatic


The centre features several fantastic exhibits

including the Gallery of the Drifters where visitors

will learn about jelly fish, algae and plankton

and have the opportunity to view them up-close

 with a video microscope.

The Gallery of the Salish Sea is a complete marine

aquarium that recreates the ocean and provides an

underwater view complete with hundreds of types

of fish, invertebrates and plant life.

The Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre provides touch

pools where visitors can interact live with sea

stars and urchins.


The Ocean’s Heartbeat is a complete wet lab and

classroom that is used to further educate visitors

and school groups about aquaitic life and the many

ecosystems 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-plane rides 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 the community parklands and individual

gardens of Sidney businesses and residents.


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

Historical Artifacts Society, a 29-acre park and large heritage

museum, with many outdoor displays, 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 pattened Giant 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 th

e Canada Day weekend with activities and entertainmen

t for the whole family.


Come join us for the Sidney Summer Market every

Thursday evening from

June to September, when Beacon Avenue is closed to

vehicle traffic between 5pm and 9pm.


Shopkeepers, businesses and pedestrians fill Beacon

Avenue, creating a carnival atmosphere!


Local residents and visitors alike enjoy musical

interlude at Sidney’s Centennial Bandstand Gazebo from

July through September, with Sunday afternoon

bandstand concerts during July and August.



Exciting horse racing is presented year-round in

the area with live harness racing at the Sandown Race

Track from June until Labour Day.


Treat yourself to a two-hour sea cruise around the

harbour and islands, with a close-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.

The 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 that track 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) on Central Saanich Road in Saanichton

and the challenging 9-hole Prospect Lake

Golf 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 of Lochside Drive, nex

t to the Washington State ferry terminal.


With emerald green lawns and sparkling ocean waters,

Tulista offers a place for picknickers 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 as public 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 th

e Tulista Park boat ramp on Lochside Drive, beside

the Anacortes Ferry Terminal.

Diving: Sidney has a reputation as one of the most

sought after dive sites on Lower Vancouver Island.


Underwater marine parks rich in spectacular natural

scenery attract divers from around the world.


Divers can explore the 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 other hot spots off the peninsula’s

coast are all accessible from Sidney, either as day

charters 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 from California, Oregon, Washington and

Vancouver choosing Port Sidney as the

best destination marina on the west coast!


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

e 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.


Shaw Ocean Discovery Sea of Love, Sip and Bid

Feb 28th 6-9pm

Sidney by the sea

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 located 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



SIDNEY BC. for a slide presentation of Sidney




Sidney boasts a very arts oriented community and now

you can be a part of our first Annyual

Shaw Ocean Discovery Sea of Love , Sip and Bid Event

Feb 28,6-9 pm

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