Posted by: cherylyoung | February 14, 2013

Sidney Spit, a whole other world on Vancouver Island

Sidney Island

Sidney spit 55

Sallas Forest

Sallas Forest brings
together a group of people seeking a high-quality residential and recreational
experience in the unique forest and ocean environment of Sidney Island in
British Columbia’s Georgia Strait. It is a community committed to careful,
sustainable management of the forest and wildlife, and to protection of the
island’s rich ecological diversity and aesthetic values. The privacy of
residences, and opportunities to enjoy the natural environment, are enhanced
through a specially-adapted organizational structure, thoughtful planning and
controls, and sensitive stewardship and use of the land and

Sidney Spit 111

The Island

Sidney Island, at the southern end of
the Gulf Islands archipelago, between Vancouver Island and mainland British
Columbia, is often referred to as “The Jewel of the Gulf.” Less than 20
kilometers north of Victoria, roughly on a line to Vancouver, just west of the
U.S. San Juan Island, Sidney Island offers easy access, yet preserves a pristine
private forest surrounded by beaches and a rich marine environment.

Sidney Spit 2

climate of the Southern Gulf Islands is Mediterranean, with exceptionally
pleasant, warm summers, mild winters and less than 30 inches annual

The island is 2200 acres in size. At the north end, a lagoon
and long sandspit occupy the 440 acres of Sidney Spit Marine Park. The
remaining 1760 acres is entirely the private property of Sallas Forest Strata
Corporation. More than 12 miles of sand and pebble beaches surround the islands
17 mile shoreline.

Sidney Spit 6


Sidney Island is indisputably
one of the most pleasant and picturesque of the Gulf Islands, and the last one
of this size that has remained undeveloped. The residential plan, forest
management plan and strata organization are all designed to preserve the natural
features of this island and it’s forest and marine environments.

part of the island offers breathtaking views. To the south is the snow capped
Olympic Range; to the east, the perfect cone of Mount Baker and the Cascade
Mountains. Many sailors consider the Georgia Strait as the finest yachting
waters in North America and likewise, scuba divers consider it as the best
diving area.

Sidney Spit 77
Wildlife abounds both on the island and in surrounding
waters. The forest provides cover for two species of deer. Ponds and wetlands
provide habitat for large numbers of water fowl. Numerous pairs of bald eagles
nest along the shore. Woodpeckers, herons, hawks and a dozen species of
songbirds are abundant.

From the shore, it is common to see seals and
sea-lions basking on the rocks.

Occasionally, a migrating pod of killer
whales provides a spectacular sight. Nearby waters offer excellent salmon,
halibut, cod & crab fishing.

The forest is dominated by Douglas fir,
including some of the original stands of old growth, but more extensive tracts
of vigorous second growth. There is, in addition, an extraordinary variety of
other coniferous and deciduous forest trees, arbutus, oak, maple, cherry,
dogwood, cedar, balsam, yew and other trees, as well as smaller vegetation, wild
flowers, mosses and lichin.

Sidney Spit


Sidney Island offers
a wide range of recreational opportunities, notably sailing, kayaking, scuba
diving, fishing, beach activities, walking and exploring nearby waters and
islands of Georgia Strait. The managed forest provides unusual opportunities for
forest-oriented recreation such as hiking and bird


Apart from some especially sensitive
areas protected under covenants, the waterfront portion of the lands is divided
into 111 strata lots. The strata lots are mostly between one and three acres in
size and have 200 to 400 feet of waterfront. The interior is a common property
forest, professionally managed for its full range of commercial, aesthetic,
wildlife and environmental values. The comprehensive plan is designed as a model
of sustainable development.


Access to Sallas Forest
is afforded by a private airstrip and boat docking facilities, both of which are
the common property of strata owners. A tastefully-designed system of forest
roads connects these access points to residences, beaches and other common

Victoria International Airport lies only 5 miles to the west,
near Sidney B.C. Vancouver and Seattle-Tacoma also provide international
connections. BC Ferries runs to Vancouver from a terminal near Sidney.
Washington State Ferries connects the town of Sidney with Anacortes,

Plentiful supplies of fresh water have been proven, and all
strata owners are guaranteed access to it.

sidney Spit3

Island, known to aboriginal people as Sallas Island, was one of the earliest
places settled on Canada’s Pacific Coast. It was on the route from Fort Victoria
to the Fraser River gold rush in 1858. The following year the Hudson Bay Company
began offering land for sale, and to make it appear more civilized, changed its
name to Sidney Island. For some years following the turn of the century, a
brickworks operated in the area now within the marine park, utilizing the
island’s fine clay.

Some of the huge old growth Douglas Fir timber was
logged during the two World Wars, and in its place vigorous stands of second
growth have flourished.

In 1910, a group of Victoria businessmen
purchased Sidney Island as a hunting preserve, though vegetable farming and
sheep raising continued for some decades. In 1981, after the marine park was
created, the remainder of the island was purchased by Sallas Forest Limited
Partnership. Today, following official approval of a development plan to
integrate low-density residential development with forest management and
protection of areas of special environmental significance, ownership is being
transferred to strata owners organized under a strata corporation.

business card



  1. Reblogged this on Cheryl Young's Blog.

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