The Town of Sidney, British Columbia, Canada


A Small Jewel on Vancouver Island

! 02 Aerial View Sidney Pier.jpgThe town of Sidney is located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. With a population of around 13,000 it is a lively and friendly community.   It has a diverse economy including tourism and related businesses, commercial fishing, small boat building and other marine related business and specialized manufacturing including Viking Air.

It is the transportation hub for southern Vancouver Island with ferry terminals serving Vancouver and Anacortes in Washington State.   The Victoria International Airport is only 10 minutes by taxi from downtown Sidney.

Beacon Avenue.JPGSidney has a variety of unique shops, galleries and boutiques. Visitors often comment that It’s good to get away from chain stores and malls and shop along a real high street!   On Thursday summer evenings, Beacon Avenue becomes a busy open-air market with stalls offering everything from fresh produce to hand-made jewellery.

Excellent fare at reasonably priced restaurants and cafes include international flavours as well as fresh, locally sourced food. Several in-town hotels and bed-and-breakfasts offer fine quality accommodation.

And the Town comes by its nickname Sidney-by-the-Sea honestly! Marinas cater to local and visiting sailors who cruise the Gulf Islands and the sheltered waters year round.

The southern resident Orcas in the Salish Sea often put on a display for local whale watchers…and you may see other sea mammals such as seals and sea lions. Two bird sanctuaries in Sidney waters offer ample opportunity to add to your bird count— especially waterfowl.

IMG_3726A welcome addition to the Town has been the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre. All of the beautiful creatures on display are residents of the adjacent waters. They thrill the visitors.  And kids of all ages search for sea glass (“mermaids’ tears”) on Glass Beach and explore the beach along Lochside trail. Companies in town offer scuba diving, whale watching cruises, kayak and paddleboard rentals or yacht chartering; all great ways to explore the wonders of the Salish Sea.

Culturally Sidney has a well-earned reputation as a Book Town and hosts a Literary Festival.   There are also a remarkable number of talented painters, sculptors and photographers, whose works are continually displayed in many venues. Every October the ArtsSea Community Arts Council organizes The Sidney Fine Arts Show, which attracts participation from across North America.

Sidney’s parks include a purpose built skateboard park, children’s playgrounds, a waterfront sculpture walk, playing fields.  Enjoy a morning lazing in town-provided comfortable chairs in Beacon Park by the Bandstand and watch the boats arriving and departing Sidney Seaport Marina.

And then there’s music and dance, stage shows and concerts, taking place regularly in the Mary Winspear Community Cultural Centre and its Charlie White Theatre!  In the summer there are very popular weekly concerts at Sidney’s waterside bandstand.

Sunrise - Mel Falk

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