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Sidney BC Real Estate & Attractions

About Sidney, British Columbia

The Sidney Peninsula, like much of Vancouver Island, has been occupied for thousands of years by Aboriginal Peoples. It was the Salish first Nation that has called this area home for more than 10,000 years. There are a number of reserves on the Peninsula today including:
• Tsartlip
• Tseycum
• Taswout
• Pauquachin

The area used to be known as Sallas Island and Sidney Channel however there are those who disagree on when the name ‘Sidney’ came into play. Although there is no debate that the town was named after Lieutenant Frederick William Sidney (later achieving the rank of Captain), the issue still remains as to whom the name was actually bestowed by. Sidney’s written history dates back to 1859 when the Royal Navy survey vessel, HMS Plumper, came to explore the northern end of the Saanich Peninsula.

Business in Sidney flourished rapidly as a steady influx of pioneer families moved to the Peninsula. A large part of Sidney’s growth and success was due to the ease of transportation via rail and seal links to Victoria and the mainland of Vancouver. It continues to grow today with the building Victoria International Airport which sits on the border of Sidney.
The rich history of Sidney remains strong and its coat of arms and town flag still contains images of the sloop HMS Plumper, an arrowhead representing the Salish First Nation and the crest’s clasped hands represent the friendship between the First Nations and settlers.

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Sidney BC Real Estate & Attractions scenery

Real Estate in Sidney, BC

Similar to other areas of Vancouver Island, families and couples continue to look at Sidney real estate as a viable alternative to nearby larger urban communities that are increasingly becoming too expensive in which to own a home. Potential buyers are very much attracted to the quality of life that exists here and the fact that they are still able purchase a large condo located minutes from the ocean for under $400,000.

There is much incentive for people from Victoria, eastern Canada and in fact world-wide to explore Sidney’s real estate market where they can get still get a for their dollar. Among those purchasing homes in Sidney are a number of expatriates who have spent years in the U.S. and are now looking to retire here.

With prices still relatively reasonable, Sidney real estate is definitely a sound financial investment. This is also evident by the number of individuals and families running independent businesses that are looking for a positive lifestyle change for them as well as their growing families. Many potential buyers are very attracted to the fact that Sidney is just minutes from the airport and ferries and most amenities are available in the downtown core and are all within walking distance.

Sidney Attractions and Resources

Sidney has a well established and dedicated volunteer fire department that also employs 7 staff members. The department also provides:

  • First Responder medical services
  • Rescue services
  • Structural firefighting

The area is policed by the Sidney/North Saanich RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) detachment. Along with their regular policing duties the RCMP also provide such services as:

  • First Nations policing
  • School Liaison
  • Community policing
  • Municipal traffic services

Sidney also offers a comprehensive garbage, recycling, kitchen organics, compostable yard & garden waste pick-up service at very nominal fees.

School District 63 provides both an elementary school as well as a high school for area children.

There is a vibrant downtown core with coffee shops, boutiques, etc, and is a popular gathering place for residents. There is an abundance of both indoor and outdoor activities, festivals, museums, spa services, fishing, golfing, sporting events and so much more. There are exciting adventures and relaxing walks along the beach; in short there are activities and cultural events to suit all ages in Sidney.

For more detailed information about attractions, resources and things to do in Sidney BC, click on the PLUS sign beside “Sidney Attractions” below.

Local Resources and Information

Sidney Attractions

Sidney Pier

The Sidney Pier is a waterfront walkway that takes you along the oceanfront and is approximately 2.5 km
long. There are plenty of benches and picnic tables, and magnificent gardens along the way where one can relax, enjoy a bite to eat and take in spectacular views of Mount Baker, Sidney Island, and so much
more.

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Ardmore Golf Course

Located close to the Victoria Airport in picturesque Sidney, B.C., on Vancouver Island, Ardmore Golf Course is a 9 hole course with an option for 18 holes. They offer golf lessons that are run by Jeff Palmer who has more than 20 years experience in a number of Golf Academies throughout the world.

Ardmore is a public course that also offers reasonably priced membership options and cart rentals. They run a fundraising event each year for the ALS Society of BC. The public is also welcome to book their own event either for golf or in their dining room which holds up to 150 people.

The Irons Grille is a great place to relax with friends before or after a round of golf. Guests and members alike always look forward to their unique ‘Hot Dog of the Day’ selection.

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BC Aviation Museum

The BC Aviation Museum, located by the Victoria International Airport is a must see for both tourists and locals. Rich in Canadian aviation history guests can visit one of several hangers including artifacts depicting our earliest attempts at flight. The museum also offers a library filled with a host of printed material and videos for all ages.

Younger visitors can experience a flight trainer and see wartime Douglas DC3 cockpit and forward fuselage. Take time to visit the 5,000 square foot restoration hanger which includes areas for metal and wood working.

Ever wonder what our first attempts at flying looked like? See a full scale replica of the DaVinci Ornithopter that was meant to be human powered (with flapping wings), that sadly never took flight. Schools, private groups, and other organizations use the museum as an exciting, hands-on learning experience.  Of course all ages will find something to remember their visit by at the museum’s gift shop.

With admission prices as low as $4.00 for children 7 to 12 years of age, the museum is an exceptional outing for the whole family. Complete admission prices and hours of operation can be found by scrolling to the bottom of the museum’s home page.

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Beacon Park

Beacon Park in Sidney is truly a wonderful place to spend the day picnicking, enjoying ocean views along the boardwalk, shopping at the fish market, booking a whale watching excursion, or just relaxing on a park bench. The Pavilion at the Park also offers some fun and unique live performances that the whole family will enjoy.

As part of the Sidney Waterfront, Beacon Park is a vibrant yet relaxing place to take a leisurely stroll, go for a jog, bike ride or just enjoy the beauty of the grounds. Take a walk along the boardwalk where you can stop for a bite to eat and visit the fish market.

Learn more about all there is to do at Beacon Park in Sidney, BC.

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Gulf Islands National Park

The Gulf Islands National Park Reserve is a true example of nature’s wonder and beauty at its best. Although close to several Southern Vancouver Island cities, it’s easy to immerse yourself in the great outdoors offered throughout this National Park system and feel like you’re in another world. In fact, the Gulf Islands are considered to be one of the most accessible and beautiful archipelagos in the world. Keep a look out for sea lions and whales as you kayak along the waterways or for those frolicking just feet away from your campsite.

The Gulf Islands National Park Reserve offers exceptional outdoor adventures for all ages and abilities. From cycling, kayaking, camping, swimming, picnicking, and hiking, one can simply choose your preferred activity level from avid backcountry outdoors person to a leisurely day on one of the many beaches. Every trip to this world famous National Park system can be a new experience.

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Lochside Regional Trail

Converted from what was once a railway line, the Lochside Regional Trail is now a vibrant and popular spot for cycling, walking, horseback riding and even daily commuters in and around Sidney on Southern Vancouver Island. This 29km picturesque multi-use trail meanders along a number of beaches, rest stations, markets and even through lush local farmlands.

The trail is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is easy to access via car, BC Ferries or walking. This trail is ideal for a day trip to one of the many beaches along the way, taking a leisurely stroll by the seaside to watch the sunset or enjoy some fresh fruit and veggies at the market. The Lochside Regional Trail is perfect for the hiking/biking enthusiast or the novice who simply want to enjoy the natural beauty of Sidney on southern Vancouver Island.

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Mary Winspear Centre

Located in Sidney BC, the Mary Winspear Centre is world renown for hosting special event functions, weddings, and business conferences that are second to none. The seaside beauty of Sidney provides the perfect backdrop for any event including theatre productions as well as viewing the galleries at the Centre. It is conveniently accessible from the Victoria International Airport, BC Ferries and the Washington State Ferry Terminal.

Referred to by many as the heart of the Saanich Peninsula community the area offers a wide array of things to do and see while participating in your event at the Centre. From shopping to whale watching, hiking and strolling along the beach there are no shortage of activities to get you rejuvenated for your next meeting or to add something extraordinary for your guests on your wedding day.

Learn more about The Mary Winspear Centre and all it has to offer.

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Mineral World

Set in a beautiful glass-filled building overlooking the sea in Sidney on Vancouver Island is western Canada’s leading tourist attraction; Mineral World. Displays of semi-precious gemstones, crystals, fossils, jewelry and more are there for viewing, interacting with and even purchasing. Their Interpretive Centre is free to visit and offers an amazing hands-on experience suitable for the whole family. They offer incredible learning experiences for individual visitors, school groups, and even birthday parties.

Getting there is easy as they are located at the transport hub of Vancouver Island conveniently located close to Victoria International Airport, 3 ferries and public transport.

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Peninsula Gallery

The Peninsula Gallery in Sidney, on Vancouver Island was established in 1986 and showcases sculptures, paintings, and other art forms in a thoughtfully laid out and welcoming atmosphere. Through the hard work and dedication of the staff, the Gallery is proud to be one of Canada’s most highly praised art galleries.

The Gallery is located in the heart of this quaint seaside town on Beacon Street and just minutes from local hotels, the beach and unique shopping venues. Not only are these amazing works of art fascinating to see but they are also available for purchase if you simply must have a particular piece. Whether you are a life-long art lover or have never been to a gallery, the knowledgeable staff will make you feel at home.

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Sidney Museum

Located on Beacon Avenue, the Sidney museum showcases the history of the area through displays of more than 7,000 artifacts. They are open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and admission is by way of donations making it a family friendly outing.

While many of the exhibits and artifacts are permanent, the museum also showcases monthly displays. The Sidney Museum is also a fun-filled learning experience for school groups. From the history of dolls, the popular LEGO exhibit to ‘room’ displays depicting an original general store and an old classroom, there is plenty to explore for visitors of all ages.

Learn more about all the Sidney Museum has to offer.

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Sidney Spit Marine Park

Sidney Spit Marine Park is located on the northern tip of Sidney Island and is accessible by water only. Visitors can arrive by private boat or by a foot passenger ferry. The Park is home to an abundance of wildlife, salt marshes, sandy beaches, tidal flats, and a vital shorebird habitat.

Beachcombing for miles at low tide along the spit is a popular activity, as is kayaking, enjoying the warm water, or just relaxing in the sun. Surrounded by nature, Sidney Spit Marine Park is the perfect place for camping, picnicking on the beach, or just soaking up the natural beauty of the area.

Learn more about what Sidney Spit Marine Park has to offer for visitors of all ages.

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Sidney Street Market

Each Thursday night from June to August Sidney’s main street, Beacon Avenue, is transformed into a vibrant market complete with fresh local produce, area artisan crafts, handmade toys, clothes, sweets, local musicians, and more. Year after year, organizers put together this family friendly, festive event that showcases not only local business people but what this quaint seaside community is all about.

With more than 140 vendors and up to 5,000 visitors each night, it’s little wonder that the Sidney Street Market has become one of the most popular street markets in all of British Columbia. Anyone visiting Vancouver Island will be glad they made a point of taking in the festivities of the market located on the southern end of the Island.

Learn more about the famous Sidney Street Market and all there is to see and do there.

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Tulista Park

Tulista Park in Sidney, on southern Vancouver Island truly has something to offer visitors of all ages and abilities. With a scooter-friendly waterfront walkway and an enclosed children’s play area, boat launch capabilities and even a Community Art Centre, this great little park needs to be on everyone’s ‘To Do’ list.

It’s easy to spend the day here as the Park is equipped with a picnic shelter and barbecue area, picnic tables and benches, and lots of grassy areas to relax and take in the sights and sounds of the ocean or listen to children playing on the beach.

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Victoria Airport

Located on Electra Blvd. in Sidney, BC, Victoria International Airport has been recognized as the best in ‘Service Quality’, in all of North America. They offer and extensive array of services to help make every traveler’s experience a more relaxed and efficient one. From charging stations, secure bike lockers and repair kits, child play areas, and pet relieve areas for service dogs; this airport really has thought of everything that a traveler might need. Parking is also very reasonable compared to other major city airports.

Travel to and from the Airport takes you by the scenic town of Sidney-by-the-Sea which is a relaxing and welcoming town that is also an oasis for amazing and unique tourist attractions. The Airport itself is located right next to the BC Aviation Museum, which is proud to be BC’s most popular attraction.

Learn more about Victoria International Airport.

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