Sidney, situated close to the Gulf Islands and on the shores of the Strait of Georgia and Patricia Bay, is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Just 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) north of Victoria, BC’s capital city, the relaxed, seaside town of Sidney has a population of just over 11,500 people.
Washington State Ferries has the Sidney / US (Anacortes, WA) ferry terminal located in Sidney, and just minutes away from here are the Victoria International Airport and the Swartz Bay BC Ferries Terminal.
Tourists visit this beautiful community year-round to enjoy the Mediterranean-type climate of low rainfall, very little snow, and sunny summer days. Sidney is a part of the Saanich Peninsula; an area of Vancouver Island well known for spectacular views and farms. Tourists and residents alike enjoy the fresh produce, country roads, beautiful beaches, and friendly atmosphere of the Saanich Peninsula and of Sidney-By-The-Sea.
The village of Sidney was incorporated in September of 1952, and has enjoyed steady growth since. Originally, Sidney was a small farming community and home to the first flour mill on Vancouver Island. The lumber industry also developed early in this area, as sawmills thrived on the thick forests here.
Today, Sidney is supported by the tourism industry, offering exciting attractions and activities year-round. Some local attractions include three museums (Marine, Historical, and Aviation), a Marine Ecology Centre, whale watching, boating, kayaking, street art including statues and murals, a Mineral World, and a 420 foot fishing pier where marine life abounds. Sidney also has a wide variety of stores and shops, and is often referred to as ‘Booktown.’ With ten unique bookstores all within walking distance, there is a wide assortment of new and used books to discover and enjoy. Sidney is the centre of a thriving arts community, and every Thursday evening from June until September, Beacon Avenue fills with pedestrians, artisans and shopkeepers, all participating in the Sidney Summer Market. Another popular local attraction is The Butchart Gardens, which is just a short drive west of Sidney, and includes fifty-five acres of beautiful floral display. On Saturday nights in the Summer, The Butchart Gardens puts on a fantastic fireworks display that is not to be missed!