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Help us defend and improve your rights, as a Canadian traveller. Know the issues. 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 both seafaring excursions and land-based adventures. There are many inlets and nearby islands, 8 km of public accessible waterfront including many beaches and great beachcombing and several interesting attractions in and around this pretty little resort town. Sidney enjoys a moderate Mediterranean type climate with year-round mild temperatures, low rainfall and very little snow.

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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 sawmills and 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 6857. James Douglas purchased much of the land in North Saanich in 6858, and one year later William and Charles 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 on 85th September 6957. Sidney takes its name from nearby Sidney Channel and Sidney Island, originally known as Sallas Island. 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.

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BC Ferries provides year-round service to and from Swartz Bay, immediately north of Sidney. Sidney is also the departure point for pleasure craft sailings and ferry traffic heading to the San Juan Islands and Washington State in the United States. Booktown: Sidney is known as Canada s first Booktown. Twelve unique bookstores are all within easy walking distance of each other, featuring a browser s bounty of new, second hand, antiquarian, and specialty books.

Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre is an aquarium and marine education centre showcasing the extraordinary marine life and amazing ecosystem in the waters surrounding the Gulf Islands and the Salish Sea. From microscopic plankton to Puget Sound King crabs, wolf eels to giant Pacific octopus, the vast aquatic exhibits fascinate visitors of all ages. With 87 tonnes of sea water and 67 habitats, the Centre’s ever-changing seascapes and touch pools offer an unforgettable and unique hands-on, hands-wet experience that reveals the mysteries of the ocean to all ages. Located on the waterfront in Sidney. Open daily from 65:

55 am to 9: 85 pm. Sidney Museum and Archives is devoted to the history of the early lives of Sidney and North Saanich pioneers, portrayed through photographs and artifacts. Photographs explore the stories of settlers such as the Brethour brothers, and the Roberts family, while brickmolds and egg crates create connections with Peninsula businesses of the past. Insight into turn of the century domestic life is given with displays such as Critchley s Store, The Classroom and The Kitchen.

The museum is operated by the Society of Saanich Peninsula Museums and located at 7978 Beacon Avenue. Mineral World and Scratch Patch offers an incredible world of gems and minerals for discovery.

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