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Jun 15

Greater Victoria – Sidney

Beautiful Sidney-by-the-Sea can be found tucked into the northeastern coast of the Saanich Peninsula, just 26 kms north of Victoria. Incorporated in 1952, Sidney is home to over 11,000 people.This bustling town serves as the commercial hub of the peninsula and a gateway to the US; the Washington State Ferry system operates a run between Sidney and Anacortes, with stops at Friday Harbour and Orcas Island -of the San Juan Islands.

On the site of what is now the Victoria International Airport there was once a World War II air force base and training station, and the influx of people this brought to the area helped to establish Sidney, which was, prior to that time, a small village serving local farms.

Now a thriving community, Sidney enjoys a robust economy based in large part on industry and tourism. Marine industry and a growing technology sector are major employers, as well as visitor related employment. Billing itself as Canada’s first -Booktown- Sidney contains a dozen unique bookstores within walking distance of each other, as well as shops featuring works by local artists and artisans. The pedestrian friendly streets and picturesque seaside atmosphere has helped Sidney grow into a popular destination for tourists from around the world. One of Sidney’s charming traditions is the summer street market; each Thursday evening June through August the main street, Beacon Avenue is closed to vehicle traffic and over 200 vendors converge to offer their wares including gifts, fresh local produce, hand made crafts and tasty food!

The rather quaint atmosphere and temperate climate has proved especially appealing to retirees, and this has led to a boom in high density housing such as condos and townhomes. There are many lovely waterfront or waterview developments where people can enjoy the sunrise over the newly named Salish Sea. Single family suburban and country residential homes may also be found here, and some acreage and estate properties, with particularly desirable homes right on the oceanfront.

The RCMP provides policing for Sidney, and the Sidney Fire Department consists of both career and volunteer firefighters. Residences have metered water and sewer services, and garbage is contracted to a private company that serves all of Sidney. Recycling is offered through a blue box program run by the Capital Regional District (CRD) check their website for scheduling and allowable items.

Sidney is enviably close to both the Victoria International Airport and BC Ferries Swartz Bay Terminal, as well as the Anacortes/San Juan Islands Ferry Terminal which makes it particularly easy for travellers, both incoming and outgoing. Just a short drive south on the Pat Bay Highway is the pretty city of Victoria and the myriad of amenities it offers. Boasting a cool Mediterranean climate, proximity to the City of Victoria, a seaside location and quaint laid back atmosphere, Sidney is a wonderful place for people, retired or not, to live.

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