COVID-19: US and Canadian residents recreational travel allowed.  TRAVEL ALERTS: Know Before You Go

North Saanich, Vancouver Island Photo Province of BC

Sidney

Sidney is situated on the Saanich Peninsula in Southern Vancouver Island that nudges out into the Salish Sea amid spectacular scenery. A seaside community and a boating haven this small coastal town attracts many to come and experience its year-round mild climate. Stroll along walkways by the water, check out the galleries, charming boutiques and more. Nearby Butchart Gardens, a National Historic Site, has acres of stunning floral displays amid spectacular views. The Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea in Sidney is a world-class interactive aquarium. Hundreds of fish, invertebrates and marine plants recreate the ocean environment and give an underwater view that most people never experience. Enjoy old planes? The British Columbia Aviation Museum is located close by and is dedicated to preserving aircraft and artifacts.

Many outdoor adventures start here. This includes, diving, fishing excursions,  and whale watching tours. Hiking is popular and there are many trails for all levels of activity. A hike along the Galloping Goose Trail is relatively flat as it is built along an old rail bed. This 55 km (34 mi) trail is accessible from various points. The north leg of the trail connects with the Lochside Regional Trail, a 29 km (18 mi) route that winds its way from Victoria through the Saanich Peninsula to Sidney and Swartz Bay.

Location

Located along Hwy 17 at the northern end of the Saanich Peninsula on Vancouver Island just south of Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal and east of Victoria International Airport. The town is also a port-of-call for the Washington State Ferry, with ferries running from Sidney to Anacortes, Washington. It is also close to the nearby community of Saanichton and within an easy drive of Victoria, BC’s capital.

A Step Back in Time

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 1852. James Douglas purchased much of the land in North Saanich in 1858, 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 30th September 1952.

Sidney takes its name from nearby Sidney Channel and Sidney Island (originally known as Sallas Island). Captain Richards of the survey ship Plumper renamed it Sidney Island in 1859, after Fredrick William Sidney (later captain), also a member of the Royal Navy.

Contact Information

Tourism Victoria

Sidney & Nearby Accommodations

8 Listings

SMONEĆTEN (McDonald) Campground - Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

SMONEĆTEN (McDonald) Campground - Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

Sidney

SMONEĆTEN (McDonald) Campground is an excellent base of operations for exploring the Gulf Islands and the Greater Victoria area for campers, RVers and cyclists offering both shaded and sunny sites. Reservations are recommended. https://www.reservation.pc.gc.ca. ... More Details
Sidney Spit Campground - Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

Sidney Spit Campground - Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

Sidney

This popular family-friendly destination is accessible by boat or kayak. Take the seasonal walk-on ferry to discover beautiful white sand beaches and forested walking trails. Reservations are recommended. https://www.reservation.pc.gc.ca. Visit https://www.sidneyspitferry.com for walk-on ferry servi ... More Details
Oceanside | A Parkbridge Camping & RV Resort

Oceanside | A Parkbridge Camping & RV Resort

Saanichton

Award-winning resort on the ocean, over 69 sites available. Close to Victoria, Sidney, ferries, whale watching, Butchart Gardens and city bus. WiFi, 30/50 amp, laundromat, playground. East off Hwy 17 onto Mt Newton X-road. Follow signs to end of Stautw Road. ... More Details
Fort Victoria RV Park

Fort Victoria RV Park

Victoria

6km (4mi) W. Of city centre, full hookups, cable TV, laundry, sani-station, free hot showers, washrooms, playground, wireless internet, near city bus and stores, maximum of two pets on leash, CP 4 days. ... More Details
Salish Seaside RV Haven

Salish Seaside RV Haven

Victoria

Salish Seaside RV Haven is Western Canada's premier RV park, located on a private peninsula right in the heart of Victoria's waterfront harbour. Proudly owned and operated by the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. The Haven is a total redesign and brand new rebuild of the former WestBay Village RV Park ... More Details
Galaxy RV (Victoria)

Galaxy RV (Victoria)

Victoria

GalaxyRV sells and services new and used RVs. Located on Vancouver Island with three locations in Duncan, Langford and Parksville. GalaxyRV carries brands like Dutchmen, Forest River, Shasta and more! Visit any of our island locations for great deals on new or used RVs and for parts and service acce ... More Details
Sunny Shores Resort & Marina

Sunny Shores Resort & Marina

Sooke

Join us at Sunny Shores Resort & Marina, where the climate is ideal, the forests are lush and the ocean is your playground! We offer modern housekeeping units with colour cable TV, tent and trailer sites, suitable for everyone’s needs. We guarantee your family will have a memorable experience and ... More Details
Pedder Bay RV Resort & Marina

Pedder Bay RV Resort & Marina

Victoria

A West Coast Wilderness Playground - For those who like to cruise the ocean and the open road. Pedder Bay RV Resort and Marina is situated on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, surrounded by forest and ocean. Offering the best of both worlds, the resort is in a beautiful wilderness area and yet i ... More Details
Travel Spotlight
Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989