Salt Spring Island Information
Where is Salt Spring Island?
Almost parallel to the Canadian/American border on the west coast of Canada is a chain of Islands that lies like a necklace of jewels in the Pacific Ocean. Known north of the 49th parallel as the British Columbia Gulf Islands and south of the 49th as the San Juan Islands of Washington State, only 5 kilometres of ocean separate them. The largest of the B.C. Gulf Islands is Salt Spring Island, a cozy haven of 45,000 acres of green hills, weaving shoreline, blue lakes, valleys and majestic mountains, nestled between the mainland and the protective bulk of Vancouver Island.
About Salt Spring Island
While the rest of the country may be under a frigid white cover and even Vancouver is drowning under torrential rains, the Gulf Islands remain temperate and relatively dry. The waters surrounding these Islands are considered to be among the finest sheltered boating waters in the world. The 'cool Mediterranean' climate provides an 8-month growing season and year round outdoor pleasures. Home to over 10,000 permanent residents, Salt Spring Island is a part-time home and tourist destination for many more from around the world who flock here for the relaxed west coast lifestyle, spectacular beauty, stimulating community and safe environment.
The Salt Spring Lifestyle
It is no surprise that Salt Spring Island attracts people of varied ages and backgrounds who are seeking an alternative to the impersonal frenetic pace of city life. The Island offers a rural lifestyle with no compromise. With the growth in population has come an expansion of services & products offered locally. A hospital, all levels of school, long-term care, a library, all health care with great emphasis on alternative treatments, an array of foodstuffs for the well traveled Islander with diverse tastes, building supplies, and almost anything else you can think of are here. Visit the summer long 'Artcraft' sale and local galleries where you will find a range of artwork that reads like a "who's who" in art. The highlight of Saturday morning in the summer is the "Farmer's Market" in the village where you can buy more than fresh farm produce. Warm bread from a wood fired oven, fresh local world-class cheese and flowers for the table are just a few things available. You can buy pottery, jewelry, paintings, clothing and more at the Saturday market and order a Thai lunch while listening to an eclectic variety of musicians, including children fiddlers.
Whatever activity you are interested in, there is a like-minded group of people to meet. Languages, fitness, music, theatre, sailing, basket weaving, painting, dance, photography, politics, cooking, volunteer work, hiking, swimming, golf and more. Farming is alive and well with an active 4H club and an old fashioned Fall Fair that attracts thousands from near and far. Islanders are known to be well traveled and well educated. The resulting eclectic mix has created a stimulating diversity in the community. Our senior population (about 20% of the population are over 65) is active, fit and independent. It's about attitude and the healthy sea air! The fact that there isn't a traffic light on the Island may help.
There are 3 ferry routes on and off Salt Spring: the Vancouver route, the Victoria on Vancouver Island connection and to Crofton on Vancouver Island as well. There is also regular floatplane service, which is appealing to the many who work remotely on Salt Spring but need to get to the city quickly when required (20 minutes).