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Community Information: Gulf Islands

Are you thinking of buying a home on the Gulf Islands? Here is community information to help you.

PAGE INDEX :  Housing and ZoningParks and RecreationTransportationEducationSalt Spring IslandPender IslandGaliano IslandMayne IslandSaturna IslandOther Web Sites

The Gulf Islands are nestled between Vancouver on the lower mainland and Victoria on Vancouver Island. This region enjoys the most sunshine hours in Canada with hardly a raindrop all summer and very mild winters. The islands are famous not only for their relaxing beauty but also by their world renowned artists and as an exotic marine playland.

There are five principle and numerous smaller islands. Population statistics are available at the BC Stats Web site .

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Housing and Zoning

Whether you are looking for a permanent home or for a recreational property, you have a choice ranging from simple cottages to multimillion waterfront residences. On all the Gulf Islands it is possible to find affordable houses and sites including waterfront properties.

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Parks and Recreation

Each island is a true paradise for those seeking recreation and nature. There are unlimited opportunities for kayaking, hiking and biking. Miles of beaches stretching all around the islands and several lakes offer swimming and both saltwater and freshwater fishing.Each island is a true paradise for those seeking recreation and nature. There are unlimited opportunities for kayaking, hiking and biking. Miles of beaches stretching all around the islands and several lakes offer swimming and both saltwater and freshwater fishing.

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Transportation

The islands can be reached by taking a ferry from Tsawassen or from Vancouver Island. Information on routes, schedules, and fares is available at the BC Ferries Web site.

Three airlines offer scheduled daily flights between the islands and the mainland, both downtown Vancouver and the south terminal at Vancouver airport.

A local water taxi service operates inter-island trips twice a week during the season.

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Education

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Salt Spring Island

With an area of 180 square kilometres and approximately 10,000 inhabitants, Salt Spring is by far the largest of the Gulf Islands, in both size and population. It is known for the talents of its residents who form a diverse community of artists, entrepreneurs, farmers, retirees and families.

Salt Spring is large enough to attract top musical acts to its various pubs, and special theatre, music and literary events take place throughout the year. Despite the growth of recent years, the island retains its rural quality and has even experienced a resurgence in small market farming.

Ganges is the island's commercial centre with all amenities, a variety of restaurants, shops, galleries and a new arts centre with a 270-seat theatre. The popular Salt Spring Market is held in Centennial Park every Saturday from April to October.

Fulford Harbour and Vesuvius also offer shops, services, and dining.

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Pender Island

North and South Pender are two islands joined by a bridge over the canal that connects Browning Harbour with Bedwell Harbour. With approximately 2,000 residents, the Penders are the second most populated of the Gulf Islands.

Much of the population lives in the Magic Lake area of North Pender, a subdivision which boasts cablevision, its own tennis courts and marina, a public park, a baseball field, fire station, the only disc park on the Gulf Islands, a gift store and general store.

The majority of year-round amenities are located in the Driftwood Centre. It is also the location of a popular Farmer's Market that is held every Saturday from May to October. In season, a number of additional shops and services open throughout the island.

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Galiano Island

Galiano is a long narrow island with over 1,000 residents. There are two communities, one at the south end of the island, and one at the north. North Galiano offers two resorts with cottages, a community hall, a craft shop and a general store - the latter is open in the summer months and during most school holidays.

South Galiano, the more populated area, boasts a nine-hole golf course, the church, a resort with cottages, a pub, grocery stores, galleries and other amenities.

Two hotels serve the island, both on south Galiano. Two restaurants are conveniently located there as well - one in each of the two shopping areas. Both are open during the tourist season.

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Mayne Island

Mayne is a home to approximately 900 residents. The historic village at Miners Bay is the commercial centre of the island. Some shops and services are also available in Fernhill Centre. The island has an elementary school, a health care centre, ambulance service, fire hall, an open market, tennis courts, taxi, service station, post office, and a surprising variety of restaurants for such a small island.

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Saturna Island

Saturna is a pristine island that offers a rural hideaway for over 300 residents. Settlement is scattered over the island but most services are located close to the ferry landing in Saturna Point. The Community Hall is the venue of cultural, club and public events. There are two general stores, two galleries, a pub and a bakery. Many additional dining spots are open in season.

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Other Web Sites

 

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