The picturesque town of Sidney offers an authentic small-town feel, while still being very accessible to the ferries, airport, and into greater Victoria. Located on the Saanich Peninsula, with views over the ocean on to the Gulf Islands, here you can find a vibrant, welcoming community for people of all ages.
While it used to be described as a bit sleepy, Sidney has recently seen a resurgence of new business and development moving into the area. New shopping, new pubs and restaurants, as well as new construction are now a common site in the community.
Development has exploded in recent years, with many contemporary upscale condominium buildings newly completed in the town centre, as well as numerous coastal inspired single-family homes and duplexes dotting the surrounding neighbourhoods. Sidney provides a healthy mix of centralized walkable options, private oceanfront estates, and more affordable single-family options further from the main thoroughfare of Beacon Avenue.
What to Love
- Charming small town
- Extremely walkable
- Close proximity to the ocean
- Very Safe
- Filled with boutiques and small businesses
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Famer’s Daughter, a fromagerie, bistro, and wine bar, is the perfect place to enjoy a cheese and wine flight, in a truly European inspired space. If you’re on the go, they also offer an excellent selection of curated boxes, gift baskets, and platters.
For more than 10 years, Victoria Distillers has been producing some of Canada’s finest handmade spirits. Housed in a waterfront warehouse, they’re one of Canada’s oldest, small-batch spirits companies. This beachfront location is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail – make sure to ask for one made with the ever-popular Empress 1908 Gin.
After running a number of successful outposts in the downtown core, the 10 Acres brand has now expanded to the Sidney area. 10 Acres at The Pier is a lively, welcoming, and energetic restaurant, which grows and ethically raises much of its ingredients from its local 10-acre farm. Not to miss, and unique to the Sidney location, are their freshly shucked oysters – which are 50% off every day during their happy hour.
Boutique shopping is plentiful in Sidney, with local mainstays like Miss Bliss Boutique, Moden Boutique, and D.G.Bremner & Co. providing ideal options for anyone looking for quality fashion retailers. If you’re looking for something for the home, don’t miss Muffet & Louisa – while the space may be small, the owners here have an excellent eye for quality interior goods.
Things to Do
Perhaps the easiest and most affordable activity in the town of Sidney is the waterfront walkway. This flat 2.5km walkway provides stunning views of Mt. Baker, while passing many of the main waterfront attractions such as the Port Sidney Marina, Beacon Park, Beacon Wharf, and the Bevan Fishing Pier.
If you’re looking for tranquility, spend a night at the Sidney Pier Hotel and Spa, a contemporary boutique hotel on Sidney’s waterfront. Book the Signature Pier Suite for its panoramic ocean views and spacious rooms. Downstairs, get a treatment at the Haven Spa and Salon – a lovely seaside spa offering a multitude of relaxing amenities.
For an always adventurous day trip, hop on the Sidney Spit Ferry which will take you the 5km trip over to Sidney Spit. The spit is a sandy, narrow strip of land that stretches into the sea—a beautiful spot to enjoy some sun all summer long. Whether you stay and camp for the weekend, or spend a day walking the thousands of metres of beach, Sidney Spit is an ideal day trip for all ages.
Welcoming over 70,000 visitors each year, the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea Aquarium is a one-of-a-kind aquarium which offers interactive, informative and hands-on experience with the Salish Sea through self-guided visits, daily programs, group bookings, and special events. At the aquarium you’ll find 160 marine species as well as 3,500 animals including a giant Pacific octopus, wolf eels, and Pacific salmon. There are even shallow pools to get up close to colourful starfish, urchins, and anemones.