The Southern Gulf Islands of BC
We are blessed to have the many regional parks on our islands. Galiano has two Provincial Parks while Saturna, Pender and Mayne offer recreation as part of the Gulf Islands Parks Reserve. As part of school District 64, the Islands are served by small K to 12 schools. However, for high school there is the option of a water taxi to Salt Spring Island.
Salt Spring Island has the Lady Minto Hospital in comparison to Pender, Mayne, and Galiano Islands that each have health centres. Saturna is served by a health clinic. Each of the islands has a library, community centre and a Farmer’s market in season. The scope and size of amenities reflects the size of the island population.
Salt Spring Island
Home to over 10,000 people, Salt Spring Island offers a variety of real estate options. In fact, many luxury estates, farms, townhomes, mobile homes, vacation cottages, businesses, acreages and family homes make up the available properties here. Additionally, with locations from village centre to off the grid and prices from starter homes to luxury estates, there is something here for everyone.
Farms and forests make up most of Mayne Island, however, many outdoor recreation activities abound. In addition to hiking, cycling, kayaking, and tennis, tourists enjoy the inns, resort and many bed and breakfast facilities. Most basic amenities are available including groceries, gas, a church and a liquor store. Together with community activities, cultural events and volunteerism, there are ample opportunities for a full and busy life on Mayne Island.
The Island is home to many artists, writers and performers. In fact, art shows, fiestas and festivals dot the calendar. Galiano boasts more beaches than any other Southern Gulf Island. Together with boating, kayaking, whale watching, golfing and fishing, the outdoor enthusiast will be happily occupied. A museum, church, community halls, library, gas, groceries, award winning restaurants and resorts make Galiano a destination for visitors from around the world.
A rural gem boasts picturesque clusters of homes, resorts and studios, and a shopping centre surrounded by forests and shores. Although Islanders and tourists enjoy hiking, golf, beach activities, swimming, galleries craft shops and cultural activities, there is also a museum, legion, churches, gas, bike and kayak rentals.
In comparison to the other Southern Gulf Islands, Saturna is the most rural and isolated. There’s plenty of room for recreation and adventure as more than half of the Island is set aside as part of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. Although tourism drives the economy, it is the residents that form a tight knit community with a strong sense of comradeship. While regular school studies are available on island, and with water taxi to surrounding islands, students from across the province attend the Ecological Education Centre to study island ecology.