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Why invest in Sidney?
The Town of Sidney, British Columbia is positioned on Canada's Pacific Coast, with ready access to global trade routes by sea, land and air. With one of the mildest climates in Canada, Sidney is set against a stunning natural backdrop on the northeast end of the Saanich Peninsula. If you're searching for that perfect balance between strategic location and incredible quality of life, you will find it here.
We understand that before you can invest in our community, you need to consider critical factors including population demographics, housing costs, and measurable signs of a healthy economy.
The Town has undergone significant effort to assist potential investors by compiling a wealth of information about Sidney's key features. On this page, you'll find a complete picture of our community, with statistics, info-graphics and links to outside resources that provide additional detail.
Why invest in Sidney by the Sea? We hope you'll discover that the more appropriate question is, why not?
Located on the north east end of the Saanich Peninsula, just 26 kilometres north of Victoria, British Columbia's capital city, Sidney is one of 13 municipalities in the Capital Regional District (CRD). The Town’s north, south and west boundaries are shared with the District of North Saanich. To the east, Sidney overlooks Haro Strait, the Southern Gulf Islands, and the Northern San Juan Islands (U.S.A.).
How to Get Here
Regionally, the Town of Sidney is known as a transportation hub. The only Canadian Port of Call for the Washington State Ferry system connects Sidney to Anacortes, Washington, a service enjoyed by both residents and visitors. Minutes away from Sidney is the Victoria International Airport and the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal, which connect southern Vancouver Island to the BC Mainland. Proximity to Victoria, Vancouver and Seattle enhance the attraction of Sidney as a centre for technological innovation, business development and economic investment.
The Town is comprised of an urban business corridor along a main street (Beacon Avenue), between the Patricia Bay Highway 17 and the waterfront, with residential lands to the north and south. On the west side of the highway, an additional residential area extends south of the airport, with an industrial and technological park, and some residential, extending north of Beacon Avenue. Sidney's primary trade area extends to the residents of Central Saanich, North Saanich, the Southern Gulf Islands, and adjacent indigenous communities. A secondary trade area encompasses the remainder of Greater Victoria, with a total regional population of approximately 375,000.
Sidney's desirable location is backed by a strong provincial business climate. British Columbia's economic growth continues to outpace the rest of Canada, with a strong labour force, attractive business incentives, and corporate costs that are competitive with the rest of North America.
For more information about the Province's investment advantages, please visit Trade and Invest British Columbia.
The Town of Sidney has a current population of 11,672 residents, with a growth rate of 4.4% since 2011 and ambitious strategies to increase our population to 15,000 residents by 2025.
Our economy is bolstered by an average household income of $105,461, and an average income that is 24.5% higher than the Provincial average. (see Table 6: Trade Area Demographics, Income, Labour, Education from the Gap Analysis by Urbanics.) As an attractive retirement and tourist destination, Sidney is characterized by a higher proportion of residents older than age 65 (42% of the population) as compared to Victoria and the rest of the province, and a lower share of people between the ages of 15 and 64 (53%). There is a stated objective in place to densify the downtown and to diversify the demographics.
Sidney Population by Year
Sidney Population by Gender and Age
Capital Regional District Population by Gender and Age
Sidney Population by Marital Status
Sidney Population by Household Income
The local unemployment rate is among the best in the province, measuring at just 4.4 % in 2016. In turn, British Columbia's unemployment rate of 6% is the lowest in the country. The Town's diverse economy spreads jobs across many sectors, including health care, construction, professional services, retail, manufacturing and transportation. With an emphasis on further development of our fast growing technology and specialty manufacturing sector, the Town projects significant job growth in these areas.
Labour Force by Industry
Sidney's mild climate is a major draw for residents and tourists alike. Average daytime temperatures fluctuate between 22.4 degrees Celsius in the warmest months and 7.6 degrees Celsius in winter. Even during the darkest month of December, Sidney enjoys enough sunshine hours and warmth to keep the grass green and seasonal flowers in bloom.
Average Temperature, Low to High
Many of Sidney's recreational opportunities revolve around the sea, with 16 public beach accesses and 24 parks in the Town, including the seaside Tulista Park playground. Sidney is well designed for foot travel, featuring a beautiful 2.5 km walking trail along the Sidney waterfront, with benches and picnic tables to enjoy the views of Mount Baker and Sidney Island.
For hiking, John Dean Provincial Park and Horth Hill Regional Park are only minutes away by car. There is also a 9.3 km walking/cycling path that circumnavigates the Victoria International Airport, offering stunning views and educational feature signs about the area.
Eight marinas service the area, and there is a public boat launch at Tulista Park, providing access to the endless coves, idyllic beaches, and marine parks of the Salish Sea, where you can get up close to the rich diversity of local marine life and breathtaking scenery.
Nearby Panorama Recreation Centre offers fitness classes, a beautiful swimming pool, two full sized ice rinks, and a variety of educational and arts classes. The Town is also home to a variety of social and sports clubs for all ages, along with proximity to several golf courses, a lawn bowling club and a Community Wellness Park next to the Rose Garden and Sidney Library.
Shopping & Services
Sidney's unique quality of life is enhanced by a full range of services, along with a plethora of restaurants/cafes and a diverse selection of boutique-style shops. Together, local businesses put the Town on the map as a charming shopping destination. The famous Sidney Street Market, which operates every Thursday evening from early June until the end of August, attracts up to 5000 people per night, with 150 vendors and a vibrant atmosphere of music, food and community spirit.
Throughout the year, the Sidney Event Advisory Group (SEAG) organizes a vibrant calendar of community events that cater to all age groups. Since its inception in 2013, SEAG has generated an estimated 10 million dollars in economic value to the community.
Housing prices in Sidney continue to remain the most affordable on the Peninsula, with benchmark prices for single family homes, condos and townhouses falling below surrounding communities and the Greater Victoria Area.
For a complete comparison of Real Estate values and trends, please see the Victoria Real Estate Board's Statistical News Release.
Sidney's professional community includes a range of health care providers to service the area, including 39 doctors, seven dental clinics and the Saanich Peninsula Hospital. From massage and physiotherapists, to optometrist and chiropractors, the Town's health care sector reflects the varying needs of our growing community.
Health Care Professionals
Education and Schools
The Town of Sidney falls within School District #63, which administers a total of 14 schools on the Peninsula. Schools serving the Sidney area include Sidney Elementary School, North Saanich Middle School and Parkland Secondary.
For more information, please visit the Saanich School District website.
Sidney residents can access post secondary education through a large number of public and private institutions, including the University of Victoria, Royal Roads University, Vancouver Island University, and Camosun College. For a complete list of post secondary institutions in the area, visit the Schools and Institutions Map at LearnLive BC.
Discovery House Early Childhood Centre offers popular child care programs throughout the year, while The Playhouse offers before and after school care. For information about childcare facilities, costs and availability in our area, visit GoDaycare.
Arts and Culture
Sidney offers a thriving arts community, with attractions that include several art galleries, an annual Literary Festival, a plethora of local and world class entertainment at the Mary Winspear Centre, and popular events organized by ArtSea Community Arts Council.
Local music schools include the Peninsula Academy of Music and Sidney Community Music School, while the McTavish Academy of Art offers classes in dance, visual arts, yoga, literature and music to all ages.
Costs of Living
To help you calculate your cost of living, the infographs below provide average rates for electricity and natural gas from the primary providers in our area so you can see what to expect for energy costs in our area.
Electricity Rates ($/Kilowatt Hour)
Natural Gas Rates ($/Month)
Policing and Crime
Sidney's crime rates continue to remain low, making the community a safe place to live, work and play. The Town is policed by the Sidney North Saanich Detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, with 32 RCMP officers, 8.5 civilian support staff, and 16 volunteers under the Auxiliary Constable Program.
For more information about our Detachment, visit the Sidney North Saanich RCMP website.
Crime Severity Index
We believe Sidney is one of the most desirable places in the world in which to live and invest. Our business community is thriving, thanks to strong Provincial incentives, comparatively low business costs, the lowest unemployment rates in Canada, and gateway access to world trade. With an average GDP growth of 3.5 % over the last four years, British Columbia's economy remains strong and consistent across economic sectors.
At the Municipal level, the Town continues to revitalize the downtown core and foster growth and innovation for the specialty manufacturing companies in our West Sidney Industrial Park. With the establishment of the Economic Development Commission, the Town strives to connect employers with a skilled workforce, forge strategies for affordable workforce housing, and develop new tools, such as the Downtown Retail Gap Analysis, to continually strengthen our local economy.
Sidney is predominately made up of small businesses, defined in Canada as having less than 100 employees. Representing Sidney's largest segment are companies with less than 9 employees, with 53.4 % of local businesses made up of between 1 and 5 employees.
The Downtown Retail Gap Analysis provides a snapshot of how Sidney's population is served by these business segments, and identifies categories that may be over and under served. The study includes demographic trends, spending trends, and retail opportunities now and in the future.
These graphs outline corporate and personal income tax rates at both the Federal and Provincial level, with rates current as of 2017. To help you calculate projected business costs, we have also included the Town of Sidney's municipal tax rates, broken down by business sector.
Provincial Corporate Tax
Federal Corporate Tax
Provincial Personal Income Tax
Federal Personal Income Tax
Town of Sidney Municipal Tax Rates, by Property Class
In 2017, Sidney's visitor services welcomed over 40,000 tourists to the Town. Our tourism industry enjoys close proximity to the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal, the Anacortes Ferry Terminal, and the Victoria International Airport, which welcomed a record 1.93 million passengers in 2017.
For more information on Sidney's tourism industry, please visit the Sidney Business Improvement Area website.
Follow these links to learn more about investment in the area:
- Why invest in British Columbia?
- Why invest in Vancouver Island?
- Why invest in Greater Victoria?
- Why invest in the Saanich Peninsula?