The Gulf Islands

Click on the links to the right to learn more about the spectacular Gulf Islands…for a list of buying opportunities on any of the smaller islands, please contact Li Read.

The Southern Gulf Islands are located off the West Coast of Canada, in the Strait of Georgia between southern Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland. The Gulf Islands are eight hours behind Universal Time (GMT).

The Southern Gulf Islands are : Galiano Island, Mayne Island, Pender Island, Salt Spring Island, Saturna Island, plus many smaller islands. The Gulf Islands are part of the same island system as the American San Juan Islands, and it’s possible to visit San Juan Island from the Gulf Islands by power boat.

All of the large islands, plus Thetis Island, are serviced by BC Ferries. For the many smaller islands, one needs a private boat to access them. Floatplane companies also offer regularly scheduled service to several of the Gulf Islands. This allows easy access to the cities of Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle

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The weather pattern on the Salt Spring Island & the Gulf Islands is a microclimate known as “cool Mediterranean”. Some species of plants normally associated with California are found on the Gulf Islands.

Salt Spring Island & the Gulf Islands enjoys less rainfall than on Vancouver Island or the Lower Mainland. This is due to the physical location of the Islands, where they enjoy the rain shadow protection from the larger Vancouver Island.

Local Government

Salt Spring Island & the Southern Gulf Islands are protected by a Provincial Government body known as the Islands Trust. This Trust came into being in the mid-1970s, with a “preserve & protect” mandate. All zonings were put in place, at that time, and density / growth controls are very strict. The outcome is the preservation of a uniquely beautiful area.