One Hundred and One Things that are Truly Salt Spring



The Beaver Point Hall is an south end institution- A TRUE COMMUNITY HALL- where all ages from babies to grand parents comes together to a) enjoy dances, where everyone boogies to the live music, causing the floor to shake, b) marvel at the work of local artists at the Christmas craft show , c) thrill at the creativity of the costumes at the Halloween masquerade ball d) gather to share food, such as the traditional bean supper and e) gather to share grief together as well as celebrate the life of their recently-departed neighbour at a memorial service. Halloween at Beaver Point Hall (not being held this year) used to be a highlight of the fall social scene. Costumes were elaborate, having been planned for months. Adults enjoyed Halloween more that their kids.


The Salt Spring Cinema in Central Hall is a truly unique experience enjoyed by everyone. It is a small, intimate gathering of only 120 people, where neighbours meet and much chatting goes on before the movie. One highlight is the ever-changing and very interesting slide show before the feature movie.


The Salt Spring Raging Grannies are always present to protest any good cause with a witty song. The Salt Spring group was the 2nd group to form, shortly after they heard the Victoria Grannies. One of their songs is “THEY WON’T SAY WHAT THEIR SERVING TODAY IN THE CHEMICAL RESTAURANT.”


Deer eat every flower, vegetable or fruit tree in your yard unless you fence them out with seven-foot high deer fences. Gardeners that don’t fence, face the frustration of losing the battle because the deer always win. They are more persistent and like to forage at night. Deer on the road at night can be a hazard, but they remain very calm, not acting erratically and so don’t tend to cause problems for drivers, by running in front of cars


FULFORD TIME means “sometime in the future or maybe never”. This started out as Dave Beck time, but this concept was borrowed by Fulford (the south end) and then expropriated by all of Salt Spring.


Eating the incredible bread or pastries at Barb’s Bun, or drinking coffee and eating Barb’s soup while sitting with the philosophers outside on a Paul Hart bench.


Beautiful neighbourhood potluck dinners with an incredible diversity of freshly grown organic food, the best in the world. A real taste treat for all and a great social gathering. Time to feed the body and the soul.


THE FISHERY is the best place to buy fresh fish on Salt Spring. Arnie Hengstler, a local crab and salmon fisherman, owns the business and his knowledge of fishing is your guarantee of quality. The shop is run by Heidi in her efficient and friendly style. For a great gift, try their 9 varieties of canned salmon, caught by Arnie. You will never eat store-bought canned salmon again.


Eating the best homegrown organic food in the world, most of it just picked fresh that morning, from a farmer whom you know. The best quality control assurance in the world is knowing the first name of the farmer producing your food. These leeks were grown in our garden
Salt Spring farmers website
Salt Spring food producers


The Salt Spring Folk Club hosts 5 great concerts a year bringing in first class entertainment from around the world. The normally packed house at the Fulford Hall, is also treated to an opening act which is usually local.


Listening to the fabulous music by an incredible diversity of musicians both living on Salt Spring and visiting. Venues include the Ganges Harbour Music Festival (12 one hour performances) at the Tree House Cafe, open stages such as Moby’s every second Wednesday and Talon’s. Musical talents such as Terry Warbey, instrument maker and performer, Derrick Duffy singing Irish tunes, Lisa Maxx singing her own great compostions or Valdy singing his folk music standards are much appreciated by locals.


The Saturday morning market in Centennial Park. The local organic produce is first class. The art is diverse. It is a sensory smorgasbord. Due to limited space and high demand, a policy requiring goods sold to be MADE, GROWN OR BAKED on Salt Spring has been instituted. It is also a social event enjoyed by many locals. Salt Spring Market


Going to Victoria on a mission (to get some supplies or services) is usually planned like a SWAT TEAM exercise, so that you can get there, accomplish your mission and then get away from the crazy pace of Victoria, back to the quiet of Salt Spring as soon as possible.


We are very lucky to have a fantastic farm vet on Salt Spring. Malcolm Bond (Salt Spring Veterinary Services) operates the vet business from his farm. He doesn’t even need to advertise. He performs magic with animals. Happy customers are his best advertisements. Malcolm’s wife, Stepanie is the glue which keeps the whole practice running. In his spare time(joke!!), he runs Bon Acres Farm as his father Jesse Bond did before him. They supply Halloween pumpkins and corn to the local grocery store .


Getting prepared for the onslaught of summer tourists, which double the population of Salt Spring. It is a curious love-hate relationship as tourism forms a large part of our island economy. Many locals don’t go downtown on weekends.


Cyclists on Salt Spring must not only cope with narrow windy roads and much traffic, but there are some huge hill, such as Ganges Hill and Lees Hill, which will challenge anyone. A bicycle touring bike subtitles the Salt Spring chapter as “Salt Spring – So you like hills, do you?” One day in Ruckle Park makes all the challenges of cycling on Salt Spring worthwhile, however.


Many half ton truck, some more than 20 years old, are still used faithfully and pampered by the owner.


Although the average annual snowfall here is only 12 inches, snowstorms are very treacherous due to the steep hills, long narrow driveways and the urge of most to build on a high ridge to get a good view. Snowstorms usually occur around 0¡ C and as a result, the wet snow is extra slippery. Lees Hill joining Ganges and Fulford is often impassible. Many people will leave cars at the bottom of driveways and walk to their house if it snows. The highest point on Salt Spring is Mt. Bruce at 630m or 2065 feet, while the highest point in Ontario is about 2200 feet.


The Growing Circle Food Coop is a grassroots movement of locals intent of supplying local organic produce to the island. They now have a storefront in Ganges where they are attempting to connect local producers with customers. Good luck to them.


Kathy Reimer and crew of the Salt Spring Salmon Enhancement Society do a fabulous job of not only rearing young salmon for release into some of the salmon spawning creeks on Salt Spring, but even more important, optimizing the natural spawning conditions for salmon in local creeks to aid the reproduction of salmon, without the interference of people. One of their big accomplishments is a fish ladder on Stowel Creek, easily visible just up Morningside Rd in Fulford.


The Around Salt Spring sailing race, call the Race Around the Rock occurs each May. In May 2001, the race had 86 boats competing in the counterclockwise race, with the overall winner, Rhumb Line finishing with a corrected time of 10 hours, 54 minutes.


Giving a ride to the many hitchhikers on the island, heading to Ganges, Ruckle Park, the youth hostel, Fulford or the ferries. Salt Spring is one of the last areas where hitch hiking is still relatively safe.


Ruckle Park, in the south end, is one of the best Provincial Parks in British Columbia. . There are about 1000 acres of park (natural woods) with 8 km of shoreline and many hiking trails. Camping is on a grass strip right on the ocean overlooking Pender Island (CAN) and the San Juan Islands (USA). There are no designated camping areas, so tents can be pitched wherever there is a picnic table (total of 75). Cars are only allowed in the parking lot and so everything must be carried about 200 metres to the camping area. The Vancouver-Victoria ferries pass by every hour. The only park services are handpumped water, outhouses and one payphone. The farms portion (200 acres) is still a working farm (established 1880), in a beautiful valley between the 2 wooded areas. Ruckle Farm is still the longest running continuously owned family farm in BC. Ruckle Park


Characters seem to flourish on Salt Spring, probably due to the incredible diversity that is nurtured here. The rich selection of senior citizens here is vibrant, active and very enjoyable. They are inspirations to all of us. See Salt Spring Characters


Salt Spring lamb is a delicacy that is often on the menu for Queen Elizabeth when she visits BC.


Getting the weekly newspaper, the Barnacle on Tuesday, and the Driftwood on Wednesday. Locals are eager to get the paper each week, whether to get the items being sold or given away, to keep up on the news, or to view the entertainment events. Each paper is very unique, filling a niche here and together doing a great job of keeping us all informed. The Barnacle is at and the Driftwood is at


All the roadside farm stands, offering a smorgasbord of the best farm produce anywhere. Most stands collect money on the honours system although occasionally vandalism does stretch the farmer’s patience.


The Erotic Festival in April is time for islanders to get spicy, just as spring is about to sprung. Erotic dances, art exhibitions, fashions shows usually are part of the venue.


Salt Spring carpenters are very capable, creative, and efficient. This little storefront in Fulford is a lovely example of how some rough cedar lumber can be transformed in the hands of a south end carpenter, who probably worked without plans.


The Trail and Nature Club, offering weekly outings of 3 levels of difficulty for Hikers, Walkers and Ramblers, is one great way to see the incredibly beautiful and diverse trail system on this island. But as development occurs, many of the trails are being lost. Often however, the Club will be given permission to use the private property a few times a year, for the weekly outings. The Club is also active in keeping the public accesses (to the ocean) opened and used.


The Salt Spring House Tours in late May, offers self guided tours of several unique houses on the island with profits being donated to Artspring


Art Spring, the Salt Spring Arts Centre, is finally open to the public and a great location for concerts. It was begun in 1991, funded locally, with most work done by locals. See Salt Spring Arts Centre


The Salt Spring Island Apple Festival on a Sunday in late September is a tribute to the apple, offering over 360 varieties of apples, the majority grown organically and celebrating an apple heritage that goes back to 1860. Participants can tour over 14 orchards, tasting, buying, touring or learning as they go. At the Fulford Hall, they can marvel at apple displays and bee displays or talk with apple identification experts and pollination experts. The 2001 Festival is on Sunday, Sept 30, 2001 and is called a Celebration of Our Pioneers. This is the display last year. Apple Festival


The Salt Spring Fall Fair, September 15 and 16, 2001 (OUR HERITAGE TO EXPLORE) will be the highlight of the agricultural season. It is a chance to display produce, exhibit animals, show off handicrafts, meet friends, relax for the weekend, taste some fine food and listen to great local music. The 1997 Salt Spring Fair was rated the best in BC by provincial adjudicators. Once again in 2000, the fair, with a 2 day attendance of 10,000, was awarded the BEST PRESENTATION Award.


Sunny summer day which last forever and usually turn lawns brown. Rain is very scarce in the summer time, usually forcing gardeners to irrigate. Sun is very scarce from November to February when most of the rain falls. The dull, dreary weather causes all sorts of strange behaviours in people. The strangest winter behaviour is a mass exodus of Salt Spring residents to Mexico for periods of up to 2 months. They mostly migrate to the same area, so a mini-Salt Spring is created in Mexico. Salt Springers vacationing in Mexico even run yoga courses in Mexico, which you can sign up for before you leave.


Many local entrepreneurs have food booths which cater to large outdoor activities. ISLAND FRUITCICLES, run by Gary and Bly Kaye make 11 flavours of healthy fruitcicles using only fruit juice, real fruit and yoghurt. They do add sugar to some flavours and are now making a cream flavour but it is still in the early stages.


Morning coffee with friends at the Roasting Company in Ganges or Fulford. This is the real information highway on Salt Spring.


A visit to Mount Maxwell to witness the incredible view of the Fulford Valley, Burgoyne Bay, the San Juan Islands as well as Vancouver Island. Spectacular.


Dan Jason of Salt Spring Seeds, has an incredible selection of beans, peas, grains, and tomatoes (100 varieties ), all certified organic, which are ideally suited to vegetarian menus. He also sells about 40 varieties of hardneck garlic for planting. See Salt Spring Seeds


Debborah Lauzon alias Tofu Debbie makes 200 pounds a day of tofu at a home industry called SOYA NOVA TOFU SHOP. Using a slow cooking Japanese method, for 14 years she has created a vast array of happy customers.


The boardwalk along Ganges harbour is always an interesting view that changes every day. This is the best way to enjoy the harbour


Ocean beaches such as Vesuvius Beach are a great place to swim since the ocean water is usually warmer than normal due to the sun warming the sand during the afternoon and then the ocean tide washing over the warm sand.


Walking through an apple orchard during the blossom time, being aware of bee pollination,and sensing the incredible buzzing sound of so many bees in the blossoms. Your senses explode with the fragrance of the blossoms, the sight of all the trees in blossom, the variation in blossom colours and the sudden growth that spring heralds. We toast these busybodies, for pollination is responsible for 30% of the food we eat.


We are very lucky to have seven lakes on Salt Spring, most with swimming beaches, providing the best location for swimming. Some, such as Stowell and Cusheon Lake are better suited to children. Some of the other lakes are clothing optional. Cusheon Lake, St, Mary’s Lake and Maxwell Lake also provide drinking water for some residents. In winter, these lakes even provide a place to skate if temperatures drop below freezing for a length of time.


Playing tennis in the Fulford Valley while watching the eagles fly overhead and even watching the hand gliders fly from Mount Bruce before landing in the Fulford Valley.


The use of barter for obtaining anything possible.


Richard Murikami, our gregarious garage owner on Rainbow Road, is a real gem. He has helped many poor people, especially women to stay driving, by fixing cars for as little money as possible. He is honest and fair to them. So in a vote here, he would easily win the Nicest Guy on Salt Spring Award.


BOARDWALK GREENS is a fantastic shop in Ganges where customers will be thrilled with the selection of garden and patio accessories.


The best free range chickens and eggs. Many chickens here have pet names. Also free-range sheep on some of the roadways force drivers to be extra careful. I have even seen a potbelly pig and cattle on the roadways.


Lisa Lloyd of Stowel Lake Farm is a fully certified organic farm producing incredible strawberries and veggies, sold mostly via their box program. On this beautiful location, she has a newly renovated barn which is beautiful, along with some incredible stone walls and display gardens. A true delight to see.


The incredible cartooning of Dennis Parker. This one pokes fun at the women who posed nude to raise money to buy back land from the developers/loggers ravaging the forests of Salt Spring.


All three different ferry routes to Salt Spring are an incredibly beautiful trip, equal to any sightseeing boat cruise in the world.


Small creeks such as Fulford and Ganges creeks virtually dry up in the summer, but in the rainy season become fast flowing creeks full of spawning salmon. This waterfalls is a natural fish ladder on Cusheon Creek.


The prolific alder tree, growing up to 16 inches in diameter, is considered a nuisance tree, but being a nitrogen fixer, it grows very well. Therefore, it is the ideal species to initiate the growing cycle on freshly cut ground. They make good firewood and even good indoor furniture, due to the reddish colour of the wood.


The incredible cedar benches made by Paul Hart from cedar slabs. He was a creative genius in transforming cedar and driftwood into beautiful gates, sculptures and fences. Unfortunately Salt Spring was saddened when Paul Hart passed away on July 14, 1998. His artwork is a legacy to his magic.


This is Toyota Tercel station wagon heaven, because we have the greatest concentration of these marvelous, handy country cars in the world. They were only made in the mid 80’s, and much to the chagrin of Tercel owners, Toyota quit making them. They were too good, lasted too long and didn’t cost enough. We pamper them and keep them going. On Jan 2001, I finally gave up on my 85 Tercel wagon (purchased in June 1985 for $9680), which had 430,000 km on it. But then I bought an 86 Tercel wagon.


The incredibly tasty bread of Heather Campbell, such as peppercorn, olive and rosemary bread, which is all baked outdoors in a large brick oven. She sells out very quickly, attesting to the popularity of her breads.


The Salt Spring Hysterical Society is a local group of amateur comedians who pack the house every time they perform. Their hilarious humour is both local and very pointed, and audiences are very loyal and satisfied. The Old Geezers (Sid Filkow and Arvid Chalmers), are a very funny team who specialize in improvising, so you will never see the same show twice, even if it is the same show. They never rehearse. Arvid has just been diagnosed with early prostrate cancer. His reaction was to create an old Geezer show, The Topic of Cancer, or You Can Lick Your Prostrate. They are getting national attention and playing at various locations across Canada. They are getting tremendous response. It is a hilarious, but informative show.


Fables Cottage is an incredible children’s store, featuring books, toys, crafts, classes, demonstrations, workshops. It is a place of colour, magic, imagination and warmth.


The incredible, tall, straight Red Cedars that grow in wet areas. Usually there is fern and skunk cabbage growing also. Native Canadians on the West Coast in the past made almost all items they needed from the cedar, using the bark, the wood, the long narrow branches or the roots. Imagine transportation (dugout canoes), clothing (robes to diapers), household utensils (dishes to water containers), accommodations (longhouses), hunting and fishing items (ropes, nets, traps) and art (totem poles). They were wealthy due to the cedar tree and salmon in the rivers. That showed in the fact that they had time to develop such elaborate art forms.


Watching Mike Byron or Mike Lane direct their border collies to control sheep at the Fall Fair.


Salt Springers have their own favourite big tree that they love to visit. Here are some of the giants.


The beautiful roses, lavender and dried flower arrangements at Everlasting Summer.


Dave Beck, along with his dog Riley, is the south end (Fulford) appliance repairman, who turned 60 on Nov. 30, 1997. He celebrated with a 60-hour birthday party at the Beaver Point Hall. He did not sleep for 60 hours. He always has more work that he can handle, very little money and is not terrible organized. But he is a very kind person who often will not charge people very much money if they are poor. He is a saint. . He also is sometimes oblivious to time. A “Becklog” is a black hole where appliance goes, never to be seen again. Do you know the difference between Dave Beck and his dog Riley? Riley will come when you call him. Another local joke, “Why do southenders drink warm beer? Dave Beck hasn’t arrived yet”.


The Salt Spring Volunteer Fire Department is a very valuable, effective and appreciated resource on this island.


The Salt Spring Dairy delivers organic milk in glass bottles right to your door twice a week. They even have dog biscuits for the dogs they encounter.


Most business signs on Salt Spring are beautiful sand blasted and hand painted cedar signs by Warren Langley.


Experiencing a SOUTH END MOMENT. This involves poor people adapting a situation, using no money to make it work for them. For example, my buddy has a half-ton truck with no reverse. Because he can’t afford to fix it, he drives with it like that. His driving must be planned so he never needs reverse. He would avoid dead ends, and driveways he doesn’t know. He rolls into his driveway facing up a hill. When ready to leave, he lets the truck roll backwards onto the road and then leaves without needing reverse. Other drivers with cars having broken starter will always park on a hill and start their car by rolling downhill and popping the clutch. The other day, when a neighbour borrowed my heavy 8 HP mower, he came with a young lad’s truck, a small Toyota. I soon realized that the truck box was in such weakened state, that they had welded the tailgate permanently shut. So we had to lift this heavy mower up over the tailgate and into the truck. A classic SOUTH END MOMENT.


The incredible farm and garden gates of Doug Rajala of Heritage Gates. Each one is unique since Doug can incorporate your designs into it. They are made of steel with a brilliant design for the gateposts.


Paying $2 per bag for garbage which forces residents to be very waste conscious, and make good use of the Salt Spring Recycling Centre. All solid waste is taken off island to the Victoria landfill site.


Each of the 14 art galleries here is very unique and a treat to explore, since they feature a wide range of high quality local art. Pegasus Gallery is one of them


The water colour art of Carol Evans captures beautiful scenes of nature, usually incorporating the ocean, people, birds or ocean creatures in some form. She makes magic happen when dealing with light. A love of the beauty of the world is demonstrated in her art.


Wearing gum boots everywhere, even to a wedding if it is raining. Dana Britton has developed a line of designer gum boots that are very classy and popular.


Arts and Crafts on this island are creative, diverse and high quality. Island Crafts


The small stone church, St. Paul’s Catholic, on the east edge of Fulford harbour.


Foxglove with tall stalks of pink and white flowers (digitalis) grows well here as a beautiful, tall wild flower and does especially well on dry locations.


Foxglove Farm and Garden Supplies is a great place for gardeners to visit, especially in the spring. See more at


Kayaking out into Ganges or Fulford harbour during a calm evening. There is even a guided full moon paddle out of Fulford in the summer. Canoe and Kayak Magazine named the Gulf Islands as one of the top 10 paddling locations, calling it the Canadian Mediterranean. (1998) kayaking


The Arbutus tree is common on dry, rocky soils. The trunk is gnarled and twisted, the orange bark peels off easily, showing a smooth green bark underneath, while the leaves fall, not decaying readily, so they are always crunchy underfoot.


Patterson’s Store in Fulford is the commercial centre of Fulford. It even offers unofficial bank service to good customers. Bruce, the owner, somewhat crusty, loves to get in verbal sparring matches with some of his better known customers.


Salt Spring Island has more dogs per capita than anywhere on earth. This is dog heaven or CLUB MED FOR DOGS. Dogs are an integral part of most households. It is a real treat to walking your dogs to the beach in the morning and beachcomb. Big dogs roaming free can be shot by sheep farmers, however, due to the damage they can do to a sheep herd. Many stores, such as the Shell gas station, have dog biscuits which they give to dogs of customers. This is Sid, Willow and Tippy, our orchard dogs.


The blackberry bush is nature’s best example of S & M. The fruit is fantastic, fresh, in jams or even in wine, but the bushes are treacherous. The thorns can puncture wheelbarrow tires, they will grab clothing and they will cause extreme pain. The vines are up to 30 feet long and are so strong they can stop a full wheelbarrow going at high speed. Blackberry bushes are however, a good soil builder.


Salmon fishermen on Salt Spring, are very good and during the fishing season supply local people with fresh or smoked salmon to be frozen for the year. Depleted salmon stocks have now put their livelihood in jeopardy.


Wet weather brings on many slugs. There are about 13 varieties, some about 6 inches long. One gardener I know resorts to collecting them in her garden at night before they do any damage. One night she dropped over 1000 into her pail.


The island has a rich and varied history with Hawaiians and Negros being among the first settlers to inhabit the island from 1860 onward. The Native Canadians never lived full time on Salt Spring, but would set up summer camp here while accumulating supplies for the year.


High school students from the outer islands are brought to school on Salt Spring every day by Gulf Island Water Taxi on boats called the SCHOLARSHIP, the GRADUATE and MISTAYA 111.


The Salt Spring Coast Guard, out of Ganges harbour, is very valuable and active almost every day rescuing boaters in distress. They get more work in the summer, when more boats are on the water. Since the ocean is so cold even in the summer, the speed in which the Coast Guard get to the rescue scene is very critical.


There is a very wide range of holistic medicine, massage therapies and body works flourishing on the island.


The local midwives, Maggie Ramsey and Julia Atkins (both licensed) are very busy here delivering up to 40 babies per year. Due to their experience and training, they are a very valued and busy part of our local community. This photo is of some of their deliveries in one year.


The Islands Wildlife Natural Care Centre on Salt Spring is a very special place where all wild animals can be cared for the purpose of reintroducing them back into the wild when healthy. Marine Mammal Wildlife


One of the most incredible arts events was a show at Artspring featuring woodwork artists creations from just one 2 X 6 eight feet long for each artist. This photo is of a life sized jazz player complete with amplifier done by Dennis Marshall. This show was complemented with a local exhibits from the basket weavers here. Wow what a treat.


Jambalaya bead shop in Fulford is a bead lovers paradise, also featuring a great selection of hats, scarfs and plants. Maggie, the owner, is a terrific person and the friendly type of storeowner everyone loves to deal with.


Ferry arrival at Fulford is an adrenaline trip. Every 90 minutes all day, every day, ferry loading/unloading cause a frenzy of activity, with the associated traffic problems. Traffic on the island often comes in clumps due to the ferry unloading.


Stuff and Nonsense in Fulford is a very funky shop, which attracts female customers like a magnet. It has an eclectic mix of fun and practical clothing, linens, dishware, home accessories, books and jewelry.


There is a diverse collection of farmers on Salt Spring specializing in very large numbers of varieties of plants. Harry Burton raises over 180 varieties of connoisseur apple varieties, Bob Weeden raises over 120 varieties of heritage apple varieties, Pat Parks of Parkside Gardens raises 200 varieties of irises, 50 varieties of water lilies and 300 varieties of water plants, Dan Jason raises over 40 varieties of hard-necked garlic and 123 of tomatoes, Doug Box of the Bamboo Ranch raises over 200 varieties of bamboo, and the list goes on including jerusalem artichokes (sunroots), monkey puzzle trees, geraniums, pelargoniums, roses.


The Fulford Post Office run by Catherine Trudel, our friendly post mistress, is a real south-end business, tucked away in a small room at the main intersection in Fulford. In addition to being a social center, it also has a free book exchange, and other quality items for sale such as fresh baked bread, free range eggs and vegetables in season. By the way, it also provides incredible postal services. In Ganges, the best mail service is provided by Stan at Harbour Food Market.


Many community fund raising projects such as raffles or art auctions are held to raise funds for a wide range of charities including people or organizations in need. Recent fund drives have purchased the McFadden Creek Heron Rookery, paid off half of the 3 acre parcel of land purchased by the Fulford Hall and raised funds to buy land owned and currently being logged by Texada. There is an incredible sense of community on Salt Spring.


The Lions phone book is an integral part of every business and home on Salt Spring due to the fine collection of information including residential phones, business directory, churches, ferry schedules, government listings, health care directory, library and community halls, maps of the island, poison antidotes, postal code directory, schools, seniors directory, service clubs, street finder, tide tables, wellness directory and a numerical listing of phone numbers. At the end of the year, my directory is very tattered from being used so much.


The best venue for music is the Tree House Cafe, usually the Thursday night open stage. This open air stage is under a spreading plum tree, and has a magic feeling on a warm summer evening. The warm breezes, twinkling of stars and incredible music of Salt Spring musicians, will soothe your soul.


The 12 varieties of goat and sheep cheese produced by David Woods of Salt Spring Cheese. Customers line up to buy this cheese and once they have tried it are loyal repeat customers.


This island is very fortunate to have such an incredible number of
fantastic women who influence almost every facet of life on this lsland.
Many have a passionate mission in life that they pursue. Many of them are
very strong activists in some field. One of their latest feats was the 2001
Save Salt Spring Calendar, where female anti-logging activist posed in the
nude for this calendar. The worldwide success of this calendar added over
$100,000 to the coffers to be used to purchase land to be logged. As if
this wasnât enough, Briony Penn, leading a protest march, rode topless as
Lady Godiva, around the Vancouver offices of Texada Logging, who are logging
5000 acres of Salt Spring. (1/10 of the land on Salt Spring). Their motto
seems to be, Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History. I applaud them.

The Eleven Worst Things about Salt Spring

  1. The incredible development pressure on Salt Spring threatens to destroy the very lifestyle that people come here to experience. There is a 121 unit condominium development occurring in the north end near Bullock Lake (presently bankrupt). With the Canadian dollar so low, real estate prices are skyrocketing, making it generally unaffordable to low to middle income families. Many live here only sporadically during the year. Prices are so high that no one could ever start farming on this island, except if independently wealthy beforehand.
  2. There is always a large number of real estate signs visible .
  3. Salt Spring is becoming an island of haves and have-nots. In the 60’s it became home to many poorer travelers and hippies, who are now settled here, but current real estate prices mean that only the rich can move to Salt Spring now.
  4. The road conditions that usually exist on Stewart Road hill, winding, dirt road that is heavily used, since it is a short cut from the south end to Ganges. It is better than it used to be though.
  5. Trying to get a parking spot in Ganges especially on Saturday during the summer.
  6. Trying to get a parking spot in Fulford anytime.
  7. Many homeowners on Salt Spring do not live on Salt Spring, but are working elsewhere, until they can get to Salt Spring full time. So once a year, in the summer, they come to Salt Spring for their vacation, which forces the tenants renting the house to find other accommodations for the summer (the expensive season). I myself was guilty of this. This process causes a domino effect. There is a whole range of living accommodations here ranging from people living on boats, in teepees, in buses and squatting in old buildings. One friend moved out of her ocean front house for 5 weeks one summer, taking a vacation, so that her place could be rented by the week. This helped pay the mortgage for about 3 months. Other house will be rented to tenants for 10 months, but they have to move out for July and August, because landlords will then rent it for $1500 per week
  8. Rushing to get a ferry. The ones you are on time for, arrive late. The ones you are late for, are always on time and leave you behind. Missing a ferry by minutes means having to wait 2 hours for the next one Others issues include dealing with ferry scheduling, ferry breakdowns, threats of ferry fare increases and having to catch the last ferry back to Salt Spring (making it difficult to attend evening events in Victoria without staying over). With that said however, BC Ferries still provides a very incredible, economical service to this island
  9. Clear-cut scars on Mt. Tuam, Mt Bruce and in the Fulford and Burgoyne Valley are visible when entering Fulford Harbour and coming down Lees Hill. As of Dec. 2001, half of the 5000 acres being logged by Texada, has been purchased and converted to parkland, thanks to all levels of government, other agencies and private fundraising.
  10. Driving on the narrow, winding roads and trying to avoid the many cyclists who flock to the islands.
  11. With development and logging, there has been a remarkable loss of hiking and nature trails on the island.

Salt Spring Jokes

Why don’t men on Salt Spring use their turn signals when driving?
Answer: Too much commitment!

What is difference between Dave Beck (Fulford’s appliance repairman) and Riley (his dog)?
Answer: Riley comes when you call him!

How many Salt Springers does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: Thirteen! One to change the light bulb and 12 to share the experience.

How many Salt Spring men does it take to change a toilet paper roll.
Answer: We don’t know. No one has ever seen them change one.