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Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island Overview

Salt Spring Island is one of the Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia between mainland British Columbia, Canada and Vancouver Island. It is the largest, the most populous, and the most frequently visited of the Gulf Islands.

The island was initially inhabited by various Salishan peoples before being settled by pioneers in 1859, at which time it was officially called “Admiral Island.”

Salt Spring Island was the first of the Gulf Islands to be settled and the first agricultural settlement on the islands in the Colony of Vancouver Island, as well as the first island in the region to permit settlers to acquire land through pre-emption. The island was retitled to its current name in 1910.


Located between Mainland British Columbia and Vancouver Island, Saltspring Island is the most frequently visited of the Gulf Islands as well as the most populous, with a population of about 10,500 as of 2008. It is also by area the largest of the islands, with an official measurement of 182.7 square kilometers (70.5 sq mi). The largest village on the island is Ganges. The island is known for its artists. In addition to Canadian dollars, island banks and most island businesses accept Saltspring’s own local currency.


Salt Spring Island offers a multitude of exciting activities for visitors. Visit the Salt Spring Island Saturday Market and get a look at the many local arts & crafts. Take an oceanside hike at Ruckle Provincial Park. Spend the day shopping and eating in downtown Ganges. Take in a movie at the quaint local movie theatre.

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