The gem of the Gulf Islands in southwestern British Columbia, Galiano is a rural escape from the busy city. Just a 45-minute ferry ride from Tsawwassen surrounds you in the province's most beautiful scenery and unparalleled tranquility.
A short ferry trip from Tsawwassen (the mainland) or Swartz Bay (Vancouver Island) will bring you to Sturdies Bay in the south end of Galiano island. The bulk of the island's permanent residents live in the south end of the island, where there are craft stores, a bakery, a video store, a laundromat, several art galleries, a couple restaurants and other small shops lining the main road.
Montague Harbour Provincial Marine Park is also in the south end as well as several public access beaches and hiking trails. A 19-mile stretch up island brings you to the quietness of the north end, where massive forests open to more picturesque, postcard-worthy beaches. Another beautiful provincial campsite, Dionisio Park, is at the northern tip of the island with views of both the mainland across the Strait of Georgia and of other Gulf Islands across Porlier Pass. Photos, map and information can be found here.
There are a little over a thousand permanent residents on the island who give Galiano its friendly, small-town charm. A description of island life can be read here. Forests and beaches offer a diverse variety of plants and animals, as well as plenty of walking and hiking trails. The beauty of the island is best appreciated in person so come for a visit to see for yourself!
Feel free to contact me to discuss current real estate listings on Galiano Island.
My parents first brought me to Galiano in 1960 and we moved to the island permanently in 1964. My father was an electrician and found lots of work. I attended the island school. Eventually I moved to Vancouver where I married and raised my four children. We became weekenders and summer residents taking full advantage of the ease in commuting back and forth. I moved back to our island in 2002 and became a successful realtor. I know Galiano well and am here to help you!
Today I took a walk in the forest. It was raining off and on but it was a warm February and already feels like spring. A difference between country and city life is that in the country we are much more focused on the weather, we are outside much more, in our gardens, out on hikes, visiting the beaches or just out for a stroll. We have views of the deer grazing, the trees swaying in the breeze and eagles soaring. Always close is the magnificent Salish Sea that surrounds the island. The sounds and smells of the ocean are with us everywhere on Galiano. It is fresh and crisp and feels healthy. On a clear night there are a million stars in the sky and the sounds of owls calling. I like to stop and listen to the silence both day and night, it is so peaceful.
Our Galiano community is very special. I feel privileged to be a part of it. I don't recognize all the cars I pass on the road but try to return the waves from so many friendly people. I love the feeling of pulling up at the ferry terminals after a visit in the cities and seeing lots of people I know. It makes me feel safe. We can choose to be as involved in the community as we want. There are all kinds of clubs and committees one can join but there is also the respect from neighbours who understand we may want our privacy to enjoy this magical place by ourselves.
Sometimes during winter storms we lose our power. Firewood is plentiful and most everyone has a wood stove or fireplace. We just have to wait until the lines are fixed. We have wells and know we must look after our water, good life lessons. There are a few times our ferry can't land if the wind is blowing strong in a certain direction. This is an exciting time, reminding us we do live together on an island. The last time the power was out I walked down to the Gas Station. They had a generator going, the coffee pot was on and the place was full.
When I lived in the city I always seemed to be in my car, running to the stores, doing errands. Here we have the Market, the Corner Store and the Gas Station. Friday and Saturday are recycling days and good days to pick up the fresh bread and produce that comes in. About once a month a shopping day in Sidney on Vancouver Island is fun. I like to stock up on meat and some groceries, do my banking and bring home a pizza. If ever I do feel 'bushed' I can be in downtown Vancouver in 2 hours. Now I live with a much slower pace. I have peace and quiet to reflect, smell the roses and enjoy life. I highly recommend it!
I am happy to answer your island real estate questions.