North Saanich, BC, incorporated as a district municipality in 1965, population 11 089 (2011c), 10 823 (2006c). The District of North Saanich is one of three district municipalities on the SAANICH PENINSULA about 27 km north of VICTORIA. Saanich is a Straits Salish word meaning "elevated," perhaps in reference to Mount Newton.
The town of SIDNEY is located within the boundaries of North Saanich. North Saanich was first incorporated in 1905 and Sidney was the site of the municipal hall. The municipality was dissolved 6 years later because of low population and a limited tax base. In 1952 Sidney became a village; North Saanich was not reincorporated until 1965.
Unlike its neighbours, North Saanich retains much of its early rural character. It has been less affected by the rapid population growth in the Greater Victoria area than nearby communities like SAANICH and CENTRAL SAANICH. The rich agricultural land is protected by the Provincial Agricultural Land Reserve Act, while most of the residential development is along the coast. Recreation and tourism are also important local industries as North Saanich is located near a number of provincial parks. Swartz Bay, near Sidney, is one of Vancouver Island's busiest ferry terminals serving the GULF ISLANDS, especially SALTSPRING ISLAND.