This town is the economic centre for the northern peninsula, and is a ferry hub for Sidney Island and to the San Juan Islands & Anacortes, Washington (USA). On the town's western edge is the Victoria International Airport (with the runways aligned to minimize distraction). Sidney also has berths for 2,400 marine craft, and you can buy fresh seafood right off the wharf at the fish market.
Housing is small single-family dwellings, but recently built townhouses and low-rise condos are becoming common.
Sidney has three public schools and shares Parkland High School with North Saanich. There is a public library just north of Beacon Ave, the town's commercial centre.
Beacon Ave is the town's commercial centre, with a plaza. The more touristy shops tend to be closer to the waterfront.. Serious shoppers, though, head down the Pat Bay Highway into Saanich to the Town & Country Shopping Centre.
The town's recreation is centred around the water. The town has a number of beaches in addition to its anchorages. The best park land is offshore, a short passenger ferry ride to Sidney Spit Provincial Park. Just south of town is the Panorama Leisure Centre, which is the recreational hub of the Saanich Peninsula. Just west of town is the Sandown Raceway, the Victoria area's harness racing track. Golfing is west on McTavish Rd at Glen Meadows or Ardmore on the other side of the Airport. The area has a couple of great parks including (from north to south) North Hill Regional , McDonald Provincial, and Blue Heron.