Named (and mispronounced) for the original shíshálh people upon whose traditional lands it was built, the District of Sechelt straddles the narrow isthmus at the centre of the peninsula, about 35km from Gibsons, sharing the land with the shíshálh Nation. Sechelt is bounded by the Salish Sea on the West, Sechelt Inlet and Porpoise Bay on the East, Roberts Creek Regional District to the South and Halfmoon Bay Regional District to the North. Within the District’s 39.71 square km are eight distinct neighbourhoods, a community forest, a provincial park, several regional parks major network of cycling and hiking trails, and a wide variety of recreation facilities. The local MLA’s office, Service BC and Service Canada outlets, the central RCMP detachment, and provincial courthouse are all located within Sechelt. Sechelt Hospital with its up-to-date diagnostic and treatment facilities is within walking distance of the downtown core.
A wealth of indoor and outdoor arts and recreation facilities and activities attract active seniors looking for an ‘aging in place’ retirement community as well as young entrepreneurs planning to build a future for their families. Ready access to watersports at Porpoise Bay and other nearby venues are an attraction for many, as well as the nearby ice arena, centrally-located library, aquatic centre with well-equipped fitness facility, arts centre, seniors activity centre, a private indoor racquet sports centre, the Coast’s largest golf course, and the Coast Gravity Park cross-country and downhill cycling facility.
The District of Sechelt operates (through an arm’s-length company, of which it is the sole shareholder) the Sunshine Coast Community Forest. The company manages a license to harvest from the forest, with the annual dividends helping support the District’s many programs.
Sechelt is home to a number of nationally and internationally-renowned festivals and events, notably the annual week-long Sunshine Coast Writer’s Festival (held concurrently with the Hackett Park Craft Fair), the three-day Festival of the Rolling Arts (host to over 500 vintage and stock cars on display, on parade, and on the racetrack), the two-week Sechelt Arts Festival, timed to coincide with the annual Coast-wide Art Crawl.
Sechelt is served by Davis Bay Elementary School, Kinnickinnick Elementary, West Sechelt Elementary, and Chatelech Secondary School. Capilano University’s satellite campus offers a limited selection of basic courses for certificate programs and prerequisites for Arts degrees.
|Form||Mayor and Council|
|Number of Elected Officials||7|
|Next election date||October 20, 2018|
|Chief Administrative Officer||Andrew Yates|
|Total Population||10,216 (2016 Census)|
|Neighbourhoods and Official Community Plan||Click here to download PDF: Sechelt OCP(updated 2017); Neighbourhood Areas map|
|Zoning Maps||Click here to download PDF:Zoning Map Sechelt|
|Water||Treated: sourced from SCRD Chapman/Gray watershed system|
|Sanitary||Sewer in Village/West Porpoise Bay and parts of West Sechelt (click on area to download PDF map of sewer coverage), septic field in East Porpoise Bay, Davis Bay / Wilson Creek, and much of West Sechelt|
|Schools||Kinnickinnick Elementary, Chatelech Secondary, Sechelt Alternative School, Ecole Pacifique French Immersion School, Gibsons Christian School (private), Capilano University Sechelt campus|
|Special Events and Attractions||Canada Day parade & community day, Rivers Day (July), Festival of the Rolling Arts (vintage car Rod Run, Show ‘n’ Shine, Drag Racing), Festival of the Written Arts, Hackett Park Craft Fair (August),Sechelt Arts Festival (October); Coast Gravity Park mountain biking facility, Dakota Ridge and Tetrahedron Provincial Park cross-country skiing, snowshoe and hiking trails See also: Festivals & Events|
Sechelt’s drinking water is supplied by the SCRD from its Chapman/Gray watershed facility. The village and parts of West Porpoise Bay are served by the town’s innovative wastewater resource centre, which replaced its former sewage treatment plant. This facility received the BC Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists’ 2016 Environmental Excellence Award. The rest of Sechelt is on a septic system and there are no plans to replace this with centralized sewage treatment at this time.
At Sechelt’s southernmost border, the neighbourhood of Wilson Creek is a mix of residential and light industrial, with a retail cluster at Highway 101 and Field Road. At the top of Field Road, the Sechelt Aerodrome/Heliport is home to air taxis, private aircraft, and helicopter transport. The Sunshine Coast Regional District offices, SPCA shelter, and Chapman Creek Hatchery are also on or near Field Road. Highway 101 travels along the waterfront at Davis Bay, adjacent to its kilometer-long seawalk and pebble beach. Across the highway from the beach, the neighbourhood’s business district is a few blocks long – motels, restaurants, shops and offices. The sandbars revealed at low tide at the mouth of Chapman Creek are home to an annual sandcastle competition, and a favourite with kitesurfers and anglers. Davis Bay receives the most sunlight of any area on the Coast, and offers spectacular views (and sunsets) from the hillside homes. Selma Park, named for the S.S. Selma, still boasts many of the original summer cabins established when the Union Steamship Company operated it as a resort a century ago. The waterfront and waterview lots are now in high demand, and many of the cabins are giving way to larger residences as the area continues to grow in popularity. Sechelt Village is the part of the town on the isthmus of the peninsula – a fairly level area devoted to retail, restaurants, health services, government offices, public use amenities, and mixed-use residential. East Porpoise Bay, just northeast of the Village, is rapidly developing from mainly light industrial to quality residential as several waterfront condo developments come onstream. Further north, the subdivision of Sandy Hook near Porpoise Bay Provincial Park faces southwest. This older subdivision attracts mainly older residents as the nearest elementary school is Kinnickinnick, about a 20-minute bus ride away. At the northeastern terminus of East Porpoise Bay Road and nestled at the foot of Mount Richardson, Tuwanek includes a cluster of residences, B&Bs, resorts, and Northern Divine – Canada’s only land-based sturgeon farm and caviar harvesting facility. Here, back-country enthusiasts access the Tetrahedron Plateau and Provincial Park. On the other side of the bay, West Porpoise Bay abuts Kinnickinnick Park and School, embracing the Blue Waters Golf Course and the Sechelt Arena. The Shores development in West Porpoise Bay includes some of the Sunshine Coast’s most exclusive waterfront and water view real estate. West Sechelt stretches between the Village and the boundary with Halfmoon Bay Regional District. This area of single-family homes is bordered by large agricultural acreages. This area is home to the Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden and the Coast’s first cidery.
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