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Community & Recreation Centres
Pets & Pet Care
Community & Recreation Centres
Pets & Pet Care
Community & Recreation Centres
One thing you’ll notice as soon as you arrive on the Sunshine Coast is the deep sense of community. Friends support friends and neighbours help neighbours, truly bringing Coast residents together.
If you would like to get involved in your community through sports or support programs there are a number of community resources to get you started.
There are community and fitness facilities in Gibsons, Sechelt and Pender Harbour. Here you can play sports, participate in fitness classes and use the swimming pools and ice arenas. Some also provide programs for youth and seniors. The facilities are managed by the Sunshine Coast Regional District. Schedules, activities, contact information and more for each facility can be found here.
The School System
With a number of daycares, elementary schools and a high school in each of the three urban centres of the southern Coast, children are offered a quality education in respectable facilities. Children generally enter kindergarten at age five, complete elementary at 13 and high school at 18. There are also options for students interested in French Immersion, Private School and Alternative Learning.
For graduates and adults who are interested in furthering their studies, Capilano University offers a number of programs. For more information about all levels of education, contact School District #46, www.sd46.bc.ca, 604-886-8811.
Students Participating in Distributed Education Resources (SPIDER) Elementary is part of School District 46 and provides direct support to parents who have chosen to home school their children. The program serves students from kindergarten to grade nine. For more information visit http://spiderweb.sd46.bc.ca or call 604-885-9523.
Spark, KinderSpark, and Strong Start are all free programs that support families in developing their childrens’ interest in learning from birth to five years. Registration is required. For more information visit the Sunshine Coast School District‘s early learning website, www.sd46earlylearning.ca
Elementary & Secondary
There are nine elementary schools and three secondary schools located in a number of communities across the Coast. Students generally attend the school closest to where they live though parents can apply for their children to attend a different school. Visit www.newcoastermagazine.com for a complete list of elementary and secondary schools.
The Sunshine Coast is fortunate to have access to post-secondary education through the Sechelt branch of Capilano University. Here, students can complete a variety of courses to complete certificate programs and gain transfer credits, with the added benefit of smaller class sizes and a higher level of interaction with instructors. The campus also offers an ElderU program allowing seniors to participate in a variety of interesting courses without the pressure of deadlines or exams.
The Sunshine Coast is increasingly becoming a desired location for retirement. With approximately 25% of the Coast’s population belonging to the 65+ age group, an emphasis is being placed on improving infrastructure, range of activities and overall lifestyle for seniors. The various activity centres across the Coast offer group outings, lunch get-togethers and general opportunities for seniors to be social.
Discounts & Deals
Showing your BC Services Card at participating Coast businesses awards various discounts and deals. For example, IGA Grocery Stores, Shoppers Drug Mart and Pet Valu offer percentage discounts certain days of the week and the Sunshine Coast Credit Union offers perks such as exemptions on account service charges.
The Sunshine Coast transit system offers discounts on monthly passes and BC Ferries offers free travel on select routes on Mondays to Thursdays (excluding holidays) with proof of age. There is also a discount offered on daily and monthly passes to Dakota Ridge for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
There is ample access to health care across the Sunshine Coast, with a number of medical clinics and health and wellness practitioners in almost every Coast community. The centrally located Sechelt Hospital is a 41-bed acute care facility, which has been recently upgraded to include five new medical/surgical beds, more single patient rooms and larger wards for emergency, radiology, maternity and critical care. In 2016, Sechelt Hospital was ranked as Greenest Hospital in Canada in the 2016 Green Building Review.
Libraries have undergone a significant transformation over the past decade. While books are still the primary focus, now you can take home popular movies and television series, read international newspapers, download e-books and connect to free public internet. The Sunshine Coast is fortunate to have three great facilities, one in Gibsons, Sechelt and Madeira Park.
All of these facilities work in cooperation with other libraries around the province, so if the material you’re looking for isn’t available, in many cases they can bring it in for you.
To get a library card all you need to do is visit your local library and show proof of residency. Once you have your library card, you can also get a BC OneCard which allows you to borrow at any public library in BC, and even return the materials to your home branch.
There are four primary government organizations operating on the Coast.
The Sunshine Coast Regional District was formed in 1967 and acts as a regional government serving the entire lower Sunshine Coast. It encompasses the District of Sechelt, the Town of Gibsons and the Sechelt Indian Band Government District and therefore supplies services that are local, inter-municipal or regional. Some of the services the SCRD provides include animal control, park maintenance and garbage collection and disposal.
The District of Sechelt provides various information and services for Sechelt residents including property tax assessments, a list of local bylaws and future goals for the community. They also represent City Hall and house city council meetings.
The Town of Gibsons governs the Gibsons area. Town meetings are held here to discuss community and corporate services, town infrastructure and future planning. These meetings are open to the public.
The shíshálh Nation is the result of the Band becoming an independent self-governing body in 1986. Holding jurisdiction over its lands, the shíshálh Nation provides services to the entire region. The Tsain-Ko Shopping Centre and the House of hewhiwus (House of Chiefs) provide shopping, dining and entertainment to the community.
Pets & Pet Care
Having a pet on the Sunshine Coast is great! The abundance of outdoor space allows for plenty of play time and there are many exceptional veterinarians and pet supply stores to make sure your pets are healthy and well taken care of.
Finding a Pet
The Sunshine Coast branch of the SPCA is a great place to find a new furry family member. Through donations and volunteer efforts, the SPCA is able to look after dogs, cats and other animals until they find their forever homes.
Lost & Found
If your pet has gone missing or you find a pet roaming free, it is important to act quickly. It is a good idea to check with the SCRD to see if your pet has been impounded and with your veterinarian, especially if your pet has an identification chip or tag. Another great resource is Missing Pets Sunshine Coast BC, a central Facebook source created to aid people in their search for lost pets on the Sunshine Coast.
Licenses & Impounding
A license is required for dogs and must be renewed annually. Contact your local government office for current fees, restrictions and available discounts for seniors.
To report a dog that is found roaming free or to file a complaint, contact the SCRD at 604-885-6817. Dogs that are found roaming free will be impounded by the SCRD Dog Control Officer and taken to the Sunshine Coast Branch of the SPCA, 604-740-0301.
The Sunshine Coast provides an amazing landscape for dogs to explore and play. Many public areas allow dogs on-leash, though dogs are not allowed on playgrounds, waterparks, sports fields or in cemeteries. Dogs are allowed to play on beaches off-leash (as long as owners are in control of them) and at Shirley Macy Off-Leash Dog Park managed by the SCRD.
Need a dose of retail therapy? The Coast has many places to shop with a variety of stores ranging from local boutiques to brand name grocery stores. Highlighted here are the major shopping areas across the Coast.
Lower Gibsons & The Landing
Gower Point Road, Gibsons
As well as the Government Wharf, Visitor Information Centre, Post Office and Museum there are also many unique shops and restaurants. Here you can find clothing for adults and children, locally-produced artwork and goods and even high-quality olive oils and balsamics.
900 Gibsons Way, Gibsons
With over 30 stores under one roof in downtown Gibsons, shoppers can purchase almost anything from groceries and liquor to clothing and local art. There is a London Drugs as well as postal services and free WiFi.
Gibsons Park Plaza
1100 Sunshine Coast Hwy, Gibsons
At this outdoor shopping complex in Gibsons you will find insurance services, clothing, an IGA Grocery Store, liquor store, a medical clinic and LifeLabs, Starbucks Coffee and more.
Wilson Creek Plaza
4330 Sunshine Coast Hwy, Wilson Creek
This small complex right on the highway in Wilson Creek is a convenient place to stop for groceries, gas or a coffee. There is also a pharmacy, pizza and sushi restaurants, an outdoor adventure store, real estate office and more.
5500 Sunshine Coast Hwy, Sechelt
Located beside the Hospital as you enter Sechelt, this collection of shops and services offers fast food, gas, groceries, a Shoppers Drug Mart, a BC Liquor Store, clothing and much more.
5530 Wharf Road, Sechelt
A courtyard of businesses including Optometry, health and wellness, chiropractic services, a pizza place, and wine-making. Plenty of parking available - turn off Wharf Road at Savour Restaurant.
Take a stroll and browse the variety of shops and services on this downtown Sechelt street. A unique collection of stores offering clothing, gifts, artwork, local seafood, fresh flowers, office supplies and more.
Trail Bay Centre
5755 Sunshine Coast Hwy, Sechelt
Offers over 40 shops and services, including nine dining options in downtown Sechelt. Find groceries, sporting goods and clothing, Rx IDA Pharmacy, Pet Valu, locally made goods and community events.
Madeira Park Village
Madeira Park Road
The largest collection of shops and services on the Northern end of the Sechelt Peninsula! Here you’ll find an IGA Grocery Store, liquor store, a Visitor Info Centre, boutique cafes, restaurants and more.
Volunteering is an important part of life on the Sunshine Coast and an excellent way to get to know your new community. Not only does volunteering at your child’s school, the local art centre or hospital foundation help the community, but it’s also a great way to learn new skills, gain work experience and meet new people.
The Sunshine Coast Volunteer Centre provides helpful information and resources including an online directory of non-profit groups, services, organizations and agencies looking for volunteers. An organization that always accepts volunteers is the local branch of Habitat For Humanity, a non-profit organization that helps those in need.