Morningside is featured in a story in West Jet’s Journey magazine this month:
It’s a quite morning on the placid inlet leading to Ganges, the only town on British Columbia’s Salt Spring Island. The group I’m with on a guided tour has kayaked a few miles down the bay, spotting eagles, otters, oystercatchers, dolphins and seals along the way. Now we beach our boats at tiny Russell Island to tour a historic Hawaiian homestead, part of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, and the setting is so sublime that I wade out from the sand and plunge into the emerald water.
OK, it’s a little colder than Hawai‘i. “Refreshing,” I wryly announce to my fellow paddlers.
Balmy climate, curving beaches of white sand, dolphins and whales in the distance—Salt Spring must have seemed a bit like home to the Hawaiians who settled here in the 19th century. Called Kanakas, they established homesteads in the pastoral landscape, joining African- Americans who had previously left the U.S., and others, to form a community that remains diverse, distinctive and wholly dedicated to a bucolic lifestyle.
Back out in the sun I warm up quickly, and the summer sunshine epitomizes the atmosphere of a place so warmly welcoming that I bet half its visitors vow they’ll move here and join the existing 10,000 residents on this 17-mile-long island paradise.
Matters of Taste
Contemporary Northwest cuisine—it’s called “West Coast cuisine” in British Columbia—featuring local seafood and produce shines in Ganges, most elegantly at Hastings House Dining Room (a AAA Four Diamond restaurant), House Piccolo and Rock Salt Restaurant. But quality dining also prevails in less-formal settings. Tree House Cafe, in Ganges, is a small eatery built around a spreading plum tree; on summer nights, B.C.-based musicians serenade appreciative crowds in the courtyard. Several pubs around the island provide the traditional !sh and chips so intrinsic to former British colonies; Moby’s Pub is the best known. Mornings bring the quintessential island experience: gathering at local bakeshops for fresh muffins and breads. Barb’s Bakery is the biggest and most popular; Morningside Organic Bakery Café & Bookstore is a vegan alternative. And the date squares at Café Talia are deliciously addictive.