Salt Spring Island offers a very pleasing year-round lifestyle opportunity.
Almost everything necessary to enjoy a 21st century lifestyle is available "on Island".
It's also easy to visit Vancouver Island communities, if desired: check out Sidney and Victoria via the Fulford to Swartz ferry connection...or, visit Duncan/Cowichan Valley via the Vesuvius to Crofton ferry route.
A quick floatplane flight delivers downtown Vancouver and the Vancouver airport in mere minutes...and the Long Harbour to Tsswassan ferry is a day-trip ferry route to the Lower Mainland.
The economy of Salt Spring is based on tourism. The Islands Trust (created by the provincial government in 1974) has a mandate of "to preserve and protect" the environmental beauties of the Gulf Islands, for the benefit of all B.C. There is no industry here. Tourism creates business outcomes.
A successful visitor experience will engender a call from a tourist to a real estate agent. The tourist becomes a buyer. Then everyone else gets busy: lawyers, notaries, architects, designers, contractors, soft furnishing providers, painters, drywallers, flooring providers, dock builders, lumber yards, hardware stores, restaurants, excavator and backhoe operators, septic installers, driveway installers, plumbers, electricians, well drillers, landscape designers, gardeners, art galleries, etc etc etc.
Those trades who think too much attention is paid to tourism need to follow the trail back from their job site to where it all began: with a successful visitor experience. It's like a train, and the engine that leaves the station is the tourist discovery...and then everything else follows.
The downside of a tourist based economy? On the Pacific Northwest Coast, it's a seasonal economy...and Salt Spring is no exception. The key months for visitors are May to October.
The Chamber of Commerce creates events for the "shoulder season", in an effort to create that off-season arrival. Encouraging visitors in the off-season keeps accommodation providers busy, plus restaurants, studios, galleries. Real estate sales are "seasonless"....
A secondary home/discretionary region has a very different rhythm from a city/primary residence area, and outcomes do depend on a vibrant tourism response.
More info? Call me!