Our History 2021-11-04T17:50:33+00:00

Our History

Island Pathways was founded in 1988, became a non-profit society in 1997 and a registered charity in 2008. We have a volunteer board of up to 11 members. We have 10 at present, with low turnover. Nearly all funds go into our community projects, since we have no office and work hard to keep overhead costs low.

We advocate and educate for safe active transportation options on Salt Spring Island and for better regional connections. We work in partnership with other groups and agencies. We rely on our dedicated volunteers for many tasks, especially the planning and construction of pathways, as well as the occasional special initiative like Velo Village 2012.

To date:

  • we’ve built nearly $1-million in community owned pathways in the Ganges Village area, costing local taxpayers about $250,000;
  • we’ve installed 7 hand-built benches along our pathways (thank you, volunteer builder Donald McLennan);
  • our maps are featured on BC Ferries vessels sailing to Salt Spring and in 7 kiosks throughout the island;
  • we’ve put 700+ island elementary school students is quality, well-fitted bicycle helmets, costing them $10 each, while generous donors cover the rest of the cost:
  • we’ve helped install 36 bike racks on island;
  • we’ve done surveys, held special events, published materials to forward our work, and advocates, in every way possible, for improved active transportation infrastructure and safety on Salt Spring.

Learn MoreOUR BROCHURE: A two-page tri-fold summarizing our purpose and achievements, with a membership signup panel. To read, click here or on the image.

An Eye to the Future

In 2019, we plan to continue working with partners, volunteers, and donors to:

  • complete the pathway from Portlock Park at Central to Booth Canal Road, for easy walking and riding into Ganges Village Pathways Network
  • publish and launch “Salt Spring Island on Wheels”, our new road & cycling map of Salt Spring Island, to complement our 2018 “Salt Spring Island on Foot” walking and hiking map
  • complete and install interpretive signage along four Ganges Village pathways, working with the Salt Spring Historical Society, Japanese Garden Society, Salt Spring Museum at the Farmers’ Institute, and St. Mark’s Anglican Church
  • host Bike to Work & School week, May 27 j- June 02
  • take part in the CRD quarterly bike counts
  • get new E-Bike plug-ins installed

Ongoing work includes:

  • stewarding the new Bike Park
  • offering Helmets for Life and bike rodeos for our young riders
  • working with local, regional, and provincial governments to widen and repave the road from Fulford to Ganges
  • pathways and cycling advocacy
  • count our blessings every day, so very many things to stay thankful for on our shared paradise.

Island Pathways formed, to spearhead a bikeway from Vesuvius through Ganges to Fulford


Portlock Park bikeway is built, the project that got Island Pathways going


36 bike racks installed on island, starting in 2001, with business and other partners


“Heritage Map with Bike Routes” published, 3 editions; posters of it are on SSI ferries and island locations


Partners Creating Pathways built the first pathway section of Ganges Village Pathway Network


Initiated first annual SSI Bike-to-Work Week; hosted Velo Village 2012 extravaganza celebrating rural cycling


“Pedestrian & Cycling Route Inventory: SSI Edition” published, built on Island Pathways work


Helmets for Life: 700+ elementary students fitted with quality bicycle helmets; held numerous bike rodeos, working with RCMP


Partners Creating Pathways completed nearly $1-million of Ganges Village Pathways Network, costing local taxpayers ~$250,000


Island Pathways is 30 years old. So many successes to date; more to come!


Salt Spring Bike Club joined Island Pathways, bringing the success of the new Bike Park, loads of new talent, and infectious enthusiasm