The presence of First Nations aboriginals visiting the island is recorded to date back over 5,000 years. The main populated area was Fulford Harbour by the seasonal residents the HwnJ'nuts people.
The First Nation Coastal Salish have inhabited the island near the southern tip where the Tsawout Band Reserve is located today. Surrounding island tribes such as The Wsanec people of the Saanich Peninsula and the Cowichan people from the Cowichan Valley frequented Salt Spring Island's shores for its numerous resources.
European (British & Spanish) explorers visited these shores in the 1800's. It wasn't until the 1850's that the first settlers took root when the gold rush ran low. In 1850, a small pool of Black slaves who had purchased their freedom in the USA arrived in hopes to start a new life. Even more settlers arrived of varied home lands; Portugal, Scandinavia and Japan.
In the 1960's & 70's, many young people looking for the care free artisan lifestyle populated the island.
Interestingly, today, it now has the Salt Spring dollar, a currency good only on the island and available for purchase in a few local stores.
Summer average 20 degrees Celsius
Winter average 7 degrees Celsius