The Centre Facilities
How long does it take to experience the Centre?
The average visitor stays for an hour, but some people stay for much longer! We have over 3,500 animals at the aquarium from over 150 species from the Salish Sea as well as many works of Coast Salish art and a marine mammal exhibit including a rare orca skeleton – so there’s a lot to see! Your admission ticket is good for the entire day, and you can come and go as long as you have your hand stamped for re-entry.
Where can I park?
Limited free two hour parking for Centre visitors is available in the Pier Hotel parkade directly below the hotel. However, Sidney has many public parking lots with two or three hours of free parking, in addition to free street parking. Check the Sidney parking map here. Pay parking is also available in the lot directly next to the Pier Hotel on Seaport Place.
Where can we eat our picnic lunch?
The aquarium is situated on Beacon Park by the Sidney waterfront and there are a number of benches as well as a large lawn area. Picnic tables can also be found between Beacon Wharf and the fishing pier, just a couple of minutes’ walk from the aquarium. Please note that food or drink may not be consumed inside the aquarium.
Photography and video
You are welcome to take photos and video for your personal use, please do not use tripods or monopods. All commercial photography must be approved in advance in writing.
Please turn off your flash when taking photos inside the aquarium. Not only will you get better photos that way, you will also avoid disturbing our animals and other visitors. You will find professional photo postcards for sale in our Salish Sea Store.
For the health and safety of our visitors and animals, smoking is prohibited inside the building – this includes e-cigarettes.
The Centre strives to be accessible to all. A wheelchair is available free of charge on a first come-first served basis. Please ask at our admissions desk.
For the safety of our animals and visitors, only trained service dogs are permitted in the aquarium. Please be sure to find a local doggy day care or alternative arrangements for your pet while you visit.
Who owns the Centre?
The Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea is owned and operated by the New Marine Centre Society, a registered charitable society, and its volunteer board. The annual budget is met primarily with income from admission fees and sales in our retail store, and we also rely on grants and donations. Shaw Communications is the Title Sponsor of this not-for-profit Centre. You can learn about the history of the Centre in our about us section.
Strollers are permitted throughout the aquarium. We just ask that you are mindful of other visitors when you park and be sure not to obstruct doorways or exhibit views.
Youth 13 years and over may visit the Centre without an accompanying adult. All children under this age must be accompanied by someone over the age of 13. We reserve the right to ask for ID.
Lost and Found
Found items are taken to our admissions desk during open hours. Items of value will be stored in our safe or taken to the local RCMP. If you lose an item during your visit, please call us at 250 655 7511.
You can join our wireless internet “ocean discovery” free of charge during your visit.
Do you have a Members entrance?
All visitors must check in at our admissions desk on Seaport Place. You are welcome to bypass the submarine experience, but must present your membership card and ID to our admissions staff first.
Can I shop in the Salish Sea Store without purchasing a ticket to the Centre?
Yes! The Salish Sea Store is open to the public and non-Centre shoppers. The entrance is located directly at our entry point at 9811 Seaport Place to the left of the parkade entrance of the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa. The store is open daily from 10am to 5pm except December 24 – 26 and January 1. The Salish Sea Store is a unique place to find products designed, made, and produced in the Salish Sea Bioregion including Coast Salish indigenous art and jewellery.