July-August issue 2018

Page 1

Solar Energy on the Sunshine Coast

Texada Island A hidden gem

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Eagles Aerie An arcchitectural play on perspectives.


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The Magazine of Architecture / Home & Interior Design / West Coast Living / HOMEONTHECOAST.CA





Features & Departments 17


Ask an Architect

Realtor Insights

Walter Powell A.I.B.C. answers your questions. What do I do now?

Q & A with Powell River Realtor Warren Behan.



Kitchen and bathroom renovation trends

Coastal Insights

By Tara de Grandmaison.

Q & A with local entrepreneur and property developer, Tod English.



Tile and flooring trends By Brenda Montgomery.

Where eagles soar... West Coast living at its finest. PG


Texada Island. A hidden gem. By Cindy Babyn.

26 The house that Ken built Building systems that make sense.

29 Solar energy on the Sunshine Coast


Dennis Olson enlightens us.

32 Powell River. The new Gold Coast? From mill town to boom town.




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Welcome! PUBLISHED BY Campaign Media. A division of Northgate Films Ltd. PO Box 25, Roberts Creek BC V0N 2W0

They say time flies when you’re having fun. It’s hard to believe summer is already in full swing and it’s time once again to fire up the press for our exciting new July August issue. First off, I’d like to send out a big Sunshine Coast thank you to all our readers that signed up for the “North Shore Shopping Spree” contest, and for your many positive comments. Your response has been overwhelming and further encourages us in our commitment to become the number one magazine on the Coast. It’s also encouraging to hear from several of our advertisers in regards to positive feed back and customer inquiries. I think it says a lot about our philosophy that if you go the extra mile to deliver a first class publication people will take notice. Thank you all for your feedback and support. In this July - August issue we feature a special Discover Powell River section where you will meet some of the local business people that are shaping the future of one of B.C.’s fastest growing small communities. On that note, we have increased our distribution network to include an additional 2000 copies delivered by Canada Post and an additional 500 copies for local drop-off to Powell River, Texada Island and Savary Island.

Copyright 2018 by Campaign Media. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any article, photograph, or artwork without express written permission of the publisher is forbidden. Publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.

PUBLISHER & EDITOR Brad Ferguson, publisher@homeonthecoast.ca


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Walter Powell, Brad Ferguson, Tara de Grandmaison, Brenda Montgomery, Tod English, Warren Behan, Cindy Babyn

COPY EDITOR / Christine Savage GRAPHIC DESIGNER / Mike Camposano DISTRIBUTION / Dennis Vasile FOR MARKETING AND ADVERTISING CONTACT advertising@homeonthecoast.ca Printed in Canada on recyclable paper.

ON THE COVER Eagles Aerie: An Architectural Play on Perspectives

We also bring you additional insights from Walter Powell, Architect AIBC, an interview with the Coast’s Solar Energy expert Dennis Olson, and incredible west coast style home designs by Etienne de Villiers. We will also explore a great new construction system, and catch up on a few new renovation and design ideas from local contributing writers. Enjoy... Until next time, see you in September.

CALL Brad Ferguson, Publisher






Hey, got a great photo of your new home / recent renovation / garden / deck / dog house / barn / or whatever? Would you like to share with our readers? Just send us a high res file along with your comments to publisher@homeonthecoast.ca and we’ll enter your name in the great Weekend Shopping Spree Contest (even if you’ve already entered) double your odds of winning.


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WHERE EAGLES SOAR Eagles Aerie sits atop a rare oceanfront acreage with unobstructed views of the Coastal Mountain range.


Staff Writer PHOTOS:

Joshua Lawrence joshualawrence.ca

The family home was created as part of a collaborative process between designer and client. According to Etienne de Villiers, the designer, “since inception the criteria was the same for every element of Eagles Aerie. The highest material quality, superb craftsmanship and a unity of design.” The project is a real marriage of the client’s lifestyle, landscape, design, local materials and the skill and passion of local trades. It is a testament to the team effort that is the bedrock of any successful construction project. Both the client and designer made sure that they had fun with the design here. The dynamic roof lines seem to lift the house from the clifftop like a bird, and a bridge playfully beckons you to the entry through posts that appears to float on the water, while extensive landscaping flows outwards from the house into the forest and down the embankment to the Strait. This is a house that very much reflects the elements of the site in its architecture. Continued

The Magazine of Architecture / Home & Interior Design / West Coast Living / HOMEONTHECOAST.CA


The project was passionately constructed using local trades and craftspeople. Featured throughout is the cabinetry and finishing work of sought-after local craftsman and artisan, Luc Trepanier. The impressive timber structure was also designed, produced and installed by local business: Island Timber Frame, who have been collaborating with Etienne for a number of years. The quality of construction here is unquestionable.



Etienne himself, moved to the gulf islands in 1990 and gradually, inspired by his clients and the natural beauty of the Islands, gave up the building trade to concentrate on setting up a small residential design firm on Denman Island. Over the years, Etienne has now designed more than fifty custom homes throughout British Columbia. His homes combine beauty and functionality to create spaces that are


perfectly suited to each client and the individual ways in which they live. The designs are conceived of to create truly unique spaces that work in harmony with the site and really make the most of the incredible landscape we’re so lucky to enjoy. As a result each house tells a different story about the people who live there and the natural environment that surrounds them. This house is certainly no exception.

The evolution of architecture and interior design By Tara de Grandmaison

de Grandmaison Interiors: deg.interiors@gmail.com



THAT INTEGRATE WITH TECHNOLOGY. Advancements in technology have also brought with it a growing variety of products and materials to fit a wide range of budgets like never before. With the advent of the internet anyone can access a huge range of ideas and styles are more than ever, inspired by looking at the past, present and future. As the population grows and accommodation becomes more expensive and harder to find, people are living in less conventional spaces but they still want elements of design, convenience and comfort particularly in their kitchens and bathrooms.

kitchen has become the center of the home and has become the room where we cook, socialize and help the kids with their homework.

Open plan living is a relatively new concept in the history of kitchen design. Prior to the open concept rooms were separated by functional but separate spaces. A kitchen for cooking, a dining room for eating and a living room for socializing, all usually separated by walls and doors. Kitchens in the 21st century are designed for multitasking and family friendly functionality. In the last few decades the

Choosing to renovate or upgrade your bathroom or kitchen can be costly but with all the new products available, shopping around and using some ingenuity and imagination can bring the cost down. Combining inexpensive big box store units and fittings with higher end items and good lighting and colours can make your kitchen or bathroom look like a million dollars.

Bathrooms have also evolved and although they generally remain functional, shared spaces, many now want them to also be “sanctuaries� where they can luxuriate with oils and candles after a long hard day. Those who choose to renovate or upgrade a bathroom will often consider luxe spas that now come in all sizes and opt for in floor heating and ambient lighting in even the smallest of spaces.

The Magazine of Architecture / Home & Interior Design / West Coast Living / HOMEONTHECOAST.CA


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What do I do now? By Walter Powell, Architect AIBC

People often buy a lot and want to get started on designing and building their new home, but they are just not sure what to do next. ABOVE + BELOW:

The first thing you should do is engage the services of a local architect, a professional home designer or a reputable design–build general contractor.

Project Phases: 1. Schematic Design, 2. Design Development, 3. Contract Documents, 4. Bidding and Negotiation, 5. Contract Administration.

These professionals can advise you about the choices you will have to make and the possible consequences of those choices. They will save you time and money, and the sooner you get them on board, the less stress and more fun you will have. If you don’t already have a building lot, it is also a good idea to have an architect review the lots you may be considering before you actually buy one. The architect can help you identify any issues that might prevent you from building your dream home and help you determine the implications of building on a particular lot. The first phase of the project is called Schematic Design. It involves collecting all of the information that will influence the design and construction of your home. It includes your ideas about what you want your home to be like and what things are important to you about how you will use your home. This phase also includes a review of the zoning requirements that will determine where you can build on the property; how big and how high your home can be; and whether there are environmental areas, flood zones, geotechnical hazards, rocky or steep slopes, archeological areas, sewage treatment requirements, water control issues and a host of other issues that can affect the design and require work from other consultants, provincial and even federal authorities. If you purchase a lot in a subdivision or strata development, there may also be a building scheme from the developer that can have a long list of requirements, such as what kind of siding you can use; what kind of roof and what roof slope you can use; requirements for landscaping, fencing, lighting, access, parking, building area and size; and view requirements. The list can be quite exhaustive. The Magazine of Architecture / Home & Interior Design / West Coast Living / HOMEONTHECOAST.CA


AskAnArchitect Cliff House – built by Brian Geue of Crystal Creek Homes.

In addition, there are the natural features of the site to consider. Is it steep or flat? Where are the views? How does the sun travel across the site? Are there winds to consider, and which direction do they come from in the various seasons? What is the ground like; is it dirt or rock or clay or fill? Is it cleared or tree covered? What are the implications for your foundation, and for drainage? Where can you put a septic field if required? What about privacy from adjacent properties? Will you need a survey to show where the natural features are? There are a whole host of issues, too numerous to list here. Once all the information that can impact the design is collected, the architect will put it together and come up with a first idea for the design for your home. This initial design will show the basic shape and size of your home and how it could all work on the site. After your approval of the initial design idea, the next phase is Design Development. This includes working out the actual details of the plans and elevations; all of the rooms, their sizes and proportions, and their relationship to each other and the site; the windows and doors; the stairs; built-in features like vaults, ceilings and alcoves; cabinet locations; kitchen layouts; and site features like patios, arbors, pools and walkways. The end result of the Design Development phase is a detailed 3D model of your home on your site. Once you approve the design, the next phase is Contract Documents, which is about putting together all of the documents that will be needed to get a building permit and allow a competent builder to construct your home. This includes coordinating the design with other professionals, like structural engineers, geotechnical engineers, interior designers, landscape architects and environmental engineers if required. If you have already chosen a builder, then, at the completion of the Contract Documents phase, you may choose to just apply for a building permit and work with your builder from that point, only calling the architect if needed for something throughout the construction. Otherwise, you may choose to continue with the next phase of the project: Bidding and Negotiation. This phase is about getting a general contractor on board; however, since pretty much every custom home is built on a cost-plus basis, it is pointless to ask anyone to bid on your job. A much better way is to interview a couple of contractors who have experience constructing the kind of home you are planning 18



and who might be available for the schedule you are hoping for. Then you pick a contractor that you trust and can get along with. The architect can introduce you to contractors, interpret things for you and then help you negotiate a contract with the one you choose. The contractor can now use the plans to apply for a building permit and develop an estimate of what your home might cost. The more detailed the information provided in the drawings and specifications, the more accurate an estimate can be done. The estimate will provide you with a shopping list of what you should expect to spend on everything from the foundation to the plumbing fixtures. There may also be changes to the design in order to accommodate the budget you want to achieve, and these changes may result in an additional set of construction drawings. The plans and budget will help you with any financing you may require in terms of a line of credit, a construction loan or a mortgage, and also with the course of construction insurance. When you are ready to start construction, your contractor can do the site preparation and even form up the foundations before having a building permit, but you will need the permit before pouring any concrete. The budget will constantly change in response to unexpected site, labour and supply issues and any changes you make. This is why your budget should always include a contingency. The final phase of the project is called Contract Administration. In this phase, the architect will work with the general contractor to ensure that everything is being built according to your wishes, helping to interpret the design and work out any details that may be required or issues that may come up. The architect will review the project invoices and approve payments, manage the holdback required by the Builders Lien and issue certificates of completion for release of the holdback and confirmation of completion as required by estimators from the bank or other financial sources. This will continue until the project is finished and everyone is standing on the deck, having a margarita with big smiles on their faces. For more information about working together, see my website at: www.SunshineCoastHomeDesign.com.

Introducing Sydney McAllister As a lifelong Coast resident, Sydney is committed to bringing local and down to earth service to her clients. Having a deep care and knowledge of this area she is lucky enough to call home, Sydney has a fresh perspective on the growing real estate market. “My favourite part of real estate is connecting with new people, hearing where they came from and how they got here. I love the Sunshine Coast, and I love sharing it with people and seeing their happiness flourish when they get to know it deeper. The icing on the cake is the moment my clients light up with big smiles when they step into their new home, it’s such an exciting time and I’m so thankful I am apart of it!” From excited first time buyers to experienced investors, Sydney takes pride in giving her absolute best to each and every client right from the beginning. With her no pressure approach, she can help guide you with advice or information! For market statistics, property information or just general area questions, call today and see how she can help you!

The Magazine of Architecture / Home & Interior Design / West Coast Living / HOMEONTHECOAST.CA


Q &A



@ Home on the Coast: What’s it like to have your whole family working together? CBP: It’s an incredible gift that’s both challenging and very rewarding at the same time. @HOTC: What would you say the challenges are? CBP: We’re all working really hard, and sometimes we have different ideas; however, everyone is really excited about the direction in which the company is headed, and this helps. We love tackling challenging projects and collaborating with clients to get the end result they are looking for. @HOTC: And the rewards? CBP: There’s lots of room for personal growth, as well as endless opportunities for each of us to take on more responsibility. We are all very supportive, and we encourage each other to take on new roles and become involved in the different aspects of running a business. @HOTC: Where are most of your projects located? CBP: We are based on the Sunshine Coast, but we love the challenge of working with clients in many different locations. Over the last couple of years, Bowen Island has become like a second home for us. We currently have projects running from Garden Bay on the Sunshine Coast, to Bowen Island and West Vancouver. Last spring, we were lucky

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Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with the Coady brothers, who make up the core of the team at Coady Boys Painting. This family-run business offers not only painting, but also deck refinishing and even home renovation services.

to have clients located on Pasley Island, and we really enjoyed that experience. It’s a lot of travel for us, but that’s where being a family business really helps, because we’re all committed to our craft, and we have fun along the way. @HOTC: What is the scope of services that Coady Boys provides? CBP: We paint and stain exteriors and interiors, build and refinish decks and fences, and provide renovation services as well. We are fortunate to work with a team of skilled developers and designers on very creative home-renovation projects. Our team includes high-level tradesmen, carpenters, electricians and plumbers. Truly, no project is too big or too small for us! We are committed to taking excellent care of our clients’ needs, whatever they might be. @HOTC: Which of your recent projects are you particularly proud of? CBP: Although it’s hard to pick just one, it would have to the Bowen Island Pub. This was a long-term project that involved staining massive beams and painting a large surface area. We worked alongside many talented tradesmen. The end result was something everyone was proud of, and the client was very happy. We are also proud of a recent project in Sechelt that several other companies had turned down because of the height challenges. We brought in an excellent scaffolding team and finished up the project easily.


The Magazine of Architecture / Home & Interior Design / West Coast Living / HOMEONTHECOAST.CA





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The Magazine of Architecture / Home & Interior Design / West Coast Living / HOMEONTHECOAST.CA


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Bright & Bold Styles From traditional tiles with smooth or textured appeal to modern geometric shapes and mosaics including 3D finishes - tile has expanded from backsplashes and bathrooms into living rooms and bedrooms, with more depth, character and personality. While neutral colors dominate, tiles are now available in a myriad of shapes and styles with infinite design possibilities. What about tile basics? Ceramic, Porcelain or Natural Stone? Ceramic tiles are fully waterproof and suitable for walls. Porcelain or natural stone tiles are great heat conductors, ideal for underfloor heating systems. Porcelain is durable and scratch-resistant, perfect for wet environments and exteriors. Natural stone such as marble is one-ofa-kind beautiful and capable of being used in any application. All have longevity.

Bigger is Better Today, large format tiles are making a huge impact, giving interiors a luxurious palatial look. For a modern West Coast feel, go big with large format porcelain slabs. Thin is also in, with more versatility, requiring installation finesse. Get Rectified Grout lines are getting thinner too – so tiles look cleaner without the deep, wide grout groves. Non-rectified tile will be out of square so that your grout lines are impossible to line up. Buyer beware. Always ask if the tile has been rectified and made properly square and level. Eco-Flooring Due to innovative processes, tile today is more sustainable – some using recycled content with many materials qualifying for LEED status. For more on tile selection, check with your local experts. They’re a wealth of knowledge to help you create the tile masterpiece you’ll be proud of!



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The Magazine of Architecture / Home & Interior Design / West Coast Living / HOMEONTHECOAST.CA


The House that Ken Built When Ken and Joyce decided to build their new 3800 square foot dream home on a spectacular plot overlooking Gibsons Harbour, they began the process by looking at various alternative building systems. They wanted to build a home that was energy efficient, structurally sound and environmentally friendly. It also had to be cost effective. After exploring several options, they settled on an innovative building system known as “Insulated Concrete Forms” or ICF. According to Ken, who spent a year and half on site as an owner / builder / foreman / delivery guy, the entire building process went off with relatively few hiccups. “There were several advantages to using this system as opposed to plywood forms and 2 X 6 studs which is the norm” says Ken. ( Recently updated building codes require an insulation value of R22 necessitating the use of a 2x6 stud wall in order to achieve the required thermal performance)




Firstly there was a very substantial savings in labor costs. The outer shell was completed in much less time and with less labour than conventional construction methods using Nudura blocks which are 8 feet long and create 12 square feet of surface area. They require no ties or vapor barrier, no insulation, and there is no formwork to strip. Another major advantage was the ease of transporting the lightweight and uniform blocks to the job site. Ken personally loaded up his pickup truck ( 15 times) over the construction period and delivered the panels to the job site himself. Not only saving on delivery charges but the added convenience of having the materials on hand as needed, alleviated the issue of storage problems on a somewhat constricted build site. ICF construction provides an ultra-efficient, high strength and durable building shell that results in a healthy and comfortable home while keeping heating and cooling costs to a minimum. In fact, the heating bill for the house last February was about $50. Hard to believe considering the record cold spell last year. Although the thermal efficiency of Nudura blocks are rated at R25, the effective insulation value is really closer to R50 when you factor in the heat sink properties of the 13” of concrete and EPS foam panels. The bottom line? “ If I were ever going to build another home I would definitely use the Nudura system again” says Ken.




Renewable energy revolution By Brad Ferguson

In a recent interview, Dennis Olson, the president of Olson Electric and founder of Alternative Power Systems (APS), shared some insights into the current state of alternative energy and particularly of the increasing awareness of solar energy here on the Sunshine Coast.

With over 45 homes and half a dozen commercial and government installations under his belt, Dennis is pretty much the industry spokesman here on the coast, and he leads by example. He not only drives an electric car full-time, using solar electricity to charge the batteries, but he also supplies most of his family’s energy needs by generating and storing electricity from a bank of solar energy collectors on the roof of his home. Dennis sets a shining example of how totally feasible it is to become energy self-sufficient and is also quick to point out that distributed solar—that is, solar panels on residences as compared to large solar or wind farms—need no high-voltage transmission lines. The power produced by distributed solar arrays is produced at domestic voltages and is immediately sent to the building below. Furthermore, the cost of distributed solar arrays can be amortized over their 30-year life expectancy. Solar panel installation should become part of a homeowner’s mortgage and included in the cost of building a home. It’s about paying a little more up front to reduce your total long-term energy costs. Also, the energy that solar panels produce is free of taxes and service charges. We find various extra charges on our existing utility bill, some as high as 21 percent in BC. Olson and I also discussed the ongoing tug-of-war between well-funded fossil-fuel advocates/lobbyists and BC Hydro on one side, and local independent and cottageindustry solar energy users and advocates on the other.

The Magazine of Architecture / Home & Interior Design / West Coast Living / HOMEONTHECOAST.CA


One surprising fact I wouldn’t have guessed is that Canada, generally perceived globally as a more progressive and environmentally aware country, is actually trailing behind most of the world when it comes to lessening our dependence on fossil fuels and decreasing harmful carbon emissions. In comparison, the California Energy Commission recently voted 5–0 to add new solar provision to the state’s building code. By 2020 all new house and multi-family residences of three stories and fewer must be built with solar panels to provide “net-zero energy” to produce as much energy as they consume. BC will follow suit in a few years. Dennis Olson predicts, “I think the building industry in BC will come in kicking and screaming. However, once they see the changes as inevitable, hopefully they will start looking at the positive outcome.” So what’s wrong with BC’s stand? On one hand, we have well-meaning politicians who are quick to champion the green movement and to raise the flag of alternative power and self-sufficiency, while on the other hand, a well-funded, vocal fossil fuel lobbyist group supports BC Hydro and their efforts to eradicate or minimize any incentives for people to become self-sufficient in regards to



energy usage. This results in a standoff, with no progress and, in some cases, with actual digression. Case in point, according to Andrew Macleod, in a recent article published in The Tyee. BC Hydro wants to stop paying for the excess power that its customers generate from solar panels and other sources. BC Hydro’s net metering program is designed so that customers can generate and connect clean or renewable generation for their own needs. Under the program, BC Hydro gives customers credit at times when they generate more energy than they need. If, after a year, a customer hasn’t spent all of those credits buying energy back from the utility, BC Hydro will pay them out at a rate of 9.99 cents per kilowatt hour. As a comparison, the utility pays an average of 10.9 cents per kilowatt hour for clean or renewable energy it buys from independent producers under the Standing Offer Program. Some 95 percent of the participants in the net metering program have installed solar photovoltaic systems, according to BC Hydro’s website. “We’ve found that while most of the program’s 1,330 customers are only generating enough power to offset their usage, some have oversized their generation,” the utility’s email said. “Some have consistent large annual


surplus payouts, a situation that was never intended and which isn’t in the best interests of our customers as a whole.” Some BC Hydro customers participating in the program are generating significantly more power than they produce, according to their spokesman. “They’re earning all these credits and then BC Hydro has to pay them out, so this is kind of a backdoor way to be getting an energy purchase agreement. It’s not what the program was intended for. It’s not okay, and so that’s why BC Hydro is making this request.” So I guess the big question is: Why would BC Hydro not want to purchase energy at 10 to 12 cents a kilowatt hour from these people when you have existing batteries—those are the existing dams that can level the load—and instead decide to pay substantially more than that to produce power through the recently discussed Site C project? It’s just weird.” The program was initially designed to provide an incentive for a cottage industry that has energy users and investors developing new sources of power. And that, it seems to me , is not only a very good idea but a shining example of a step in the right direction.

The Magazine of Architecture / Home & Interior Design / West Coast Living / HOMEONTHECOAST.CA



r e v i R l l e Pow The new Gold Coast?


Is Powell River the new Gold Coast? AS REAL ESTATE PRICES continue to soar to historical highs throughout Metro Vancouver, as well as here on the Southern Sunshine Coast, Powell River has become a refuge for residents of Greater Vancouver who want to make home ownership a reality. The community of about twenty-two thousand, located two ferry rides from the Lower Mainland, is attracting people who are interested in living somewhere that will allow them to afford the lifestyle they want to lead.




Non-residents have made up about 50 percent of the buyers in Powell River over the past couple years. In that time frame, property prices have increased only about 20 percent—much lower than the radical increases we have seen in and around Metro Vancouver and in other Sunshine Coast communities. Figures from the British Columbia Real Estate Association show that in January, Powell River led the province for both the number and total value of residential sales, compared with the same period last year. Residential sales jumped 82 percent to $6.3 million. In this dedicated section, we will explore the town, the people and the businesses that are part of what used to be the Sunshine Coast’s best-kept secret.

The Magazine of Architecture / Home & Interior Design / West Coast Living / HOMEONTHECOAST.CA







604.483.8173 warrenbehan.com

1. Powell River has recently been referred to as the new Gibsons or Sechelt in terms of affordable living in a great community. Would you agree with that analogy? Absolutely. It has become very evident with the number of out of town buyers (almost 50%) and the majority being from the lower mainland that we are seeing, Powell River as a great option not only for retirees, but for folks who can live here and commute a few times a month or a couple days a week. We are also seeing young couples who make a great living in the city but find home ownership just out of reach in their area, who buy rental property here for $350-400k so when they retire, they have a home paid for. People are very surprised when they come to Powell River and see what it has to offer, not only in amenities but its natural beauty and outdoor recreation options. 2. Given the recent popularity, how have Real Estate prices been affected over the past few years? We have definitely seen an increase in real estate prices, but that is similar in all smaller communities in BC. The great thing is we have fantastic weather year round and we are just a 25 minute flight to Vancouver, so the consumer is seeing great value at our current prices. 3. What is the upside of buying in Powell River as compared to a comparable home in Gibsons or Sechelt? You will find your dollar goes a lot farther, whether purchasing a waterfront or starter home. It is a lot easier for an income property to cash flow in our market, and if you are coming here to retire, our prices are substantially lower in all segments. You get a lot of waterfront home for in or around $1M and many are priced under that. You get a great ocean view home with great sunsets between $400-600k. 4. What is the demographic of the people that are relocating to Powell River? We are seeing a lot of retirees, but also young families coming for the quality of life, and those starting new careers or coming for job transfers. When people see the amenities we have and start enjoying our community, it’s a compounding effect when their friends visit, quite often they consider PR for their future home as well.

Q&A with Warren Behan

5. Do you foresee this growth trend continuing over the next few years? I do, absolutely. There are people ready to leave the lower mainland now, and those who need to work a few more years. When those folks are ready, some will consider Powell River an option as well. Powell River will continue to be a great option for people who no longer have to live in the city and battle the commute every day; they can sell their principal residence and buy a nicer home with a better view and put upwards of a million dollars in their retirement account. 6. Where do you see average home price in Powell River 5 years from now? It’s hard to say where home prices will be in 5 years from now. Prices don’t go up forever, so there will probably be a leveling off at some point, but no one can predict the future. 7. What is the policy of the mayor and council in terms of pro or anti development in Powell River? I think we are fortunate here, we have a mayor and council who are quite pro-development and always are looking at ways to make housing more affordable. They are just in the process of allowing 33’ wide lots, which will be great for first time buyers, or people who don’t want a large yard to maintain and still have individual home ownership. There will always be a level of bureaucracy to go through in any development but I think Powell River mayor, council and staff are continually working to streamline that as they recognize positive growth is a good thing for our region. 8. What is your favorite thing about living and working in this community as a Real Estate Professional? I absolutely love being a realtor! I’ve been doing it successfully for 28 years, it is definitely my calling. I truly appreciate Powell River’s natural beauty every single day, so introducing people to my hometown is a real pleasure. It is very satisfying to see people move into their first home or their dream home. Being part of that always feels great! Working in Powell River where everything is 5 minutes away makes it a lot easier to do a good job for my clients.

The Magazine of Architecture / Home & Interior Design / West Coast Living / HOMEONTHECOAST.CA





Q &A


Tod English

Powell River Entrepreneur

@ Home on the Coast: How would you describe the transition that has taken place over the past few years in Powell River?

We sat down with Powell River businessman and developer Tod English to get his perspective on the market and what lies ahead for this once small pulp mill town turned up-and-coming hot spot.

@HOTC: Do you see this growth trend continuing?

Tod English: Since 1980 the mill has gone from twenty-five hundred to four hundred employees. It’s still vital to the community, but health care, small business and tourism now play key roles.

TE: My belief is we won’t be able to keep up with the demand. The population could grow to forty thousand, which means we would need about eight thousand more homes. We have less than zero vacancy, and there’s a limited selection of homes for sale.

@HOTC: How has this accelerated growth affected the overall livability of PR?

@HOTC: What are some of the challenges the community may need to deal with, considering the influx of new residents?

TE: We have, I think, the best water and municipal services per person of anyplace in the country. We could substantially grow through infill and expansion of raw land without really changing the way we live and work. There are many attractions here; one is the coastline, which is as long as the distance from West Van to Hope.

TE: The largest challenges are housing, land development and a shortage of builders. I would expect more tradespeople to trickle in as demand increases.

@HOTC: What are the demographics of the people that are moving and settling here?

TE: They definitely want the community to grow. Their residential attraction campaign has been very successful. Our mayor has done a remarkable job of managing our economics as we attract residents and business. We have many business opportunities; we also have one mile of industrial waterfront with deep-sea capabilities. Our council wants what’s best for current and future residents.

TE: The average age has dropped to forty-seven. Thirty- to fiftyyear-olds are moving here for the lifestyle and making a living in small business and the construction industry, and taking over for Baby Boomers retiring from mill, health care and education jobs. Most want to purchase land or a home and plant their family roots.

@HOTC: Do the mayor and council encourage property development?

The Magazine of Architecture / Home & Interior Design / West Coast Living / HOMEONTHECOAST.CA


Texada Island – The Hidden Gem Which 50 kilometre stretch of the Sunshine Coast have most people never ventured to? If you guessed “Texada Island” you’re right on. A flight to the Gillies Bay Airport or a 35-minute ferry from Powell River’s Westview Terminal will take you to this hidden gem. You couldn’t find a parking plaza strip mall even if you tried. What you will find is a summer filled with festivals, friendly locals who will wave at you when you drive by, and beautiful walking trails like the forested Emily Lake (“Turtle Lake”) trail just off of Prospect in Van Anda where you can spot the Western Painted Turtle. From mid-July to summer’s end Texada offers the Diversity Festival, Texada Artists Studio Tour, Blues & Roots Festival, Sandcastle Weekend, Skim Jam, Texada Rock in Pride Festival, as well as Run the Rock Marathon, Half & 8k. Visit Texada.org or Texadachamber.com for event dates. If history and museology pique your interest, grab a map and try the self-guided walking tour of historical sites in Van Anda. For those wanting to get a bit more active, the Golf Course is probably the best rate in the province at just $5 for 9 holes, $10 for 18, and $30 per month. Visitors are welcome to join the guided Texada Trekkers hikes (moderate to difficult) on Saturdays from 10 am to about 2 pm. Upcoming walks are listed at: texadatrekkers.blogspot.ca and newcomers are encouraged to call John Dove in advance: 604-4867100. Texada is a 4-season mountain biking community as well. The Sunday Farmers Market from noon to 1:30 pm at the Gillies Bay Baseball Field is a wonderful option for fresh produce and artisan fare. Tasty meals can be had at island cafes and restaurants, as well as at the famous Shelter Point Concession Stand.




By Cindy Babyn

Texada is a wonderful island-living option. Jobs are often available at the restaurants, grocery stores and occasionally at the quarries too. New year-round residents who can establish businesses in areas such as seniors’ home care support, hairdressing, abattoir services for hunters, and skilled trades people would be especially welcome additions. A new Texada not-for-profit affordable home society is being established to build and operate an affordable housing community. This island only has about 8 storefronts but it’s hopping-busy with entrepreneurs. To round out your trip and connect with businesses of all types like art gallery & gift shops, holistic health, equine or accommodation services, look for the new Texada Visitors Guide, distributed at local stores, the marinas (Texada Boating Club; Texada Island Boat Yard), airport, and gas station. It’s been flying off the shelves so if you can’t find one on your visit, check it out on the Texadachamber.com website.


Sopwith Camel – Texada Island Annual Fly-In.

Cindy Babyn is the president of the Texada Island Chamber of Commerce.

Fran Miller




604 741 2240




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