Thursday 29 November 2018

2019 BCO Calendar

The 2019 calendars have arrived fresh from RH Printing here in Campbell River, and we are getting ready to mail them out.

The calendar process takes about 5 weeks every fall, as pulling together and agreeing on the 13 photos takes time. We love doing it though, every time it reminds us of all the cool places there are on the coast. Making sure we represent different aspects and regions of this diverse coast is a challenge we enjoy as well.

The calendars should be in the mail next week, but with the Canada Post disruptions this fall and the reported backlog of mail and parcels it has caused, we don't know when they will reach people. Let us know when you have yours!

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday 22 November 2018

BCO Road Trips

While a majority of our listings are boat access, there are a handful that require a driving road trip. Properties in Zeballos and Tahsis require a long drive, first on paved roads and then on gravel roads. These are all day trips, starting generally by 7am and not ending until 5pm or later.

Driving the large forest service roads into these communities requires one to be alert. However it also requires stopping along the way, as there is some breath-taking scenery and views to be found.

These small communities are shaped in part by the long drive in - not everyone wants to make such a drive. A truck is not a must but generally is better equipped to handle the varying road conditions, especially in the wet winters. And whatever one is driving - it's going to get dirty!

Just another aspect of the type of real estate BC Oceanfront deals in!

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday 15 November 2018

Homesteading History on the BC Coast

The BC Coast is not just rich in First Nations history, it is also rich in homesteading history. Throughout the last two centuries as resource workers and other groups made their way to the coast small groups, individuals and families took up residence throughout the coast, including on the many islands between the mainland and Vancouver Island.

It is not uncommon to come across relics from homesteading in the middle of what looks like untouched forest or grassland. From broken fencelines to house foundations and even old tools, evidence is abundant when you start to look. In particular on the north end of Vancouver Island, it is easy to stumble across pieces of machinery and household items from the early 1900s. Apparently at one time 1000 people lived in an area where only a handful of people now live at the Cape Scott area of Vancouver Island.

Another visual reminder of this past history is the abundance of fruit trees scattered throughout the region, from old orchards that have been reclaimed by the surrounding wild. Going for walks in parks and along beach fronts it is not uncommon to find a gnarled old plum or apple tree, still producing fruit. Along with the fruit trees it is possible to also find overgrown domestic plants that survived long after the homestead itself has disappeared. Rhododendrons and holly bushes are common ones to come across.

People have come and gone for various reasons. A number of Scandinavian groups came in the early 1900s to places such as Cape Scott and Sointula on Malcolm Island, looking to establish a new type of community. Many of the homesteaders in the Discovery Islands were families of the local resource workers whose livelihoods depending on the fishing, mining and forestry industries. Then in the 60s there was another wave of homesteading as the hippy generation found the mild weather of the coast perfect for their communes and back-to-the-earth ideals.

As larger communities grew on the coast and on Vancouver Island especially, many of the homesteader families moved away from the more remote areas to the convenience and steady jobs that towns could offer. Now it seems the homesteading movement is gathering interest and attention, and so more people are coming to the coast to once again connect with those more remote areas.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday 8 November 2018

BCO Coastal Gems: Broughton Archipelago and Area

The Broughton Archipelago is a collection of islands and waterways off the north-eastern coast of Vancouver Island, between Vancouver Island and the mainland. It encompasses dozens of islets and islands, collectively brought together into the Broughton Archipelago Provincial Park. Many people refer to the area in general (not just the park) as the Broughton Archipelago, or the Broughtons.

The park was established in 1992, however the region has long been known by boaters and kayakers as a wonderful place to explore. It has also long been known as an excellent place to see whales and other marine wildlife.

Many of the communities around the area provide services into the Broughtons, such as whale watching, fishing and kayaking tours. There are also a number of floating lodges and marinas tucked in to the waterways and islands.

Whether exploring from a base such as Telegraph Cove, Sointula or Alert Bay, or taking a multi-day boating trip in the region, the Broughton Archipelago will amaze and delight any outdoor adventurer.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday 1 November 2018

Vancouver Island City Life

Living on Vancouver Island you have easy access to lots of rugged wilderness, large trees, amazing beaches and vast spaces. While these are definitely a big part of the appeal of island living, what people don't realize are just how many amenities Vancouver Island offers as well, making it an ideal place to live with the best of both worlds at your doorstep.

looking across the water to Victoria, from Esquimalt

The four main urban areas on Vancouver Island are (in order of population) Victoria, Nanaimo, the Comox Valley (including Courtenay and Comox) and Campbell River. All of these centres have major hospitals (Victoria has two) and vibrant downtown districts.

Vancouver Island has two universities. The University of Victoria has been around for 50 years and attracts students from across Canada as well as many international students. It is also a popular choice for students on Vancouver Island. The second university is Vancouver Island University, which is based in Nanaimo. It was originally Malaspina College, and in 2008 was granted full university status under its new name. All the urban centres have local colleges as well as private colleges.

The Save On Foods Memorial Center in Victoria regularly features high profile music acts. The MacPherson and Royal Theatres in Victoria and Port Theatre in Nanaimo attract major stage and dance productions, while the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay and the Tidemark Theatre in Campbell River provide a nice variety of live entertainment for those communities. Victoria also boasts the world-class Royal BC Museum as well as an art gallery. There are many other places of culture, history and creativity throughout the urban centres and even on the smaller islands near Vancouver Island.

Empress Hotel, Victoria Inner Harbour

Both Victoria and Nanaimo have a number of indoor shopping malls, including The Bay Centre and Mayfair Mall in Victoria, and Woodgrove Centre in Nanaimo - all very popular with island residents. All the urban centres have a wide variety of shopping available.

One of the appeals of living on Vancouver Island is that you really can have it all. Anywhere you live on the island offers amazing coastal beauty, while all the amenities needed or wanted are also available.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!