Thursday 18 May 2023

BCO Coastal Gems: Campbell River

The BC Oceanfront Real Estate Team services a large area of Vancouver Island and the coastal region of BC, and we know that every village, town and city on Vancouver Island offers its own beauty and sense of community.

The BCO office is in Campbell River, which is located almost exactly at the centre of the east coast of Vancouver Island. We all chose to live here, some of us from different communities on Vancouver Island and some from the mainland. Why did we all end up here in Campbell River?

"More access to nature - forest, mountain, lake, river, ocean - than anywhere else on the island." 

We all chose Campbell River because it offered the best of both worlds - the amenities and services of a city with the abundance of natural beauty surrounding it being easily accessible for recreation. Whether we want to fish on the ocean, explore the local forests, ski or hike in the mountains, relax on a beach, or swim at a lake, we can access it all within 30 minutes of Campbell River.

"Campbell River runs entirely along the ocean, yet mountains and Strathcona Park are pretty much in your back yard. There is an abundance of ocean wildlife to view; whales, sealions, birds, dolphins. You can throw a kayak or paddleboard easily into the water or go for a quick dip yourself. There is accessible and incredible hiking, along with some of the most beautiful camping spots. Everything an outdoor enthusiast could hope for."

Campbell River continues to grow as a city, with a new hospital built six years ago and new construction happening regularly. North Island College campus provides post secondary opportunities. While the city has long been and continues to be a central hub for the coastal resource sector it is also diversifying in its economic base.

Along with a diversifying economy comes a diversifying population. Traditionally the population base came mainly from the resource sector and service sector, but in recent years retirees have discovered the beauty of the area and there has also been a growth in the immigrant community. 

The BC Oceanfront slogan is "It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It" and it's no coincidence that we all experience that living in Campbell River. We love to explore and have fun in all the communities on Vancouver Island as well as all the different types of natural surroundings offered, and Campbell River allows us the ease of access to do so.

"You can venture out to the local ocean waters and islands by boat, ride a mountain bike in the Snowden Demonstration Forest, hike the popular Canyon View Trail along the Campbell River, swim at McIvor Lake, or explore miles of beach along Georgia Strait looking at the views across to the mainland."

Perhaps the best example of the access to the outdoors that Campbell River prides itself on is the ability to walk from one end of the city to the other along the oceanfront. With either paved trail or sidewalks running from Tyee Spit to the far end of the Rotary Seawalk, one can walk over 10kms (one way) able to view the water almost the entire way, and most of it provides access to the beachfront itself. There are few communities that provide this type of open access to its shoreline, as many communities have allowed private properties to build up along the shore, blocking access. You don't need a car, or to even leave the city, to experience the natural wonder and beauty that surrounds Campbell River. 

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

Thursday 4 May 2023

50 Years of ALR

 The Agricultural Land Reserve, or ALR, is a land classification that has been around in BC for decades, as it was created 50 years ago (in 1973). Most people know it has something to do with farmland, but what is the ALR exactly? Can you build in the ALR zone? What does it mean to own land in the ALR?

ALR land Haida Gwaii

According to the BC Government: The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) is a provincial land zone in which agriculture is recognized as the priority use. Farming is encouraged and non-agricultural uses are restricted. ALR land makes up 5% of BC's total land-base.

This does not mean you can't simply live on ALR property. There is no requirement to farm, however there are restrictions on what else you can do on the land. Keep in mind that most ALR land is in an agriculture-rich area, so even if you are not farming your land it is probable that properties around you are being used for agricultural purposes.

ALR land Quadra Island

Properties within the ALR should have it noted on their titles, although the Agriculture Land Commission (who oversees the ALR) warns that this is not definitive. Mapping is a help in determining what land is within the ALR as well, and the ALC website hosts a number of mapping applications.

ALR mapping

The Vancouver Island region has ALR land in a number of areas, including in what might be thought of as rural residential areas close to urban centres, so it is good to do your homework when it comes to owning property in this distinct land class. This is something we research on our listings and provide mapping information for if a property does sit within the ALR.

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