Spirit Bay

Tempt­ing us with a vivid pic­ture of a sim­pler, fish­ing village life­style, there is a lot more to get­ting it right than what lays on the sur­face.

Best Home (Canada) - - Best - Home -

Ev­ery once in a while, some­one gets it right. The right feel, the right look, and the right mo­ti­va­tion that builds the syn­ergy to make it hap­pen. Wel­come to Spirit Bay.

Wo­ven into the sea­side land­scape on the south coast of Van­cou­ver Is­land is a vi­brant, close-knit, sus­tain­able com­mu­nity— Spirit Bay. Work­ing in har­mony with the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment, ev­ery build­ing, road, and pathway pro­motes hu­man in­ter­ac­tion. And where the site pro­vides un­prece­dented ac­cess to the ocean, Spirit Bay is blessed with mag­nif­i­cent views of the Olympic Moun­tains and Sal­ish Sea. Ad­ja­cent to a 3,500-acre wilderness park, this new de­vel- op­ment of­fers both cus­tom village homes and ex­tra­or­di­nary wa­ter­front lots where one can build their dream home.

Due to the very limited amount of wa­ter­front on the west shore of Vic­to­ria, the area now oc­cu­pied by Spirit Bay was tra­di­tion­ally com­pletely in­ac­ces­si­ble—de­mar­cated as Fed­eral lands. Yet ris­ing de­mand from re­tirees and others seek­ing the life­style that this set­ting so am­ply pro­vides, has given those with vi­sion, com­pas­sion, and the will to tread sen­si­bly and lightly in all as­pects of devel­op­ment, an op­por­tu­nity to share with like-minded home­own­ers a place of joy, well­ness, and fel­low­ship.

Lo­cated 35 min­utes from Vic­to­ria, at 4901 East Sooke Road in Metchosin, BC, Spirit Bay’s al­lot­ted 100 acres will even­tu­ally host 400-500 homes and 20 busi­nesses over the next eight years with the first phase to be com­pleted this year. “We have built 22 homes in our first phase of 85 lots and have sold 60 thus far with many un­der con­struc­tion,” shares Ge­off Gos­son, di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing at Spirit Bay. “Our goal is not only to build a true village so­cial struc­ture, but to cre­ate the most sus­tain­able devel­op­ment any­where.”

De­signed to cap­ture the charm and al­lure of a his­toric fish­ing village, the homes are de­light­fully vivid in colour and built into the nat­u­ral land­scape, us­ing high-grade ma­te­ri­als. “Our phi­los­o­phy of con­struc­tion em­pha­sizes qual­ity and longevity with homes in­tended to last for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, much like Euro­pean homes,” at­tests Gos­son. “We use thought­ful, sus­tain­able ma­te­ri­als and source lo­cally where pos­si­ble. This way we build high qual­ity, not high quan­tity.”

The homes that don’t nec­es­sar­ily boast ex­pan­sive square footage, but the ma­te­ri­als are ar­guably bet­ter. “Smaller is im­por­tant, be­cause we de­sign the out­door com­mon ar­eas to en­cour­age home­own­ers to be out­side,” adds Gos­son. Also with an em­pha­sis on breath­able homes that are nat­u­rally ven­ti­lated, and while they ad­mire the en­ergy ef­fi­ciency of pas­sive homes, they pre­fer open win­dows for a health­ier ex­is­tence. “The en­ergy we use for heat­ing is 100% re­new­able. Plus, any en­ergy pay­ments we make go di­rectly to our part­ners, the Beecher Bay First Na­tion.”

The vi­sion was to build an au­then­tic sea­side com­mu­nity that would in­clude a town cen­tre with a so­cial struc­ture and a close con­nec­tion to the land that would re­spect the legacy of First Na­tion her­itage. Fea­tur­ing nar­rower streets that are sharply an­gled, it pro­motes slower traf­fic and pedestrian safety. Also a “dark sky” com­mu­nity, waist-high lights are down­ward fac­ing, af­ford­ing an amaz­ing view of the stars at night.

Fea­tur­ing a wide range of homes based on square footage and prox­im­ity to wa­ter, their Hamlet res­i­dences start at 500 square feet, and range in price from $386 to $500,000. These homes face onto a com­mons with wilderness at its cen­tre. Their Village homes are nes­tled into the hill­side ad­ja­cent to the ma­rina. Rang­ing from 1,200 to 2,700 square feet they are priced from $600 to $900,000.

With 19 de­signs avail­able for these two neigh­bour­hoods, one can select from an en­gag­ing as­sort­ment of life­style lay­outs. Sun­set Point de­liv­ers a wa­ter­front life­style with cus­tom homes fac­ing the Sal­ish Sea and un­ob­structed views of the Olympic Moun­tains be­yond. “These lots af­ford views of un­par­al­leled grandeur on Van­cou­ver Is­land, with off­shore is­lands and sweep­ing head­lands fram­ing snow capped peaks that cre­ate a sense of won­der,” cites Gos­son.

Only 35 min­utes to the cultural hub of Vic­to­ria, the village is twenty min­utes from Lang­ford with its big box stores, nightlife, and mul­ti­ple con­ve­niences. “Be­tween us and Lang­ford is Metchosin, which is a preservation area with a con­ser­va­tion covenant. This pas­toral re­gion acts as a buf­fer be­tween Spirit Bay with its rural farm­land and net­work of wilderness parks and pro­tected ar­eas,” shares Gos­son.

Spirit Bay is a part­ner­ship be­tween the Beecher Bay First Na­tion and the non-profit Trust for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment. The Scianew or ‘Salmon Peo­ple’, have been liv­ing and fish­ing here for thou­sands of years. Na­ture pro­vided them with rich abun­dance— pris­tine forests and seas teem­ing with fish. As one of their el­ders put it, “When the tide goes out, the ta­ble is set for a feast.”

Spirit Bay is a part­ner­ship in the truest sense. The Scianew share their land, re­sources, and nat­u­ral beauty and the new home­own­ers, pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for their peo­ple in the form of in­vest­ment, in­fra­struc­ture, and on­go­ing rev­enue. The band also re­ceives mu­nic­i­pal taxes and rev­enue from the geother­mal en­ergy util­ity that heats and cools all the homes.

“For many of our home­own­ers there ex­ists a nos­tal­gia—a yearn­ing to rekin­dle or re­cap­ture a feel­ing of com­mu­nity from their past,” Gos­son ad­mits. “The char­ac­ter and nat­u­ral features of the com­mu­nity tap into the hearts of many buy­ers with a feel­ing that they’ve come home. It’s a place where they can re­lax—life moves at a slower pace when con­nected to na­ture.” This sum­mer Spirit Bay is break­ing ground on the village cen­tre, which will even­tu­ally host a gro­cery store, café, med­i­cal cen­tre, den­tal office, and gas sta­tion. Ad­di­tional ameni­ties will in­clude a home­own­ers’ club house, sports field, and tennis courts for res­i­dents to en­joy. “The ma­rina, of course, is a fea­ture amenity and will of­fer preferred rates for res­i­dents,” says Gos­son.

“There is a meet­ing of warm and cold wa­ter out­side the har­bor, which cre­ates a ro­bust fish­ing en­vi­ron­ment with enor­mous salmon runs and ex­cel­lent crab­bing,” he adds, also not­ing that whales, sea lions, seals, and ot­ters are of­ten spot­ted in the bay that per­mits recre­ational and tra­di­tional fish­ing but no commercial fish­ing.

“Peo­ple of­ten com­ment that they feel like they are liv­ing in a pro­vin­cial park, look­ing across the har­bor at Beecher Bay First Na­tion lands,” notes Gos­son. “Many are at­tracted to our First Na­tions re­la­tion­ship. The Scianew are very proud of their her­itage and the in­flux of rev­enue that this devel­op­ment af­fords is pro­vid­ing a sense of hope. Some are go­ing back to school while others are open­ing new busi­nesses—there is a re­newed sense of iden­tity and we are proud to be part it.”

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