‘Quaint village’ near river
Asales brochure tags Waterfront at Bedford Channel with the tall-order description of “stunning” — and in this case, it’s tough to argue.
Bedford Channel is an idyllic meandering stem of the Fraser River, adjacent to the charming village of Fort Langley.
ParkLane’s Bedford Channel is a microcosm community, minutes from all the amenities, yet seemingly kilometres from anywhere.
The master-planned community may be relatively new — its sales office opened in 2006 — but “it has that quaint village feel,” says ParkLane marketing manager Yosh Kasahara.
“Our goal was to include a variety of different architectural styles and landscaping designs to give the effect of a community that has built up over time,” he says.
This 31-hectare parcel of waterfront land is one of the most scenic in the province and the only development bordered by a golf course, a river and an urban centre in the Fraser Valley.
Bedford Channel is the first new-home development in Fort Langley in decades, and the largest ever. Almost half the site is dedicated to parkland and green space, with public trails and walkways throughout.
It is a wise builder that secures such a site and then delivers on the vision.
It is a confident builder that targets the buyer — aged 45 and older — who has been around the block a few times.
Attention to detail is paramount to win over downsizes and emptynesters.
ParkLane has done it here with a host of features and amenities that include a secure garage with a separate storage/workshop area, clubhouse, gym, community centre and waterfront trail.
“It is the ideal alternative to the single-family home for those looking to downsize and locate close to shops, services and amenities,” says Kasahara.
“We’re finding a lot of the buyers are from the Langley community. Waterfront offers the lifestyle they’re looking for.”
With expansive windows and generous balconies, the threelevel town houses at Waterfront take full advantage of the view along the channel and across to McMillan Island and Brae Island Regional Park — spaces that will ensure that the view will never change.
Tastefully appointed by i3 Design, the remaining town houses range in size from a 1,680-squarefoot, two-bedroom unit to a 2,100-square-foot home with three bedrooms and a den.
Of the 70 apartment units, 10 were still available when Westcoast Homes visited.
On the unseasonably sunny late fall day of our visit, the word tranquil came to mind.
Fort Langley is a popular tourist town, and Brae Island Regional Park has both a campground and The Paddling Centre, which rents canoes, kayaks and bicycles.
The channel also hosts major rowing competitions.
“Bedford Channel has the potential to be one of the best courses in Canada,” says Mike Pearce, the head coach of the University of B.C. rowing team. “They will come to this site. It is a magnet.”
With its two-kilometre, Olympic-length stretch of straight channel, the channel is wide enough to accommodate a minimum of four lanes, which Pearce says offer perfect racing conditions.
ParkLane partnered with the District of Langley to build the new Fort Langley Paddling and Rowing Centre on Bedford Channel, near the site of the old Interfor cedar mill, pieces of which have been preserved throughout the community.
The beams in the Waterfront lobby were salvaged from the mill and give a nod to the history that is so much a part of Fort Langley.
Fort Langley is a step back in time. It is a feisty village of proud residents that embraces history, encourages the arts and invites visitors to explore its funky shops and treasure-filled galleries.
When we wandered into a Gasoline Alley gallery in the village, we were fortunate to meet one of the village’s human treasures.
Bays Blackhall is the owner of Bellerophon’s Antiques and Equestrian Art and surely one of Fort Langley’s most passionate and knowledgeable advocates.
A bio in this year’s Burns Bog Awards program — Blackhall was recognized for her community leadership — describes her as “a dynamic 78-year-old woman and an inspiration to anyone and everyone who shares a passion for nature, arts and culture.”
Since 1979, Blackwell has worked with the Langley Heritage Society members to see historical and natural sites preserved.
In 1982, the GVRD proposed building a 256-hectare garbage dump on Fort Langley’s cranberry bog to handle Vancouver’s garbage. She succeeded in saving this delicate environmental and heritage site from destruction.
For 25 years, she has run the Fort Festival, promoting local talent and bringing world-class artists to the community.
Blackwell is a life member of the Langley Community Music School, and both a fundraiser and volunteer. In her gallery, she promotes local and international artists.
One of her most rewarding accomplishments was the installation of Lois Hannah’s life-size bronze statue of James Douglas, B.C.’s first governor, outside the Fort Langley National Historic Site.
Blackwell feels that “music, art and natural history link the peoples of the world.”
She also organizes an annual Fort Langley celebration called Douglas Days, which she says is presented “so that working people and families may join in the fun and enjoy a free day in the fort.”
River views near the project.
Model of the Parklane Homes Waterfront project in Fort Langley.