Project cap­tures is­land beauty

Lux­u­ri­ous Van­cou­ver Is­land de­vel­op­ment in whale-watch­ing par­adise of Tofino

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - AN­DREA COX

In the midst of blus­tery winds and win­ter snow, Al­ber­tans are revving up their affin­ity for salt-wa­ter shores and lush, green, life-filled scenery.

A de­vel­op­ment in the worl­drenowned surf­ing and whale­watch­ing par­adise of Tofino on Van­cou­ver Is­land is at­tract­ing at­ten­tion.

With a nod to West Coast beach ar­chi­tec­ture and mixe­duse den­si­fi­ca­tion, The Shore is ris­ing like the prover­bial phoenix from the site of an old fish pack­ing plant on the shores of Clay­oquot Sound along the town’s main street.

The project is the brain­child of Cal­gary ar­chi­tects Walker McKin­ley and Mark Burkart in con­junc­tion with MOSS De­vel­op­ments.

It is a four-storey, con­crete­and-steel de­vel­op­ment con­sist­ing of a col­lec­tion of 24 homes. It of­fers a mix of two-storey pent­house apart­ments and one-storey, gar­den-style homes carved into a sloped shore­line.

The project is set amid the eclec­ti­cism of cof­fee shops and lively restau­rants in the town’s core.

Rang­ing from about 800 to 2,100 square feet, the suites pro­vide ocean views and all the ne­ces­si­ties of con­tem­po­rary liv­ing, in­clud­ing a yoga/ex­er­cise space, kayak stor­age and out­door shower.

Af­ter search­ing for sev­eral years, the de­vel­op­ment team couldn’t ini­tially find any­thing that fit its man­date. The goal was to cre­ate a project with a mixed-use el­e­ment that cre­ated more en­ergy in the down­town core and that ben­e­fited the com­mu­nity.

“In­stead of go­ing to the beaches and tak­ing vir­gin for­est away, we took the in­dus­trial site and den­si­fied in the town,” says Burkart.

The ge­n­e­sis of The Shore evolved from a shared love of Van­cou­ver Is­land, which grew out of ex­pe­ri­ences such as liv­ing on the is­land and hav­ing a deep-seated affin­ity for its beauty.

When the site came on the mar­ket in 2007, they snapped it up.

“The plant had been un­used and left to rust for a num­ber of years and it was an eye­sore in the town,” re­calls Burkart, who grew up on the is­land.

The first step in­volved clean­ing up the site.

“We took the ex­ist­ing build­ings apart and do­nated the sheet metal to build homes in Gu­atemala,” says Burkart.

Cal­gary firm McKin­ley Burkart drew up the plans, com­ing up with a de­sign that uses sheaths of glass, along with wood and stone. Ev­ery unit has ocean views and large decks.

A green roof blan­keted in lo­cal grasses and wild­flow­ers tops the con­crete struc­ture.

“I’d call the de­sign a mod­ern­beach style of ar­chi­tec­ture,” says Burkart.

C MVisit our web­site un­der the head­ing, ‘Rec Prop­er­ties,’ for more pho­tos and sto­ries. Mark Burkart and his fam­ily, and Walker McKin­ley and his fam­ily. Back­ground: Burkart and McKin­ley are part of the de­vel­op­ment and ar­chi­tec­tural team be­hind The Shore. They fell in love with the project and its lo­ca­tion. Both have an affin­ity for Van­cou­ver Is­land — Mark grew up in Vic­to­ria. The Burkarts have two chil­dren, ages 11 and 15, who adore Tofino and are avid surfers.

He loved the de­vel­op­ment so much, he pur­chased one of the pent­house units with busi­ness part­ner McKin­ley.

“Our fam­i­lies share it and my kids just adore it,” says Burkart.

“They would rather come here than any­where else in the world.”

Burkart and his fam­ily re­cently spent Christ­mas in Tofino.

“We re­ally love to surf and win­ter is the best time — it’s moist and green and beau­ti­ful,” says Burkart, whose chil­dren are ages 11 and 15.

His two-storey, two-bed­room pent­house fea­tures more than 2,000 square feet of liv­ing space. The unit con­sists of the third and fourth lev­els of the build­ing, with the bed­room spa­ces en­com­pass­ing the main floor and the liv­ing spa­ces the up­per storey.

“The up­per area is all open, like a big loft, and gets light from three sides,” says McKin­ley.

Burkart calls the vibe of the in­te­rior de­sign and fur­nish­ings “surfer chic” — think mod­ern, beachy, nat­u­ral and ele­men­tal.

The home is filled with First Na­tions art and sculp­tures, and fur­nish­ings are hand-crafted by lo­cal ar­ti­sans. In the din­ing room, a beau­ti­ful har­vest ta­ble carved from a slab of ma­hogany takes cen­tre stage.

Above the ta­ble is a photo of a horse from Roberto Detesco’s col­lec­tion, Sable Is­land Wild Horses.

Per­haps the most stun­ning as­pect of the home is the 800-square-foot deck that over­looks the ocean.

“You can look across at the lit­tle is­lands in the sound; it’s re­ally beau­ti­ful,” says Burkart. “We watch the float planes and the or­cas come in along the pas­sage in front of us.”

Burkart says he prefers be­ing in the town to on the beach.

“There is al­ways that ques­tion of which is bet­ter. If you are stay­ing on the beach, you tend to drive into town sev­eral times a day — to get cof­fee, gro­ceries or have din­ner. But we just wan­der out our door, grab a cof­fee, visit the art gal­leries; it’s per­fect.”

In keep­ing with the mixed-use theme, The Shore in­cor­po­rates sev­eral busi­nesses at ground level, from a whale watch­ing com­pany to restau­rants and cloth­ing stores.

On-site boat slips along the res­i­dent’s dock and pier and boat stor­age are avail­able to own­ers at The Shore.

Other ameni­ties in­clude un­der­ground park­ing, kayak stor­age and out­door show­ers for re­mov­ing the salt and sand af­ter a day spent at the beach or en­joy­ing wa­ter ac­tiv­i­ties.

The project has an in­ter­na­tional flair, with buy­ers from all over the world — ev­ery­where from Dubai and Texas to Alaska, in ad­di­tion to sev­eral buy­ers from Cal­gary.

“It’s easy to get here,” says Burkart.

“We’ve got it down to a fine art. If we time it cor­rectly, we can drive here from Cal­gary in a day.”


For the Cal­gary Her­ald

The Shore — a de­vel­op­ment on the main street of Tofino, B.C., on Van­cou­ver Is­land — has ocean views from ev­ery unit and is close to restau­rants and surf shops.

Pho­tos: The Shore

The Shore pro­vides views of the ocean through large win­dows, along with sub­stan­tial decks for each unit.

The ocean view from the well-lit liv­ing area on the up­per level.

The front foyer in­cludes a place to store footwear.

A bed­room within a unit.

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