Sunshine Coast’s charm irresistible
Scenic towns offer great getaway investments for Albertans
Along B.C.’s scenic Strait of Georgia, a stretch of communities offers the mild climate, recreation opportunities and culture that many look for when buying a vacation home.
Many Albertans are flocking to the Sunshine Coast for their getaway. The Sunshine Coast includes the towns of Gibsons, Sechelt and Powell River, along with a number of smaller centres strung like pearls along 86 kilometres of verdant coastline. Other communities in this region include Pender Harbour, Roberts Creek and Lund.
“What people find here as far as lifestyle is just the ability to relax, drop their shoulders and breathe,” says Russ Qureshi, a realtor with Prudential Sussex Realty on the Sunshine Coast. He says there’s been a demand from Alberta buyers for property in and around these communities.
“The story I hear from the Albertans coming out for the experience you get out here, your dollar goes a lot further,” says Qureshi. “There’s a lot available here.”
That translates to everything from dazzling waterfront homes for under $1.5 million to inland options for much less.
Qureshi says for a rural experience “but never too far from amenities you can go as low as $300,000 to $350,000 and get something that’s more than worth coming out from Calgary or Edmonton for,”
The area offers a bit of everything. It’s got all the benefits of laid-back coastal life but big city living is only a quick ferry ride away in Vancouver.
“The air is clean and fresh and there’s tons of recreation,” says Qureshi. “It’s one of those areas in Canada that never gets too cold or too hot. There’s always something of interest that allows people to fill their days.”
For many residents and visitors, time on the Sunshine Coast is spent on the water.
“It’s perfect for standup paddle boarding, sail boating and you see the wind surfers out regularly in certain areas,” says Celia Robben, president of Sunshine Coast Tourism. The region boasts more than 30 marinas.
“Lots of people own boats and lots of people visit here taking their two-week boating holiday up to Desolation Sound,” she adds.
Desolation Sound is the largest marine park in B.C. and located in the upper-half of the Sunshine Coast. But for a quicker pace, try your hand at riding the water at Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park, says Robben.
“That’s the fastest tidal rapid in North America — guys go out and surf or can kayak the rapids,” Robben adds. “They get white water rafting in the ocean because of the way the rapids work. It’s a really narrow inlet and they can get up to 16-knot waves.”
And of course, there’s ample opportunity for anglers.
“People come over to fish. You can go out in a charter boat that will take you out and supply all your gear or many people take their own boat out,” says Robben.
Fishing along the coast is known to produce trout, cod, various shellfish and of course salmon.
“Definitely home to lots of salmon,” Robben notes. “And there are salmon runs throughout most of the year. There are two salmon hatcheries so you can learn about the entire life cycle of salmon and how important they are to the coast.”
With great fishing opportunities comes a mouth-watering opportunity for seafood fans. Out of the water and on the grill.
“You literally walk down to the docks and can buy fresh seafood in any of the communities,” says Robben.
And let’s not forget land lovers. With scenic golf courses, hiking trails and the region’s burgeoning arts scene, the coast reaches many interests.
“Everything is blooming right now,” noted Robben, during a recent interview. “Whether you’re hiking, strolling along the beaches or mountain biking, it’s the time to be outside.”
The Sunshine Coast Trail, created in 1992, stretches 182 kilometres.
“It’s Canada’s longest hut-tohut hiking trail,” adds Robben.
Albertans with a second home on the coast are often interested in the abundance of wildlife in the area. Amateur photographers have plenty to point their lens at, both on land and in the water.
“Especially up in Powell River and Pender Harbour, you can see sea lions,” says Robben. Seals are also common sightings in the area, she adds. “And eagles. Every day, you can see an eagle.”
Throughout the year, communities across the coast host festivals devoted to everything from jazz and the written arts to sandcastle competitions. Artists feel right at home on the coast. In fact, the Sunshine Coast is home to more artists and crafters per capita than any region in Canada.
“Our rugged mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean coastline, the deep blue waters of the fjords, the richness of the rainforest, and the closeness of the whales, eagles and bears are deeply inspiring. Our relaxed, rural ‘live-and-let-live’ lifestyle attracts artists from around the world to live and work on the Sunshine Coast,” says Robben.
Kayaking is one of many popular activities for residents and visitors on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast. The laid-back life is only a quick ferry ride away in Vancouver
Overlooking the harbour in Gibsons, B.C. along the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.
Roberts Creek, B.C. at low tide is perfect for exploring tidal pools.
Much of the lure of the Sunshine Coast is the water. Powell River, above, is one of the favourite spots to fish for trout, cod and salmon.