Hot property: Area Information: Sunshine Coast - Powell River

Sunshine Coast - Powell River


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What do Molly's Reach, Sunshine and George Gibson have in common? Paradise! 0ne hour and 15 minutes from city centre Vancouver you are in downtown Gibsons, 40 minutes of which you spend relaxing on the Ferry to Langdale, admiring spectacular scenery doing your crossword puzzle. Com-muting takes on a new meaning. The Sunshine Coast is really a narrow, populated strip of land barricaded from the rest of mainland B.C. by wild and rugged Coast Mountains. Residents claim more sunshine, less congestion and a great lifestyle. That's why they come. Lifestyle. And of course the weather. The Sunshine Coast boasts 14 more days of sunshine per year than even Victoria. When George Gibson, retired lieutenant of the Royal Navy, racing ahead of a storm in 1886 looked for shelter landed at Gibsons, he came, he saw and he conquered (oh, well he bought 160 acres). But he also had the honor of being the first Sunshiner. Over and over when you talk to residents, rat race escapees, Realtors, the most important thing about the Sunshine Coast is the people who choose to live there. They also claim they are smarter and live longer. Island living without living on an island. Bounded by the Georgia Strait on the south at the foot of Mount Elphinstone, Gibsons is reached via the ferry at Langdale, a few minutes drive away. Once on the Sunshine Coast side you follow Hwy. 10 1 for five km (three miles) through the settlements of Hopkins Landing and Granthams Landing to Gibsons.

Drive along the new Sunshine Coast Highway - subject of much controversy - and get to Gibsons in a few minutes. Critics charged that after $19 million and seven years, the project adds to Gibson's woes, but Steve Sawyer, ace realtor with Sussex Gibsons, says:" Naysayers be darned. This was a good addition. In any case it's over, let's get on with it." One result of the highway is that the old Marine Drive properties have increased in value as the new highway creates more isolation. More people have moved to the Gibsons area. People clearly are voting with their feet. From a couple of dozen people commuting to Vancouver in 1986, over 1,000 are making the trip daily now. Add to this the possibility of a direct Ferry nide (a new private firm, rumored Airline firm, is looking into creating a fast ferry from Langdale terminal to downtown seabus terminal) for only a 40 minute run, and the Sunshine Coast commute comes closer than the trek in from the Fraser Valley.

Sitting on an area of 963 acres, Gibson is famous for its harbour with breathtaking views of Howe Sound and indeed famous around the world because of the CBC TV show "The Beachcombers". (The show still runs in 45 countries as far away as Australia, Japan, Germany and South America). For George Gibsons, the place proved to be ideal, having won prizes at the Chicago World's Fair for his giant rhubarbs. He knew how to farm. He lived off the land, sailing by boat to Vancouver to sell his produce. Today, many sail to and from Vancouver - not to sell produce - but just to, well, sail.

Some 4,000 residents now live in this sports fisher's paradise; its beautiful beaches attracting the sailors, wind-surfers and scuba divers. Gibsons has two modern shopping malls, two shopping plazas, small merchants in Lower Gibsons, motels and many fine restaurants. There is a museum, three art galleries, antique store, Molly's Lane Market, pottery gallery and a variety of fine small shops.

Sunshine CoastKEATS ISLAND
Only 15 minutes from Gibsons, at the entrance to Howe Sound lies Keats Island. Served by a foot passenger ferry and water taxi service from Langdale it services mostly summer residents. At the eastern end of the island, EAST-BOURNE has a 100 foot (30 in) government float. This site offers great views of the mountains marching up Howe Sound including Mount Garibaldi, and Mount Artaban on Gambler Island.

Wild onions, dogtooth lilies and juniper thrive on the moss and grass-covered plateau. Cruise ships blast through the pass and the ferry to Nanalmo majestically steams by. Trails, leading to sandy beaches, pebbled coves strewn with driftwood and shells. Summer paradise.

Keats Island is the site of PLUMPER COVE MARINE PARK. I took my family there several times this summer , a great place. This 85 acre park on the northwest side of Keats is the closest marine park to Vancouver. Captain Richards, who commanded the Royal Navy Survey Ship, H.M.S. Plumper named it in 1857. The highest peak (elev. 650 feet) is Stony Hill with spectacular views of Gibsons, the Paisley Islands and the Strait of Georgia.

Served regularly by the Langdale Ferry Terminal (foot passengers only), Gambier is the largest island in Howe Sound. Gambler Island also has the smallest population of any of the GuIUStrait of Georgia islands. Only 65 permanent residents but as many as 600 during the summer months. A veritable boaters mecca sees as many as 400 vessels of all sizes moored at one time in one of three bays at the island's south end. Gambier's Centre Bay is the outstation base for three yacht club memberships. The West Vancouver Yacht Club is on the east shore; the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club is behind Alexandra Island; and the Burrard Yacht Club is located at the head of the bay-In a small cove at the farthest eastern part of the head of the bay, is access to a provincial recreational reserve to the north. Old logging trails wind through the centre of the island to bays on the far shore. On the east side of Gambler Island is HALKETT BAY MARINE PARK. There is a little store, but not much else.

Powell River is known as the Jewel of the Sunshine Coast and is well situated only a twenty minute drive from Lund, the gateway to world famous Desolation Sound. Powell River boasts far more services than both Gibsons and Seachelt combined and also has the newest hospital in BC. Most homes in Powell River enjoy an ocean view and the prices are significantly more affordable than the Lower Mainland.

Geographically, Powell River is very similar to White Rock as a hillside, seaside community. A progressive town council has planned to revamp the waterfront to include a trail that travels 2-3 km along the beach much like White Rock has. Construction includes a new building center, a new Canadian Tire and Safeway and a variety of other chain stores.

Powell River also has a large well built and maintained recreation complex that contains two ice rinks, an olympic pool as well as hot tubs, saunas and a theatre for the performing arts. With a very fine golf course and significantly less average rainfall than Vancouver, this is the most affordable waterfront around with great weather.

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