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Posts tagged ‘Port Renfrew’

New Sombrio Bridge is Now Open – Watch Its Construction [Video]

Image Courtesy of Ministry of Transport

In 2009 the Provincial Ministry of Transport announced an improvement project on Highway 14 between Jordan River and Port Renfrew. Since then, there has been about 22 km of new roads, bridges, and other improvements on the Pacific Marine Circle Route. The Route, which allows motorists to travel between Sooke, Port Renfrew, Lake Cowichan, Duncan, and Victoria in either direction, is a major driver of tourism and local economic growth. It is one of the reasons Port Renfrew is quickly developing as a getaway destination similar to other West Coast ports like Tofino and Ucluelet. Read more

Wild Coast Cottages Port Renfrew is Nearly 70% SOLD OUT!

Wild Coast Cottages, Port Renfrew, BC

The onset of our rainy and windy fall weather has not deterred excited buyers from making the trip out to Wild Coast Cottages in Port Renfrew. This intriguing development is truly unique on southern Vancouver Island and offers 40 ‘micro-cottages’ on their own lots in a waterfront recreational property at affordable prices. I had an update from the developer last week and there are now 25 firm sales and 3 conditional out of the total of 40 cottages!

Amazing Views from the Property

There are still some great lots available, including my listing of Lot 16, one of the largest and most private lots in the development.

If you’d like more information, please contact me for a quick response! Please see below for an updated price list:

Wild Coast Cottages Price List Nov 1 2010

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Wild Coast Cottages Port Renfrew, West of Sooke

Wild Coast Cottages, Port Renfrew

Today, instead of our usual Sooke REALTOR® tour where we go around to the new listings in Sooke, we had a bus take us out to Port Renfrew for a tour of Three Point Properties‘ new Wild Coast Cottages development. The roughly one hour drive along Highway 14 is entirely different when you’re not driving – lots more time to look around at the absolutely stunning scenery around you: creeks, waterfalls, tall trees, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Olympic Mountains in the background. We even saw three black bears along the roadside.

Arriving on site we found a hub of activity – excavators, builders, trucks, and other workers getting the site ready. Title registration for the first purchasers should be coming in the middle of August. There are already two cottages at the site, one of each floor plan that they’re offering at the moment.

Wild Coast Cottages is more that your average cottage country development. With the usually high cost of recreational property, Three Point is trying to do something different – to keep these architecturally designed west-coast style cottages within reach of the average buyer. To do this has taken innovation for sure. Port Renfrew is pretty remote, and only has a population of about 200 residents. There are no hardware stores, building supply outfits, or large construction companies. So, instead of building the cottages on site, they are framed, built and completely finished, right down to the designer paint colours, 70 kilometres away in Sooke, and trucked up to Renfrew on a flatbed. This enables the builder to save on travel costs, and allows some economies of scale to be realized by “mass-producing” these cottages all in one place.

A breezeway connects the bedroom (pictured) with the living space

The current phase has 24 lots out of the 40 planned, and Three Point has more property in the area that they plan to develop similarly. The property is waterfront, and the cottage owners will have access to a boardwalk and a marina.

The cottages are small – around 400 sq ft, one bedroom and one bathroom. Furnished properly, they will easily sleep a family or group of 4. The two designs they had on site were lovely. One features a breezeway type covered deck joining the living space and the sleeping space and bathroom, and the other was a more traditional layout with everything together and a large deck out front. Finishing is impressive with natural-stained cedar, hardi-board type siding, pitched 50-year metal roofs, and high-end long-lasting composite decking material. These solid units are built to last, and built to withstand the bumpy ride from Sooke to Port Renfrew! The builder boasted that not even a crack in the finished drywall was evident after the transport of the finished cottage to the site.

Small, but ample living spaces define the Wild Coast Cottages

Pull out couch, full kitchen and living/dining space

Wild Coast Cottages sits on gorgeous high-bank waterfront

Overall, I was impressed. I was curious about this project since I first heard about it. Starting at $130,000 and ranging to $160,000 I think the price point is right on. There’s no way you could have a cottage built on a lot for that price, and certainly not a fully serviced (underground wiring, city water, common sewage disposal) lot on a waterfront development.

I won’t be surprised when Three Point sells this phase out.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Upcoming Music Festivals In Sooke and Port Renfrew

Clover Point Drifters

The Clover Point Drifters will perform at the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival

Sooke River Bluegrass Festival and Tall Tree Music Festival

Back once again, the ever popular Sooke River Bluegrass festival goes this coming weekend, June 18-20 for three full days of music, camping, and hopefully, sunshine.

Held every 3rd weekend in June, the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival is well known for being a family-friendly affair, and the setting couldn’t be better – at the Sooke River Campground, along the banks of the river. As music festivals go, it’s tremendously affordable, with a weekend pass going for only $35, and single day passes also available. There is on-site camping for both tents and RVs, and a huge lineup of players, including The Spinney Brothers and Four Chords of Wood.

With the summer weather having finally arrived, I can’t think of a better way to take in some great music!

Tall Tree Music Festival

Tall Tree Music Festival

New (as far as I know) this year is the Tall Tree Music Festival on June 25 and 26th, being held on the edge of the earth in beautiful and rustic Port Renfrew, about an hour’s drive west along the highway from Sooke.

A 2 day festival featuring bands such as Aidan Knight, Current Swell and, uh, Donkey Dong (yeah, you probably don’t want to Google that), you’ll be listening and camping on the site of the old Rec Retreat on Baird Road just past the general store in Port Renfrew. This site is soon to become Wild Coast Cottages (post on this to come soon). The festival is being held in support of “Avatar Grove,” the stand of old-growth trees recently “discovered” in the area. A group called Ancient Forest Alliance wants to protect this special place for all to enjoy for posterity.

Anything happening in Renfrew is a great idea in my opinion. The tiny village of about 200 is well known for great fishing, and as a jumping off point to hike the West Coast Trail or the Juan De Fuca Trail. I predict that it will grow in popularity in the coming years, much like Tofino has.

If you go:

  • NO DRINKING DRIVING – and there will be roadblocks (pretty easy when there’s only one road).
  • Uneven ground & coastal weather – bring good footwear & clothes
  • If you plan to camp on site you must buy a camping pass separately
  • There is no gas in Renfrew so GAS UP IN SOOKE  (or Lake Cowichan if you’re coming that way)!
  • No cash available on site – BRING CASH
  • No vehicles on site – caravans can stay in the parking lot
  • Carpool – let’s save the planet & avoid congestion. Free parking for carpools of 3 or more.
  • 19+ event – there will be a Salt Spring Ales beer garden
  • No campfires, no pets, no bad attitudes.

Have an event in the Sooke Region this summer? Send me the details and I’ll post about it here!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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BC Election: Sooke All Candidates Meeting – May 4th, 2009

bc-flag

I received an e-mail from BC Liberal candidate Jody Twa‘s campaign office informing me of an all candidate’s meeting here in Sooke. The meeting will take place at Edward Milne Community School on Monday, May 4th, at 7:00pm.

The panel will consist of Jody Twa of the BC Liberals, John Horgan (incumbent) of the BC NDP, and James Powell of the Green Party of BC. The moderator will be local Sooke lawyer Peter Faulkner.

Jody Twa, James Powell, and John Horgan

Jody Twa, James Powell, and John Horgan

I’d encourage all Sooke residents to attend and hear what the candidates have in mind for our region. The Juan de Fuca riding is very diverse, stretching from the urban centres of Langford and Colwood all the way out to the sparsely populated areas of Port Renfrew and Jordan River (map). The needs of our residents are as diverse as their communities, and you should be asking the candidates what their plans and vision are locally if they are lucky enough to be elected, instead of giving too much thought to the spectacle that is the leaders’ campaign provincially.

In my view, the party vs party, leader vs leader portion of the campaign has thus far been an unmitigated disaster. It’s been a boring, childish, name-calling affair, with no real issues. Both major parties seem more content to sling mud and dig up dirt on each other’s candidates on Facebook and the Provincial Court Registry than talk about real issues. It’s painful and it doesn’t do us, the electorate, any good.

Hopefully, voters will get involved at the local level and give their candidates some issues to take to Victoria. This is the way our system is supposed to work – regional representatives actually representing their constituents instead of spewing party gibberish.

How do Juan De Fuca constituents feel about the campaign? Care to share who you’ll be supporting? Both Langford and Sooke mayors have endorsed Jody Twa – do you agree?

What about BC-STV? Do you think this is a solution to our voting system’s flaws?

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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A Day Trip To Port Renfrew

Last Saturday, we took a day trip with another couple up to Port Renfrew. About a 45 minute drive from Sooke, Port Renfrew is a beautiful little spot, and is basically the “last stop” on the highway along this part of the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Well known for halibut and salmon fishing, as well as the southern terminus of the West Coast Trail, Port Renfrew is the West coast in the raw. Wild, rough, and breathtakingly beautiful (knew a girl like that once… 😉 )

Our first stop was Botany Bay and Botanical Beach. The tide was dropping, so it was a good time for a hike through the rainforest (it was sunny) to the shoreline. Upon arriving at the rugged, windswept coastline, we were treated to a show by three or four grey whales, which were basking in the water no more than ten metres offshore! I chose the wrong lens to bring along – my wide angle – which makes for some great scenic shots, but not very good shots of the whales. We walked along the coastline of the bay, taking in the warm Fall weather and watching the waves crash against the shore. I snapped a few pictures, and narrowly avoided being soaked by a wave or two.

Jagged Coastline around Botany Bay

Jagged Coastline around Botany Bay

Ultra-green seaweed in the tidepools

Ultra-green seaweed in the tidepools

I love rocks, and the geology of Port Renfrew’s beaches is amazing. Lots of igneous (volcanic) rock around the shoreline, combined with sedimentary rock scattered about. The tidepools at Botanical Beach and Botany Bay are famous for having lots of life in them. Unlike many tidepools, which are only refreshed when the tide comes in, the tidepools here are flushed regularly by the strong waves and currents, even when the tide is out in some cases. This keeps the water fresh and their inhabitants alive.

Life in the tidepools

Life in the tidepools

Amazing rock formations

Amazing rock formations

Tidepools and rock formations

Tidepools and rock formations

After leaving the beaches and the park, we took the new road from Port Renfrew to Lake Cowichan. The last time I drove this road, it was nearly all gravel and was quite rough on my car. It’s nearly all paved now, and it was a quick 25-30 minute drive to Cowichan from Renfrew. Along the way we stopped to marvel at the Harris Creek Spruce, a giant old-growth spruce tree that is simply amazing. It’s apparently one of the largest trees on the Island.

You cant tell how big it is from this picture!

You can't tell how big it is from this picture!

Our day completed with an awesome dinner and a beer in Duncan, at Craig Street Brew Pub. If there are any entrepreneurs in Sooke reading, we need a brew pub!

A quick drive down the Malahat and back to Sooke completed our circle tour. I highly reccomend you try out the new road. I think the next time I go camping up around Lake Cowichan, I’ll take the road from Renfrew. It’s got to be just as quick if not faster, and there would be less traffic.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Sooke Fishing Adventures – SookeFishing.ca – Is Now Online

I was contacted yesterday by the operator of SookeFishing.ca, a new Sooke fishing site which promises to be a one-stop resource for Sooke fishing charters, reports, and other fishing news in the Sooke to Port Renfrew areas.

Long known to fishermen both local and from abroad, the fishing in Sooke is extremely good, with anglers landing large salmon and halibut throughout the season.

323 Pounds of Fish n Chips

323 Pounds of Fish n Chips, Caught Sept 8, 2008

SookeFishing.ca contains links to reputable charter operations and includes a regularly updated Sooke fishing report, to brag about what kinds of luck local charters are having. The photo to the right is a giant, 323 pound halibut, landed Sept 8, 2008.

If you’re a local charter operator looking for a reliable, cost-effective way to reel in new business, SookeFishing.ca has the knowledge and facilities to do so. They offer a full range of advertising packages for charter operators or other businesses here in Sooke.

Check out SookeFishing.ca, it’s a great idea to bring one of our favourite pastimes in Sooke to a worldwide audience and to help our local economy.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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