Home & Land – April 2015 Issue

Living Your Dream One Putt At A Time

Ardent golf lovers, players and spectators alike, know it’s more than a game – it’s a lifestyle; one could even say a way of being. With their dramatic vistas, venerable wildlife and tranquil surroundings, the courses of Vancouver Island capture all that we’ve come to associate with and love about the game. Now, imagine waking up to that every day.

Bucolic green knolls and a magnificent view of the impressive Comox Glacier distinguish the Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community, just 30 km southwest of Courtenay. With its charming motto, “Come for a tee time, stay for a lifetime,” residential living at Crown Isle is geared towards those at all stages of life. It’s clear they’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that housing options are plentiful. Lots and single-family homes, as well as condos, reflect their keen desire to build a diverse community. Current subdivisions include Crown Isle Drive, with lots starting at $195,900 and Hampton Gate Subdivision, with lots starting at $180,000.

An hour’s drive south along the coast from Crown Isle and one arrives at the Nanoose Peninsula. Home of the impressive Fairwinds Golf Club, it is a unique combination of a golf, marina and oceanfront community.

With its backdrop of striking mountains and swaths of dense coastal-forested areas, Fairwinds has clearly been designed to make the most of its surroundings. Activities on offer include kayaking, hiking, biking and sailing, with the Schooner Cove Yacht Club close by. Many people have chosen to build custom homes with sweeping ocean views here, while others decide on new or resale homes. Bonnington Ridge offers sites starting at $229,000, while Rockcliffe Park has a collection of luxury patio homes on offer.

Continuing south from Crown Isle, and just a 45-minute drive north of Victoria, is Arbutus Ridge. Located in the delightful seaside community of Cobble Hill in the Cowichan Valley, Arbutus Ridge exudes a rustic country setting while still close to several regional wineries. Describing itself as a “seaside community for active adults,” Arbutus Ridge fully embraces the west coast lifestyle, painting an active portrait of 50-plus living.

While Arbutus Ridge Golf Club is consistently rated top among golf courses in BC, residents also relish in unobstructed views of the Salish Sea, and the benefits of Canada’s only Maritime Mediterranean climactic zone. Over 600 homes ranging from 1,000 to 6,500 square feet provide numerous options for homeowners with ocean, valley, or golf course views.

It seems fitting that Bear Mountain is saved for last. Located in Victoria, the Bear Mountain Resort Valley Course was designed by Jack Nicklaus, a man widely recognized as the greatest professional golfer of all time. Now famous for his characteristic rock and water landscapes, the course is accepted as the heart of this carefully planned community.

Both residential and vacation real estate can be found here, as well as luxury amenities such as the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa, and the Mountainside Athletic Club. Turnberry is the latest community to spring up in the area, offering unparalleled views of the golf course and surrounding woodlands.

Infamous golf course designer Pete Dye once famously remarked, “The ardent golfer would play Mount Everest if somebody would put a flagstick on top.” Fortunately for those in western BC, one need not travel quite that far.

Island Living
Tee Time’s A Charm

Vancouver Island’s golf communities are a reflection of the unique possibilities that exist here; delighting newcomers and keeping seasoned islanders planted firmly in place year after year. Offering both amenities and a quality of life that extends far beyond tee time, it’s not only veteran players who are now choosing to call these neighborhoods home. With a combination of well-maintained, lush surroundings and first-class creature comforts, homeowners here get the best of both worlds.

A perfect example of this recipe for success is Crown Isle. Providing a welcome alternative to more classic retirement communities, it is now regarded as one of the most diverse community developments in the entire country. Real estate opportunities range from fractional ownership in vacation villas to luxury homes, with a wealth of options in between. It’s no wonder then that during 2014, more homes and lots sold here than in any other year.

With Mount Washington Alpine Resort just 25 minutes away, residents have unprecedented access to their favourite winter sports alongside a golf course at home that offers playability and practice facilities for all levels. Adding to the ease of lifestyle, Crown Isle offers a home base with access to all of one’s daily needs; grocery stores, cafés, banking options, a bevy of sports clubs and the new Comox Valley Regional Hospital are all within a few blocks.

In keeping with the mantle of awards Vancouver Island’s been collecting recently, BCLiving.ca readers voted Fairwinds Golf Club the Best Golf Course on Vancouver Island in 2013.  The community is also home to award-winning estates, nestled amongst a variety of oceanfront living options and cozy cottages for snowbirds.

New developments at Fairwinds include a seaside village, as well as the deliriously beautiful Rockcliffe Park, now in its final stages of homebuilding. Quintessentially “West Coast,” Rockcliffe is a lovely blend of natural materials that harken back to the area’s wild beauty, while still maintaining a sophisticated presence. Paddle your way around pristine waters before retiring to a cozy fireplace, or while away the night over dinner with friends in their elegant restaurant.

After winding south through numerous regional wineries, we happen upon Arbutus Ridge Seaside Golf Community. Spanning over 150 acres on the protected east side of Vancouver Island, it’s now home to one of Canada’s largest 50-plus communities with more than 1000 residents. Mill Bay, the closest village, offers a full-service year round marina; and for anyone with the itch to get-up and go, the island’s two largest cities (Victoria and Nanaimo) are a short drive away.

Styles of homes at Arbutus Ridge range from patio homes to bungalows, duplexes and two-story homes. Priced from $300,000, dimensions include anything from 1100 square feet to homes more than three times that size. With the dramatic ocean beaches of the Pacific Rim a stone’s throw away, it must be one of the few places in the world residents can go crabbing in the a.m., only to be on the tennis court or pool in the p.m.

Located in the bluffs of Mount Finlayson, with stunning views of the capital city’s harbour, Bear Mountain hardly needs an introduction. Its latest development, Turnberry, winds itself through the spectacular Mountain Course with premium lots located along the 9th fairway. Starting at $250,000, home ownership comes with the perk of unlimited play on both Nicklaus Design courses.

Building on the excitement of Turnberry, developer Ecoasis is set to move ahead with commercial and retail development with an eye on enticing economic growth and development that facilitates sustainability to the resort community. By partnering with Cycling Canada, they have elected Bear Mountain as the Official High Performance Training Centre of the Canadian National Mountain Bike Team; a move they hope will result in an increased presence on the Olympic podium.

With such an awesome combination of the natural world with lifestyle amenities others can only dream of, it’s easy to see why these communities have gained so much attention on and off the course.