If you live in Victoria, you’ve most likely driven through Sidney on your way to or from the ferry and airport, or taken a stroll down Beacon Avenue on a nice day. But how much do you really know about this beautiful town ‘by the sea’ and everything that Sidney real estate has to offer?
Sidney is located on the Eastern coast of the Saanich Peninsula and offers everything a small coastal town could imagine! This area has been inhabited for thousands of years and with breathtaking ocean and mountain views, it’s no wonder why so many people still flock here to take in sites like the Seaside Walkway. For locals however, Sidney is also conveniently located minutes from both the Victoria International Airport and the BC Ferries Swartz Bay terminal, which makes getting stuck in traffic while heading out of town a thing of the past. For those looking to head to the USA but dreading the long lines at the Peace Arch border crossing – good news! Sidney is also home to the Sidney/Anacortes, WA Ferry! As a REALTOR® in Victoria B.C., I love working in locations like this – the location sells itself!
If you are planning on retiring in B.C., there really is no need to look any further than the Sidney real estate market. This town attracts retirees from all across B.C. and Canada, and as such, has built a great town perfectly suited to an active retiree community – no matter what your interests are!
Outdoors: As a REALTOR® in Victoria B.C. I get to tout our spectacular natural environment a lot, and in the Sidney real estate market that is just as true. The Seaside Walkway offers a great stroll on a nice day, or a great place to storm watch in the winter. Biking and walking trails throughout and around the town make being active or getting around easy and enjoyable. And you can’t forget about the gardening! The Southern tip of Vancouver Island has notoriously mild winters and ‘not too hot’ summers, making this the perfect area for avid or aspiring gardeners alike.
Social culture: Again, regardless of what your interest are, Sidney has you covered. Are you interested in the arts? The Community Arts Council of the Saanich Peninsula (CACSP) is very active and hosts events throughout the year. If that’s not exactly your cup of tea, why not check out the Mary Winspear Centre? This Centre really is at heart of the town and always has something going on! And if you are looking for more structured or regular activities check out the SHOAL Centre for Seniors. This 55+ Centre offers just about everything from woodworking classes to assisted living!
Volunteering: If you are looking for different ways to get involved and give back by volunteering your skills, expertise and time, Sidney has no shortage of opportunities. Many of the organizations in town rely heavily on volunteers. Check out the municipal website for some of the organizations who regularly require volunteer help.
Sidney has so much more to offer, unfortunately I can only scratch the surface in a single blog entry. If this post has peaked your interest about this beautiful community and you would like to learn more about moving to Sidney or retiring in B.C., contact me any time. I would be happy to help you explore the Sidney real estate market and all that it has to offer.
If you live in Victoria, chances are that while out for a Sunday Drive you’ve most likely driven through Ten Mile Point Victoria BC and the Uplands Victoria BC. These two iconic neighbourhoods are famous for their beautiful homes and scenery and are located almost side-by-side. But how much do you know about the history of these two Victoria real estate markets?
Ten Mile Point, Victoria BC
This luxury neighbourhood is located in the Saanich real estate market. It’s the most Easterly point on Vancouver Island and offers spectacular views! It got its name quite simply because it’s 10 nautical miles from the headquarters of the Pacific Station of the Royal Navy (now known as CFB Esquimalt). This area is, and has been, coveted by both locals and international stars alike with some celebrities like Steve Nash owning property here. The neighbourhood is characterized by impressive homes, secluded beaches and coves, and spectacular views from the top of Prevost Hill (AKA “Minnie Mountain”).
Historically, the little coves have played important parts in the development of this area. For example, have you ever wondered how “Smuggler’s Cove” got its name? This little cove got its name during the U.S. prohibition years. Smuggler’s Cove is aptly named because it was used as a boat landing and launch for rum-runners to and from the United States.
Ten Mile Point isn’t just amazing to explore on land though, this area is also home to some great dive sites! If you are a diver, Ten Mile Point offers no shortage of sea life to check out in this Provincial Marine Ecological Preserve - but novices beware, the current can be strong.
Uplands, Victoria BC
This upper-class neighbourhood is located sea-side in the North East section of Oak Bay, Victoria. It’s characterized by large impressive homes with enormous landscaped lawns and gardens. Many houses along Beach Drive are guarded by beautiful ornate gates and hedges that allow you only sneak peaks of these beach front luxury homes.
This neighbourhood was originally purchased in 1907 for $270,000 by John Robert and Dawson Turner. They then hired John Olsted, a leading landscape architect at the time, to design the area. Olmstead envisioned large estate homes with lots to match, located on slowly winding streets flagged on either side by beautiful greenery, and of course, the signature lamp posts. Today Uplands still stays true to this idealistic and beautiful vision.
Uplands, Victoria BC doesn’t just offer beautiful mansions, it’s also home to the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in BC! In this area you can also find Uplands Park. This 76 acre park is one of North America’s first natural preserves to be set aside by an urban area. In it, you can find lots of woodland trails and undeveloped land, as well as the Oak Bay Cenotaph which pays tribute to the 97 men and women from Oak Bay who lost their lives in WWII.
As far as luxury homes in the Victoria real estate markets goes, look no further than Uplands and Ten Mile Point in Victoria BC to be truly impressed. Although these iconic and historic regions have two different personalities they both offer spectacular homes, views and neighbourhoods. If you haven’t taken a drive, walk or bike ride though these areas lately, or ever, this weekend is as good as any to go exploring around our city.
If you’ve ever seen the “Victoria… It’s More than That” video put out by Tourism Victoria, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that many of those who come to visit, end up searching for options to relocate to our beautiful city – but what is the mass appeal? In this blog I will highlight some of the many reasons people are moving to Victoria.
We have it pretty good here! Located at the Southern Tip of Vancouver Island we are just a short trip away from many great cities, towns and islands like Vancouver, Tofino, the many Gulf Islands, Seattle, Portland and many more. These can all be easily and quickly accessed which makes for lots of great weekend trips throughout the year without needing to dig into vacation time at work. However, we are also far enough away that we keep this capital city’s “island life” personality intact.
Weather and outdoor activities
Living on an island has some great advantages when it comes to climate. Being surrounded by the ocean keeps the city fairly moderate in temperature, we don’t get too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer – we’re kind of like a Goldilocks zone city. We often are holding our annual flower count while much of the rest of Canada is still firmly under a blanket of snow and ice. However, all these flowers and greenery is because we live in a temperate rainforest – so it’s smart to always pack your umbrella!
Because of the moderate weather, Victoria has an abundance of things you can do outside all year round. Anything from golfing, biking, spelunking, hiking, rock climbing, geocaching, rowing or paddling, etc. are generally done year round with only the few days’ exception from time to time.
Food, arts and culture
There is a saying that if everyone in Victoria went out to dinner at the same time on the same night, there would still be seats available. Our city is infamous for its restaurant scene. Many chains fail here because we have so many great local spots we don’t need the chains. Especially when it comes to breakfast places! We know how to do a good brunch better than most, evidenced by the weekly line-ups, rain or shine, all around town.
The only other activity in Victoria that can give our restaurant industry a run for its money is our arts and culture scene. Art galleries, exhibits, museums, festivals and performances are literally everywhere and held almost daily. If you are considering moving to Victoria, take advantage of our thriving arts scene and you will never be bored.
Real Estate and transportation
This is an incredibly diverse city, and not just in regards to our population. Although the Victoria real estate market is hot, there are so many different neighbourhoods that almost everyone can find something to suit their needs. If you are looking for a condo downtown in a busy and young area of town, we offer that. If you are looking for a historic house from the early 1900’s with lots of personality, we have them. What about a new single family home on an acreage to raise livestock? No problem, we have those too. And the best part, all of these communities are within a 30 minutes’ drive of each other. No need to spend hours in traffic like in major cities on the mainland. But what if you don’t have a car? No problem. Victoria’s transit infrastructure is pretty good! Busing around town is straightforward and with additions like being able to text for your bus information and updates makes it a lot less stressful than in other major cities. But if you prefer to use your own muscles for transportation, you are also in luck. Victoria is not only a very walkable city, but it is also well connected with bike lanes, corridors and paths throughout.
With these four reasons only highlighting a fraction of what our city has to offer - it really is no wonder why people want to move to Victoria. What made you want to stay or move here? Comment below!
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February 2016 was $638,700. The benchmark value for the same home in February 2017 has increased by 21.3 per cent to $775,000.
Inventory levels edged lower, with 1,537 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2017, 40 per cent fewer than the 2,562 active listings at the end of February 2016.