Nolan Rivers Squamish Realtor

Is Britannia Beach Real Estate the Next Big Thing for the Sea to Sky?

9 reasons to Invest in Britannia Beach Real Estate

Nolan Rivers Squamish Realtor

While Squamish real estate has been much a buzz in recent years, 12 km to south of Squamish and 55 km north of Vancouver, lies the community of Britannia Beach. Development began in this area in 1900 in conjunction with a copper mining operation, which ceased operation in 1974. Throughout that time, Britannia was no stranger to the economic boom and bust of a small mining town, perpetuated by floods, avalanches, fires, and other environmental disasters.

Today, like Squamish, Britannia Beach continues to reinvent itself. Home to approximately 300 residents as of 2019, this community is on the cusp of major changes. Here are 9 positive reasons to invest in Britannia Beach Real Estate:

Britannia Mine Museum

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  • The main hub of the community, the National Historic Site of Britannia Mine Museum has recently underwent a major renovation and strategy implementation in 2019.  A notable highlight includes the new multi-sensory visitor experience “BOOM!” in Mill No. 3 that leaves visitors feeling more like they are in a movie studio than at a mine museum! Expect an uptick in visitors to this experience moving forward.

Sea to Sky Gondola

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  • Albeit currently closed due to unfortunate circumstances until Spring 2020, the Sea to Sky Gondola , is a quick 5 minute (7 km) drive north. Not only is this another major attraction for tourists, the Sea to Sky Gondola is a major meeting hub for Squamish locals. You can escape the rain here with a little bit of elevation in the winter or enjoy live music over-looking Howe Sound on a Friday evening. Expect to see more experiences with the amenity in the future.

Location in Proximity to Vancouver

  • Are you a commuter to Greater Vancouver? Some people looking to move to Squamish have reservations about signing up for a lengthy commute. Britannia Beach is 12-15 minutes less commute to the North Shore and Vancouver, saving you up to 30 minutes each time you have to head to the City. Check out my blog 7 Reasons to Invest in Squamish Real Estate for a more in-depth look at proximity and location.

Potential World-Class Surf Park and Resort Village – South Britannia

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  • Tiger Bay Development has submitted an ambitious plan to the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District to build a 269,000 square foot surf park and mixed-use town centre, just south of the Britannia Mine Museum. Named South Britannia, the project aims to build 1,050 new homes, a hotel, and a variety of commercial amenities and tourism options. Should this project move forward, Britannia Beach real estate will no longer be under the radar.

Woodfibre LNG

  • Woodfibre LNG is poised to become the second liquefied natural gas project to break ground in British Columbia. If all moves forward as planned, the $1.6-billion project will export 2.1 million tonnes of LNG per year from the facility located across Howe Sound from Britannia Beach. The project expects 650 people at the peak of construction and 100 full-time staff at the facility during operations. Demand for Britannia real estate and Squamish real estate will be on the rise as skilled workers with good paying jobs arrive from outside of the region.

Hidden Mountain Biking Gems

  • If you like your single-track mountain bike trails loamy and steep, then the real estate in Britannia Beach has you covered. While you will probably not find the trails on Trail Forks due to land access and ownership complications, , you can find local routes laden throughout trails with access points off of Copper Drive. Ask a local Squamish bike shop or create a post on Bike Squamish Facebook page.

Diving in Porteau Cove

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  • If you are a diving enthusiast (or an aspiring one), consider investing in a Britannia Beach home. Porteau Cove Provincial Park possesses numerous artificial reefs teeming with marine life that were created from ship wrecks. Just another world class activity minutes away from you front door in the Sea to Sky region!

Fishing and Golfing at Furry Creek

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  • The closest neighbour to the south of Britannia Beach is the golf and fishing destination Furry Creek. Bask in westward Coastal Mountain views as you indulge in tidal fishing in Howe Sound, or head out for an epic round of golf on the track where Bob Barker duked it out with Adam Sandler on Happy Gilmore.

Garibaldi at Squamish

  • Plans for an all-season resort, currently known as Garibaldi at Squamish, are in full swing. The resort, located just north of Squamish at Brohm Ridge, is expected to include downhill skiing, mountain biking access, a commercial village, hotels, and much more.

The approval process is still a dynamic situation whereby an opening in the fall of 2025 is projected. Visit the project website for the latest information.

Should the plan move forward, it will undoubtedly be a major economic catalyst for the region.

Aquilini Development and Northland Properties are the main developers behind the proposed Garibaldi Resort project. They are both Vancouver based, Canadian companies with extensive holdings in various industries including the hospitality and entertainment sector. They also share the similarity of owning NHL franchises; Aquilini Group own the Vancouver Canucks and Northland Properties Corporation own the Dallas Stars.

 

The outlook for Britannia Beach and real estate in Britannia Beach looks nothing but positive in the future. Like other communities en route to Whistler, Britannia Beach benefits from the proximity to a robust economy in Vancouver and the tourism and lifestyle beacon that is the Sea to Sky region.

With so much positive change on the horizon, my advice is simple: buy and wait, don’t wait to buy.

 To learn more about real estate investment opportunities in Squamish and the Sea to Sky Region, contact Nolan Rivers, your local Squamish Expert Real Estate Guide.

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Squamish and Sea to Sky real estate market updates, exclusive listings, development pre-sale information, local events, and much more!

Guide to Squamish Schools and Daycare

Squamish is an ideal community to raise a family and has a great variety schooling options for all. Many people moving to Squamish are coming with kids or have plans to add them to their family in the future.

When I meet people interested in buying real estate in Squamish, one of the first questions often pertains to schools. Luckily, we have great schools with passionate staff throughout the District of Squamish.

This post for all the parents and parents to be that are interested in moving to Squamish.

Public Schools

Squamish public schools fall within the Sea to Sky School District  (District No. 48) which oversees schools in the Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton areas. There are 5 main public elementary (K-6) schools:

  1. Mamquam Elementary 
  2. Valleycliffe Elementary
  3. Brackendale Elementary
  4. Garibaldi Highlands Elementary
  5. Ecole Les Aiglons

Students attend a school based on the catchment that they reside in. A map of the catchments and all schools in the District of Squamish is provided below:


From grades 7-9, all public school students across the District of Squamish attend Don Ross Middle School in Brackendale.

For high school, grades 10-12, all public school students attend Howe Sound Secondary in Squamish.

Sea to Sky Learning Connections

Sea to Sky Learning Connections  also falls under school District 48 and offers First Peoples cultural programs and alternative learning programs in more intimate settings for students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

French Language Schools

If parents are seeking to enroll their children in French language education, the catchments are more widespread since French programming is not available at all schools in the District of Squamish. All french language schools in the District of Squamish are public schools.

  • Garibaldi Highlands Elementary offers French immersion for K-6.
  • Squamish Elementary offers early French immersion for K-3 and late French immersion for grades 4-6.
  • Ecole Les Aiglons is catered more specifically to Francophone families and offers all programming in French for students K-7.

 

 

Private Schools

There are a number of private school options available to parents in Squamish.

Squamish Montessori School

Squamish Montessori will have new school ready for fall 2019 in the Tantalus area. This institution offers programming for various age groups including:

Squamish Waldorf School

Squamish Waldorf School is a pre-K to grade 8 school in Valleycliffe “providing a holistic education that addresses the intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and physical aspects of the child. The school develops confident, independent thinkers who have a strong social and environmental conscience and who respond to the world with compassion and creativity. The school community honours the child, fosters harmonious relationships and celebrates the wonder of life.”

Coast Mountain Academy

Coast Mountain Academy is a university-preparatory school in the Highlands for students in grades 7 through 12, founded with the goal of “creating a culture of curiosity and wonder, while providing an education that is relevant in our modern world. CMA offers not only a rigorous academic program, but a well-rounded fine arts, athletics, and outdoor education program as well.” Their program aim to take “advantage of the rich natural environment, while fostering sound academic skills in written and oral communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration.”

 

 

Post-Secondary Schools

Squamish is home to Quest University, an innovate liberal arts and science post-secondary institution perched in a jaw-dropping location atop the Garibaldi Highlands in a newer neighborhood known as University Heights. The university was founded in 2007 and attracts students from across the globe.

 

Daycare

The best source for child care / daycare options in Squamish is Sea to Sky Community Services. They have a current list of child care options that they can refer parents and guardians to.

Most of the providers will have wait lists so contact your preferred providers early to give yourself the best odds of getting a spot.

 

Thinking of moving to Squamish? Contact Nolan Rivers – Expert Real Estate Guide to find out what real estate options are available for your family near your preferred Squamish schools.

 

7 Reasons to Invest in Squamish Real Estate in 2019

People from outside of Squamish pass through and see the potential: a beautiful town in the mountains, close to Whistler, close to Vancouver- but neither of those places. Get off of the Sea to Sky Highway to explore the local roads and you can see the change happening to this quiet place. In tune with the hot topic of the era in the  Lower Mainland- the thought pattern and conversation then quickly shifts to real estate.

What is going on in with Squamish? It is a good place to invest in real estate?

The short answer? Squamish is rising in many ways and it is a great place invest, or better yet- LIVE.

Let’s break it down.

1. Population Growth

  • The population of the District Squamish is expected to double from 20,000 to 40,000 people in the next 20 years based on studies in the Official Community Plan that was adopted in 2018. This future projected growth continues a trend from the past decade where Squamish has grown from 15,000 to 20,000 people, making it the fastest growing isolated municipality in British Columbia.

2. Work, Live, Play

Boats wait for adventure in the Mamquam Blind under the mighty Stawamus Cheif (Photo: Nolan Rivers)

Boats wait for adventure in the Mamquam Blind under the mighty Stawamus Cheif (Photo: Nolan Rivers)

  • BC Business magazine ranked Squamish as the #1 Best City for Work in 2019. In 2018 and 2017, we ranked #3 and #1, respectively, so the positive trend is clear.
  • The study took into account various indicators that included
    • Household income
    • Spending on recreation
    • Shelter spending
    • Value of primary real estate
    • Commute time
    • Population growth
    • Housing starts
    • Unemployment
  • Whether you agree with the methodology or not, the fact that Squamish has been on the proverbial podium for the last 3 years (Gold TWICE), is a testament to outsider confidence in our community.

3. Flowy Oceanside Commute

  • 10 years ago, many Lower Mainlanders would have scoffed at the idea of a 45 minute daily commute. In 2019, it has become a new reality for a lot more people as affordability in the region is dispersing people further away from the commercial and entertainment core of Downtown Vancouver.
  • Consider the example of someone that works in Downtown Vancouver that has decided to move to a more suburban location. They discover that to buy a property that suits their needs in their price range, they will have to drive 45 minutes or more.
  • To find a home within 45-60 minute driving commute, one must look at the options near the perimeter of the highlighted areas map- Abbotsford, Langley, Surrey, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, and Squamish.

 

Radius Map for a 60 minute Drive Time from Downtown Vancouver

  • Of these options, Squamish commuters enjoy a relatively serene commute with minimal traffic congestion; savor your morning coffee,  listen to a podcast or that new album to start and end your day with a relaxing cruise along the Sea to Sky Highway and Howe Sound.

4. Garibaldi at Squamish All Seasons Resort

Conceptual Artist Rendering of Garibaldi at Squamish (Garibaldi at Squamish)

  • Plans for an all season resort, currently known as Garibaldi at Squamish, are in full swing. The resort, located just north of Squamish at Brohm Ridge, is expected to include downhill skiing, mountain biking access, a commercial village, hotels, and much more.
  • The approval process is still a dynamic situation whereby an opening in the fall of 2025 is projected. Visit the project website for the latest information.
  • Aquilini Development and Northland Properties are the main developers behind the proposed Garibaldi Resort project. They are both Vancouver based, Canadian companies with extensive holdings in various industries including the hospitality and entertainment sector. They also share the similarity of owning NHL franchises; Aquilini Group own the Vancouver Canucks and Northland Properties Corporation own the Dallas Stars.

5. Klahanie Resort

Artists Rendering of Klahanie Resort (EKISTICS)

  • A spectacular site that is situated between the Stawamus Chief and Howe Sound could be the future home of a five-star destination resort, hotel, restaurant and 33,000-square-foot spa. The owner has ambitions to build the largest spa in western Canada into the project.
  • With Squamish lacking a true conference centre venue, introducing this type of space would bring a great variety of visitors and businesses to Squamish on a regular basis.

6. No Foreign Buyers Tax

  • As of February 21, 2018, foreign nationals, foreign trustees, and taxable trustees must pay a tax that is equal is 20% of the fair market value upon transfer for residential properties in designated Regional Districts in British Columbia. Squamish is located in the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, where this tax does not apply.
  • In contrast, this tax does apply to neighbouring Regional Districts in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.
  • From an investment perspective, this is a clear opportunity moving forward as Squamish becomes more attractive to non-residents working in municipalities to the south and foreign buyers seeking vacation properties.
  • For more information on this tax, please reference the Government of British Columbia’s Website. 

7. The Revitalization of Downtown Squamish

Garibaldi Downtown Squamish Construction

Construction is booming in Downtown Squamish (photo: Nolan Rivers)

  • Squamish’s traditionally industrial waterfront area near Howe Sound is undergoing a massive overhaul with a couple of major projects underway. Bosa Properties’ Waterfront Landing and a partnership between the Squamish Nation & Squamish Cornerstone Developments’ Anchor Qea are creating mixed-use waterfront communities that will extend the existing downtown to the ocean.
  • Further, with the new Official Community Plan, there are numerous smaller development projects in the works that are adding the increasing vibrancy. As more people and businesses move to Downtown Squamish  you can count on a much more walkable, urban vibe that will become attractive to an entirely new demographic.       
With so much positive change on the horizon, my advice is simple: buy and wait, don’t wait to buy.

 

To learn more about real estate investment opportunities in Squamish and the Sea to Sky Region, contact Nolan Rivers, your local Squamish Expert Real Estate Guide.

Also, check out 7 Reasons You Should Move to Squamish.

Expert Real Estate Guide Sea to Sky Monthly Newsletter Registration

Squamish and Sea to Sky real estate market updates, exclusive listings, development pre-sale information, local events, and much more!

 

 

 

7 Reasons You Should Move to Squamish

  1. Community

    • Every village, town, or city has a distinctive vibe. In Squamish, there is sincere sense of caring, cooperation, and desire for belonging that binds the citizens to their fellow locals and environment. People are proud of where they live and take care of their community.
      • Pro Tip: Get involved! Join a sports team, find a book club, volunteer, or take a course.
  1. Health

    • Most people in Squamish are outdoor enthusiasts. The mountain biking, kiteboarding, windsurfing, climbing, sailing, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, fishing, golfing, yoga culture, trail running, dirt biking, snowmobiling – it goes on – are all world class. If you are surrounded by healthy people, you are more likely to be healthier yourself.
      • Pro Tip: Develop a routine for physical activity. Join a group or class if it motivates you and keeps you accountable.
  1. Location

    • Squamish has two noteworthy neighbours- West Vancouver and Whistler. Both contain much of the most desirable real estate in the country due to their temperate rainforest climate and proximity to the mountains and ocean. Whistler is one of most popular ski and mountain bike resort destinations in the world, while West Van is no slouch on the mountain scene with Cypress Mountain in the ‘hood and Mount Seymour and Fromme nearby.
    • Conceptualize the Sea to Sky Region as a whole- Squamish is in the sweet spot. For the urbanites, you do not have to give up the nearby big city amenities of nearby Vancouver, but you get those comfy small town vibes.
      • Pro Tip: If you have to commute and from Squamish for work, there are a number of transportation services and ride share programs being available. Check out the Squamish Connector:  and POPARIDE 
  1. Business Opportunities

    • Rapid growth and change in recent years has brought more people and more money to Squamish. Tourism has also grown exponentially. In that vein, many of Squamish’s service based industries are flourishing and opportunities for new businesses are abound with the community still growing. Bring your ideas and take the plunge!
  1. The Great Outdoors

    • Trail improvements and expansion, mountain bike technology advancement, and a strong mountain biking community have made Squamish and the Sea to Sky a mountain biking Mecca.
    • The windy fjord known as Howe Sound attracts kite boarders and wind surfers from all over the world.
    • The Stawamus Chief is the 2nd largest granite monolith in the world and symbolic beacon for the climbing community that scales a plethora of routes in the area.
    • The Sea to Sky Gondola gives year round access to upper elevations and hiking. Go from rainforest to winter wonderland in the cooler months!
    • Whistler-Blackcomb and Cypress Mountain Resorts are a quick buzz down the road for downhill skiing, snowboarding, and nearby cross country skiing. There is also a proposal in the works for a year round resort to be built locally, at Garibaldi Mountain!
  1. Family

    • Squamish is a town made up of a lot young families. There are a myriad of supports, programming, and activities for families as a result. It is a great place to be young and stay young.
  1. Stability

    • Squamish has experienced a boom in recent years which has brought a large number of newcomers, particularly from the Greater Vancouver, in search a place less transient. Although the pace of change in Squamish has not been slow as of late, most folks are arriving for the long haul. Change will continue and you can part of it.
      • Pro Tip: Connect with Nolan Rivers to make a plan for purchasing a home and moving to Squamish.