July 1, 2010
YOU ARE HERE
What was once a staid island municipality peopled by latter-day hippies and draft-dodgers has evolved into a staid island municipality peopled by latter-day hippies and real-estate sharks. The island’s population is booming at nearly three times the provincial average. Yes, an A-frame can still be had for $400,000, but one lot recently was posted for $8.4 million. Whatever the preciousness of its property, Bowen remains a rural idyll to most of us; a $9 ferry ride (or $20 from Granville Island) delivers one into the thick of hikes, kayaking, and ice cream on the docks. The public library looks like something out of the Tudor era, there’s an actual Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires sign, and there’s even a real live general store. An entire Artisan Square was recently erected, a short walk from the ferry terminal, to house the surplus of craft shops and holistic health stores. Who says gaining density means losing your innocence?—Pat RichardsonTHE BUYER | JOANNA AND RICHARD WING
Joanna, 39, wanted “to make sure we were in the middle of everything or way, way out of it.” After four-and-a-half years in a townhouse off Commercial Drive, she took up island life with husband Richard, 39, when they couldn’t find anything workable in the city.
THE HOME | 782 Windjammer Road $799,000
THE REALTOR | The Realtor The Realtor Dee Elliot of Macdonald Realty
The Search With two growing boys the Wings found their townhouse increasingly cramped; they were committed to staying near Commercial Drive, but nothing was working. Then, while visiting Granville Island, they noticed water taxis commuting to Bowen Island. A quick MLS search led them to a real-estate market they hadn’t considered. In under three months, they’d sold their old home and become island dwellers.
The Buy Water views and ample gardens for the boys to run around in helped sell the spacious 1970s house. Sitting on two-thirds of an acre, the place is fitted with three bedrooms and three baths.
The Neighbourhood Bowen, with its tight community and limited population, has always been attractive to young families. In their first summer, the Wings had already discovered kayaking, hiking, and birdwatching. –Kathy Chan
NANCY'S TACO SHOP Sunday, 5:12 p.m. There’s a steady summer crowd at Nancy Kyle-Patrick’s shack, where she’s been building soft and hard tacos ($4 to $6) for eight years. Take your lunch to the pier (steps away) and watch the ferries. For afters, Nancy has eight standard ice cream flavours, too. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. 400 Trunk Rd., Bowen Island, 604-312-1661.