We asked some recent transplants about life on the Sunshine Coast.  This is what they said…

“Lifestyle and people”

“Nature and people who value nature. Community – people who care about being in community with others”

“Everything! The climate, the natural landscape, proximity to Vancouver – to the mountains and the ocean – homes are more affordable here. People are genuinely kind and want to help you out. It’s awesome.”

“Love the lifestyle and our kids have adapted well to their schools and making good friends”

“Natural beauty, more home space, less busy”

“Beautiful place, nice people, relaxed lifestyle”

“Access to the ocean, laid back, friendly social scene.”

“Close proximity to Vancouver, immediately next door is the ocean and the deep forests, overall the pace of life.”

“Access to trails that are impeccably kept. The small town feel. Getting to know the people in the community.”

“The natural beauty, the genuine people, the warm welcoming atmosphere, the slower pace, the vegan cupcakes at the Gumboot”

Shawna

I love that I can walk everywhere. I love the ocean and that every beach isn’t full of people all the time. I love that people are so caring out here. I’m just starting as a hairdresser and I have gotten so many clients just by word of mouth. I love all the local art and how many multi talented people live here.

Cecil Chamberlin

Cecil Chamberlin was born May 29th, 1921, to Clare and Grace (nee Glassford) Chamberlin.  Grace was the granddaughter of George Gibson, founder of Gibsons and first white child born here. The coast offered a lifestyle that allowed Cecil to pursue his interest in gardening, horses, beef and dairy cows while raising his family. Varied employment over the years included logging, pulp mill and dept. of highways. Cecil now resides in a Seniors care facility in Gibsons and enjoys visits from his daughters and their families which makes five generations to call Gibsons home.

Rob, Erin, and family

We moved to the Sunshine Coast because we dreamed of giving our children the kind of childhood that we had – where they could just run outside, find a bunch of neighbourhood kids to play with, and spend the whole day outside for hours riding their bikes, running around in the woods, hanging out in each other’s backyards, and going down to the beach.

This is exactly what we’ve found here. It’s kid paradise – grown-up paradise, too. We’ve made so many great friends and often have multi-family get-togethers for potlucks, dinner parties, barbecues, and bonfires down at the beach. And the support I’ve received from local business networks as I started my own writing and marketing business has been phenomenal. Business is thriving, I have clients across Canada and the US, and I feel so incredibly fortunate to call this beautiful place home.

Deb

I knew it was going to be a great move, I just had no idea how great. The info I found was more for tourists or retired folk. I did not see anything about moving here young and working from home in the most stunning natural beauty imaginable. I also did not see much about how REAL people are. How kind, welcoming, generous they are. I did not know how many services would be available.

When did you know you’d made the right decision to move here?

When I completed the 6 day drive across the country and got on the ferry in Horeshoe Bay and an Orca breached. After the 500th person welcomed me to the Sunshine Coast. When I saw the sun setting on the beach in Roberts Creek. When I found the house we’d rented over the phone from Ottawa was across the street from the beach and right next to a beautiful provincial park. When my kale kept growing all winter.

Bruce

Living on the Sunshine Coast is wonderful.  I grew up here and attended both elementary and high school in Gibsons.  After I graduated I lived in Prince George and West Vancouver but I came back because I like living in Gibsons.  Everyone is very friendly and helpful. It’s nice living in a small town where everyone knows each other.  I love going to the beach , especially Roberts Creek beach for picnics in the summertime.  I like having my sisters and their families come to visit and we go to Ruby Lake because the water is so warm.  We also like going hiking up Soames Point.

I enjoy playing sports.  I curl, play soccer, basketball, softball and track and field with Special Olympics.  I have gone in the April Fools run on the Sunshine Coast three times.  I work part time at the Community Centre Sunshine Shack in Gibsons and one day a week I work at the Gibson’s Credit Union.  I enjoying playing crib and darts at the Gibson’s Legion. Gibsons is a great place to live.

Candace

I was born and raised in Sechelt and had moved away for college and university as a youth. Being from a First Nations community, shíshálh, and having a large extended family, and I have always lived in between Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast over the years. I now live back on the Sunshine Coast and operate my tour company, Talaysay Tours, while enjoying the riches of nature and community. Sechelt and the Sunshine Coast has grown and evolved in many ways. I appreciate the eclectic culture, a place where art, culture and business meet and live both diversely and collaboratively. At a time I viewed this place as a little sugar shack but it is actually quite an exciting place to live. And it’s home.

Linda, Richard, and Ella

Linda and I decided to check out the Sunshine Coast in May 2008. It was raining. Within 3 days we had bought a .5 acre lot, sketched plans for our new home, and decided to make work fit lifestyle. Fast forward 6 years. We walk Ella to school 5 minutes down the road. Marlo (our puppy) gets to run on the beach most days. Professionally I am part of a thriving tech sector here that is hyper-connected with clients around the world. Work is busier than ever.

My sense is that people who choose to move here are finding that balance in life that is getting lost in the chaos of city life. On the coast I can work hard, be creative, be focused, be entrepreneurial, form professional collaborations – and balance that with a lifestyle that genuinely includes community and family. Sure, there are some things about life here that take getting used to. But as we discover more of what the diversity of this community brings into our lives, Linda and I are even more grateful for finding this place to call home.

you

There is lots of room for new characters to join our community.  Curious about what it takes to make the move here?  We can connect you with a recent coaster for their take after choosing to live and work on the Lower Sunshine Coast.

The Konishi Family

Hanna and Jiro Konishi immigrated from Japan to Sechelt around 1913, starting up a prospering farm and selling milk, fruit and vegetables to early homesteaders of the area. Continuing to grow their farming business and their family, the Konishis had 3 boys and 2 girls and opened up the Settler’s Supply House in 1938. It is said that the Konishis gave away fresh produce to many hungry local people during the great depression, and act of kindness that was not quickly forgotten. At the height of WWII, all Japanese Canadians were given a 24-hour notice of relocation and internment- the Konishis left the Sunshine Coast and all of their possessions never to return. It is our job to remember the Konishis as we work together to build a better Sunshine Coast community.

Photograph courtesy of the Sechelt Archives 6.7.148

Johnny and family

We were getting tired of the traffic and found that the city offered our children very little in terms of having quick access to nature. We also found it more difficult to find “community”.

I have been visiting the Coast since I was born and have always loved it and would visit as often as possible. We wanted a place where our children could grow up near the woods and have more access to nature than we could find in the city. Gibsons offered us that with it being relatively close to the amenities that Vancouver offers.

The house that we found had a forest and creek in the backyard but wasn’t remote or isolated from civilization. It was a fairly new home too with many updates and renos. Finding that home sealed the deal and outweighed the challenge of commuting daily.

On my first day coming home from the commute, I drove up the driveway and found my sons outside watching two deer eating in our front yard.

Frank Sully

Moving from Vancouver to work at the Gibsons Post Office in the 1940s, Frank Sully purchased Winn Hall at the head of Gibsons wharf to run a café and dancehall in. Seeing the opportunity to contribute to the growing Sunshine Coast community, Sully created a cultural hub that inspired locals to come together and put on their dancing shoes. Pull a Frank Sully and move over to Gibsons, you never know what fun might be in store…

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st_H8ST8KIM

Photograph #1289 courtesy of the Sunshine Coast Museum & Archives

Kandace and Chris

Living in Toronto, working in media and marketing, our lives had disappeared into long hours and commuting. Though we worked very hard, the cost of living in TDot was high and we just weren’t able to get ahead in relation to the time investment.  It was time for a change.

We setup our criteria list: snowless winters, live by the water, space for our dogs to roam, healthy air, …  Google found it for us. … the Sunshine Coast (BC!).   Here’s the story of our move to the Coast and our new life here, told in an immersive format

Annika

I love how I can afford a small house near the beach. I can kayak and sail year round and it’s an amazing place to raise a child. We have an amazing lifestyle full of outdoor activities and have made some great friends. We love being ‘out in the sticks’ but yet close to everything. We call our village paradise and everyone that visits it from other cities or provinces agrees!

Tanis, John, and family

We wanted to live IN nature, live in a community that values community and nature, sustainability.  We had no pain points in Vancouver – we loved it and were in a fabulous home in a fabulous neighbourhood… Part of why we love the coast is that it’s super easy to pop into Vancouver for events, friends, work, anything. THAT said, we were yearning for something that aligned deeply with how we wanted to live, and most importantly how we wanted to raise our young kids. We both grew up in the east with family cottages, and summers at camp, and those were some of our best memories, and that freedom to play in nature gave us the foundations we both value deeply – we wanted to give that to our kids… the hunt started as a vacation property… but wasn’t easily viable financially… then we started to wonder why we didn’t just MOVE full time to where we truly want to be. And since then we’ve built our lives around making that happen.

We love living in nature with people who value nature and care about being in community with others. There are just so many creative people doing really cool things here. I don’t just mean “The Arts” – I’m talking about innovative, leading-edge work.

Mark, Sheila, and family

When we opted for an “overseas” wedding in 2002 (choosing Pender Harbour over an urban bash in Vancouver), we didn’t introduce our 100+ out-of-town guests. We introduced our in-town guests instead — all two of them! When we moved to Gibsons in 2004 to raise a family, it was a fresh start — both novel and daunting. It took a while to settle in, but now we couldn’t think of a better place to call home! Within walking distance of most amenities, the routines and relationships we’ve developed in this small community remind us every day why we chose — and continue to choose — to live here.

Queenie & Cheryl

Queenie Winehouse took early retirement and moved to Canada in 2009 to be with her partner Cheryl. Their first home was in Edmonton, and she remembers saying: “Do you realize, people don’t have to live like this?’’ Queenie was traumatized from living with 7 to 8 months of snow,  in temperatures of minus 40 and below.  She said: ‘When winter  came people always claimed it was the worst one’. So she hatched a plan, came to visit her friend Frances in Half Moon Bay, and didn’t return. She  preferred shovelling the rain.

Little did she know that in her new incarnation as Vimalasara, she would be surrounded by so many Buddhists, meditators, writers and performers. Instead of running night clubs, organizing art festivals, and writing plays, she’s  chair of a Buddhist centre, teaching mindfulness based approaches, writing books on Buddhist recovery. Queenie Winehouse has been known to come out of retirement, she hosts spoken word events both locally and off-Coast, including this past year’s BlackHalifax. She says: “The sunshine coast is the perfect place if you are ready for a quieter more simple life. The  First Nations rich culture and the scenic presence is great inspiration for exploring who you are.”

Talk to someone who lives here.

Here’s your chance to talk to a real person who recently moved here about their experiences – and discover if the Sunshine Coast is for you.