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An Introduction
03-11-2013, 12:44 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-11-2013, 12:58 PM by Skook.)
#1
An Introduction
A few weeks back, I made some posts at VCI about the Sunshine Coast. There was interest however I thought Vancouver Peak would be a more appropriate spot so I contacted Admin and he agreed to set up a separate forum strictly for info on the SC.

As I mentioned on VCI, I called the SC home for fourteen years from October, 1995 to July, 2010. I arrived in the dying years of the old coast "culture" that made it a popular summer escape for years for those from the lower mainland; first travelling up on the old steamers and then hopping on the ferry and driving up the coast highway.

The coast was first settled by the loggers, fisherman and the businesses that serviced both these groups as well as the vacationers. These early groups established settlements in the sheltered bays along the coastline always in spots that would catch the low lying winter sun (a fact lost on many buying homes or property on the coast today - there is a reason why a stretch of Kleindale is called "Misery Mile" or why the old timers referred to Goliath Bay in Jervis Inlet as "Dark Cove."

The descendants of these first settlers carried on and were joined by others who came to the coast to work the new gravel mines that were opening to meet the needs of an expanding Vancouver. Quarries opened on Texada Island; up Jervis Inlet in Goliath Bay and at Delta Rock; in the Skookumchuck Narrows at Earls Creek; and, in Sechelt on Band land.

In the late sixties and early seventies came the hippies and American draft dodgers. The first group established the SC's thriving arts culture while the later, it is said, introduced subversive agriculture in the mountains up and down the coast and on nearby islands and many a horticultural strain bears the names of those early farming locations. There were no big cartels involved - it met local and lower mainland needs and the money earned was used to buy a bit of land for a cabin and pay the mortgage and taxes. Life was cheap then and no one needed a great deal of money to live a decent life.

When the fishing and farming was good many bought up large nearby tracts of land on the coast. They were joined by those early businessmen like the Claytons and Whittakers. Some of these holdings would be sold off to investors in the 1990's and it is these areas that would be turned into the development projects in the years from 2000 to today.

The coast also attracted the marginalized and the loners - those once labelled 'misfits' by society. Many just couldn't cope with regimented city life and took the journey up the coast to find a haven at the end of the road. Many would build crude cabins and squat in the bush or on islands, or buy a cheap trailer and set up somewhere off the highway. Others would earn enough somehow to buy an old wooden fishing boat and move from government dock to government dock along the coast when not anchored out in some secluded bay. There was room for everyone then on the coast as long as you weren't a 'bonehead' and didn't cause any trouble. Oh, there was some big money here, too. They had their cabins and fast boats but like all the other city folk they showed up for about four months and then buggered off for the rest of the year and life returned to normal.

I had a great time up on the SC and got to meet many of the old timers and misfits and some of those summer people. I settled north of Pender Harbour for the first twelve years so most of my first hand experience is up in that area. My last two years were in Sechelt so I have some idea of the developments there. The map below shows the whole SC area and its big. It covers 1450 square miles (3,776.62 sq km) and in my next post I will explain how it is governed which is important for developers and those moving in. Below the map are the census results from 1991 to 2011. The increase doesn't seem like much however it is when you factor in the old timers dying off and the misfits disappearing or selling off and moving further up the coast to Powell River or over to Vancouver Island and to the islands near Campbell River. Those who replaced them would be bringing significant change.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=43]

Make a note of Whistler's location in relation to the Sunshine Coast - it will be important later, believe it or not...LOL.


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