Seventy-three contemporary two-bedroom/den and three-bedroom townhomes situated in the historic enclave, which will be complemented with an adjacent commercial village overlooking Howe Sound. | Michele Marko
Nestled below majestic mountains, overlooking the expansive vista of Howe Sound, is the site of a new community that is steeped in British Columbia’s history. Long a location for First Nation residents and later an economic hotspot as the largest copper mine in the British Empire, Britannia Beach is experiencing a rebirth in the 21st century.
In a plan that combines the past with the present, developers Adera and Macdonald Communities have teamed up to create a residential and commercial project that will celebrate the location’s history while welcoming the future.
“Britannia Beach was an old mining town…it’s been a place that’s had inhabitants at one time or another,” says Eric Andreasen, senior vice-president of marketing and sales for Adera. “They came along with the copper mine. It used to be the largest copper mine in the world. Anyway, this area you could only get to by boat. So, they had to build a village to manage the copper mine.”
That village had everything needed to serve the miners and their families, from schools, shops, athletic fields, and entertainment venues. Many of the village buildings have survived and will be restored by Macdonald Communities and integrated with the commercial part of the project that will support the residents of the new development of 73 beachfront townhomes.
“We have a partnership with Macdonald Communities, and Macdonald Communities have been working on this project for some 20 odd years now trying to go through the remediation and the environmental aspects of restoring the site to natural,” Andreasen explains. “We’ve known Macdonald for a long, long time. Macdonald’s forte is more the large master-planned communities. They’re not real townhouse guys, which is why they partnered with Adera because that’s what we specialize in.”
Given the location, it’s not surprising that most of the homes have great views of either Howe Sound or the mountains. Andreasen estimates that about 70 per cent of the homes have Adera’s signature rooftop decks in addition to lower private outdoor spaces that all the units feature. He adds that there are open grassy areas for residents to use, including a children’s play area, a Creekside trail, a community garden, and, of course, the beach.
“Your backyard is the wilderness. It’s everywhere,” Andreasen says.
From their alpine-inspired exteriors to their open-plan airy interiors, the townhomes offer every mod con for today’s families. They’re wired for connectivity, maximize storage in sleek kitchens and bathrooms, have capability for EV charging, a built-in vacuum system (an optional upgrade) and a rough-in for AC.
The design for both the two-bedroom/den and three-bedroom floorplans, Andreasen says, optimizes an efficient use of space and that the only way they’re not so on trend is that “they’re marginally larger than your modern townhome these days.”
The designers at Portico Design Group took inspiration from nature to curate the homes’ colour palettes of Fjord and Forest to create a calm and neutral backdrop for the homeowners’ personal style. Homebuyers can customize their new home in advance with Adera’s i.D by Me program that lets them see how the colour palettes will look in their chosen unit and select the one they prefer.
Other ways to customize the homes are with the upgrades that Adera offers, including frameless showers in ensuite bathrooms, closet organizers, garage organizers, roller blinds and a curated audio visual and home automation package.
Though Britannia Beach’s location has a get-away-from-it-all vibe, it’s well positioned right by the Sea-to-Sky highway to commute into Vancouver either by car or public transit. Andreasen says, barring bridge traffic, he can drive from the Bentall Centre downtown to Britannia in 35 minutes. He also imagines that the commercial village will itself be an attraction for visitors on their way to Whistler when the grocery store, cafes, restaurants, and other amenities are in place, much like the Whistler Village.
He adds that in all his 30-plus years of working in development, Britannia Beach is the single most special project he’s worked on for numerous reasons, including the history, the location, and the existing community.
“This is the new doorstep to the wide-open wilderness,” he states. “It’s just a very unique opportunity. Something that is very special for everyone one of us that is participating in it. It’s as much of a community effort for the whole area of Britannia as it is for the opportunity to have something that you just can’t get anywhere else. I always liken it to Hawaii. There’s only so much waterfront property in the world, and these townhomes are basically on Howe Sound.”
Project Address: 60 Copper Drive, Britannia Beach
Britannia Beach townhomes to celebrate location’s history while welcoming future
August 15, 2022
Posted in Category