LIFE ON A FLOAT HOME
Living in style on the water has never been more affordable. Minutes away from the city amenities. Float homes have become highly sought after since the tiny home movement picked up speed.
Float homes offer a unique living option as a full time resident or a vacation home. They are modest scaled down efficient homes that just make sense for individuals with a desire to live their lives in harmony with nature.
People have been living from floating structures other than just boats, throughout British Columbia for over 150 years. Floating fish and logging camps have been a way of life for many years.
Float homes in BC are strictly regulated by government authorities regarding discharge of sewage, fire control, potable water, parking, aesthetics and taxation. The BC government provides a list of standard requirements for float home design and construction.
The foundations of floating homes are concrete hulls, or polyethylene covered Styrofoam billets. Float homes are generally very low maintenance. Open minded and diverse people live here. Float homes move with the wind and tides in our protected harbour. They are flat bottomed and wide unlike keeled boats, so they do not pitch and roll.
The Floating Home Association of BC represents the float home sector and residents. Its a nonprofit organization that supports the lifestyle of living on the water. For a map of all the float homes marinas located in British Columbia as well as a great resource for float home information.
Click on their logo which will bring you to the site of the Floating Home Association of BC.
British Columbia Float Home Standard:
Below is a link to the float home standard that covers the design and constructions required in BC.
Click the image below:
A family friendly community rated sixth top tourist attraction in Greater Victoria. The homes here are owned but the water lots are leased.
There is a constantly changing parade of boats, floatplanes, ferries and wildlife including otters, sea mink, seals, many types of birds, herons, and racoons. Living here provides you with ringside seats for harbour events, i.e. fireworks displays, sailboat races and the antique boat show. Simply paddle over to see Symphony Splash in the inner harbour or tie-up a small boat or kayak next to your home, and kayak from your front door up the Gorge, or to shops, restaurants, entertainment.
I have dedicated a page on my website that offers a little history and further details about the Wharf. It also showcases the many float homes I have previously sold. You can find a link to the page if you click on the image below.
Fisherman’s Wharf Community Association (FWCA) a non-profit society Float home Owners are automatically voting members of the FWCA. Wharf meetings – socials (monthly potluck dinners); fund-raising ventures and environmental dock events are enjoyed in our village of about 60 wharfies. Our association has been recognized by Tourism Victoria as an Environmental Award winner for our efforts in protecting the environment. It offers plenty of sites, restaurants, recreation opportunities and cultural experiences.
For more info about the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA), click on their logo.
West Bay Marina
The West Bay Marina is located in the Westbay Marine Village which is right on the water at Victoria's inner harbour. It is a unique entity and one of a handful of urban harbour communities within Canada.
In 1997 the municipality of Esquimalt entered into a Marina Development Agreement with the owners of Westbay Marine Village. West Bay Marine Village became the only legal, mixed use floating village on Southern Vancouver Island.
The foreshore where the float homes are located belongs to the crown under the jurisdiction of the Federal Department of Transport Canada. The head lease belongs to the Songhees & Esquimalt First Nations, which also own and operate the Salish Seaside RV Haven park next to the marina.
The marina is specifically engineered to meet all of the requirements for proper full service float home living. The docks are designed to provide spatial separation for fire safety considerations, noise attenuation and to maximize view opportunities.
An incredible showcase park is in the backyard just above the parking lot. Friendly visitors, tourists, and guests stroll around and are inquisitive about the lifestyle and homes. It is a busy vibrant dock life by day and a peaceful, quiet private place at night. The market for float homes is more seasonal than typical residential markets. At certain times of the year there are more of our homes for sale than at other times.
The Westbay Marine Village has a website that offers detailed information about the marina rates and their float home community. The section of the marina with boats is under private ownership. Click on their logo for a direct link to their site.
West Bay Neighbourhood:
West Bay is a community nestled within a bay nearby Esquimalt and James Bay.
It is a vibrant and charming waterfront neighbourhood , distinguished by its distinct character and rich historical heritage and offers plenty of amenities and sites to visit.
West Bay has numerous recreational opportunities including kayaking, paddle boarding and boating with several rental companies available. The West Bay Walkway provides an excellent space for running, walking, cycling or simply taking in the stunning views of the ocean and surrounding landscape. There are several parks nearby including Saxe Point Park and Macaulay Point Park which offer hiking trails, picnic areas and scenic viewpoints.
Several restaurants adorn this area including the The Fish Store & More which is a local favourite seafood spot offering a wide variety of fresh seafood dishes. The Dockside Grill is a waterfront restaurant that specializes in locally sourced seafood and seasonal cuisine. Spinnakers Brewpub is popular for craft beer enthusiasts and foodies alike, featuring a diverse menu of local and seasonal ingredients paired with their signature brews.
There are plenty of sites to visit here in this location such as the West Bay Marine Village which features the marina as well as boutique shops and eateries. The Songhee's Wellness Centre is a community facility with a focus on promoting wellness and providing space for cultural activities and events. West Bay is also a great spot for whale watching with many tours available to watch whales, seals and other marine life. West Bay is a tight knit community that values local businesses and is supportive of the arts with numerous art galleries and studios showcasing local artists.
The area's natural and human history has significantly influenced its unique identity. Prior to the arrival of European settlers, the West Bay neighbourhood was situated between the Songhees Nation in Victoria Harbour and the Esquimalt Nations in Esquimalt Harbour. The region served as a vital location for shell harvesting and fishing camps for over 4,000 years, located in West Bay and Rose Bay. The Songhee's Nation has a cultural centre open to visitors that provides educational experiences and showcases Indigenous art and history. The Maritime Museum of British Columbia offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of the seafaring and the role of British Columbia's coastline.
The West Bay Residents Association is an active group that works to promote community events and projects and provides a voice for local residents. You can find a link to their website by clicking on the image below.
West Bay Real Estate:
West Bay's real estate market has a mix of residential housing including single family homes, townhomes and condominiums. The average home price varies depending on the typical factors of location, size etc. The average home price is around 1.2 million with an entry level condo starting at $500,000 to a luxury waterfront property priced at 3 million.
The market has been steadily growing with new development in the area. There are a variety of opportunities for buyers and investors.
Many properties offer stunning ocean views, waterfront access and proximity to local amenities like shops, restaurants and parks. Some properties feature private docks and moorage allowing homeowners to easily access the water for boating, kayaking and other water activities. One of the more affordable options to have water access is to live in a float home.
I happen to have a couple of float homes I've just listed in West Bay Marina. If this lifestyle interests you, please take a look at their details below.
27-453 Head St. - 'The Lighthouse'
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The 'Lighthouse' is a custom built, well engineered float home designed by Chernoff Thompson Architects. Situated in the West Bay Marina. The home has a thoughtful layout that features 3 levels and is built on a concrete & foam filled hull. Through the arched doorway on the entry level you'll find two bedrooms, a 3-pc bathroom and laundry room all encompassing a spacious foyer with a spiral staircase and turret windows leading upstairs. The second floor is open concept with a large well equipped kitchen complete with built-in oven & microwave, dishwasher, a prep sink, plenty of maple & glass cabinetry and copper hood-fan. The dining and living room have lots of windows for sunshine and marina views, a balcony and a cozy gas fireplace plus a 2-pc bathroom as well as a separate family room. The upper level is dedicated to the Master bedroom with vaulted ceilings, skylights, a 3-piece ensuite, a walk-in closet and 2 balconies each with scenic views of the harbour. The home offers natural gas and electricity and comes with the option to moor up to an additional 22 foot boat. West Bay is a community close to all the amenities of downtown Victoria.
FH3-445 Head St. - 'The Copper Penny'
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Experience the ultimate waterfront living in downtown Victoria BC in these exceptional float homes. Located in the desirable West Bay area of Esquimalt, at the Salish Seaside RV Haven, these float homes offer an opportunity to enjoy a sense of community as well as the beauty of the surrounding area. This particular float home boasts 1800sqft spread across three levels, providing ample space for comfortable living. On the entry level, you'll discover a spacious foyer, the primary bedroom with ensuite and Jacuzzi tub, a second bedroom, a convenient laundry room, and a 4-pc bathroom. Radiant heated floors. Moving up to the second floor, you'll be greeted by a well-appointed kitchen featuring , custom hand painted tile, stainless steel appliances and a handcrafted hammered copper sink. The abundance of windows floods the open concept dining room with natural light, while the adjacent living room offers a gas fireplace and access to a balcony overlooking the picturesque harbor. The top floor houses a family room with a vaulted ceiling, an additional gas fireplace, a third bathroom, and ample storage space. Step out onto the expansive deck to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding area or relax on the covered side of the top floor patio on the sunny days. Throughout the float home, you'll find a charming mix of hardwood and imported hand painted tiled floors, adding to the overall elegance and appeal. With convenient access to amenities, whether by bike, car, or watercraft, everything you need is just minutes away. Rest assured, our float homes are securely positioned on a sturdy concrete float, and all utilities, including 200 amps of electricity, natural gas, water, and septic connection to the city, are readily available on the dock. It's important to note that float homes in Victoria BC are subject to a lease, managed by Salish Seaside RV Haven. Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to embrace the exceptional lifestyle that float homes in Victoria BC offer.
A17-445 Head St. - 'Dungeonest'
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A waterfront paradise that defies conventional living. A unique and enchanting living experience on the tranquil waters of West Bay.
Built in traditional home building techniques, this exceptional float home is situated at the entry of West Bay taking in the views of the city and sea life that comes with float home living.
The primary bedroom easily accomodates a King size bed and has a 3-pc ensuite and built-in cabinetry. The 2nd bedroom has a Murphy bed with built-in fold down craft table and is next to an additional 3-pc bathroom. Patio doors in the bedrooms for fresh air and full scenic waterside views. Laundry and services are also found on this entry level.
On the next level is the main hub with a generous kitchen with birch cabinetry including pot drawers, pull-out pantry and plenty of counter space. Open concept to the dining area and living room with gas fireplace and cozy nook for office space.
Upstairs to the top floor you will find a family room with wet bar and a third 2-pc bathroom. There are extensive built-in book shelves and storage. Patio doors lead to the expansive roof top deck where you can take in the signts and sounds of the village life and sea vistas or sit under the new retractible southwest facing awning with remote and read a book in your getaway paradise in this lovely city.
Hot water radiant floors provide additional warm touches to a cobination of cork and wood flooring in the home. Oversized windows and skylights provide stunning 360 degree viewpoints and create natural lighting on every level of this home.
West Bay is a charming and vibrant community close to hiking trails, parks, local shops and eateries. Looking for a change...Choose your life, Live your life.
C4-1 Dallas Rd. - 'Bob'
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Posted by Stephen Foster
An alluring waterfront residence at Fishermans Wharf in James Bay. Embracing an ocean-top lifestyle, this lovely float home offers an array of advantages. As you approach, the striking hues and vibrancy of the home immediately captivate your attention. The exterior features dual patio spaces for relaxing outdoors and enjoying the inspiring views. The interior has a combination of tongue & groove wood ceilings and Fir floors that ground the home. A spacious open concept kitchen with bright white cabinetry, pot drawers, tiled backsplash and breakfast bar island that blend harmoniously with the first growth Fir floors. A gas stove plus on-demand hot water with ample counter space and access to the balcony. The generous living and dining areas boast an efficient propane fireplace and french doors leading to the second balcony. The lower level accomodates the foyer, the master bedroom and a gues bedroom plus a five-piece bathroom. The primary bedroom provides delightful views for taking in the waterfront scenes and sounds. Sunlight bathes the second bedroom with multiple windows that frame picturesque ocean views. The bathroom boasts his & her sinks, a separate bath and tiled shower. The interior is adorned wiht tasteful and lively decor. Positioned just steps away from downtown Victoria, this home offers easy access to amenities and the recreational offerings of the harbourfront. A personal viewing is essential to truly appreciate the sheer splendor this home offers.