The Sunshine Coast: Between the Islands and the Mountains.

The Sunshine Coast is BC's best-kept secret.

Words byAaron Eccles
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Neighbourhoods matter a lot. And not just for resale value, either. In their own way, they are alive. They live, breathe, grow and develop. And there’s a sense of each of these places, something that’s impossible to engineer; a certain feeling that comes from knowing the people in your community, and of feeling like you’re a part of it.

If you’ve never had your butcher offer you a free bag of bones for your dog, or had your barista warmly welcome you by your first name, you’re missing out on that neighbourhood that everyone should be searching for. We’re here to help you find it.

Lay of the land.

The Sunshine Coast, a mere 40-minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay, offers an island-like feel without actually being an island. This coastal stretch, encompassing Gibsons, Roberts Creek, and Sechelt, is a haven for those seeking a slower pace of life, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.


Gibsons, divided into Lower and Upper Gibsons, is a picturesque harbour town bustling with activity, especially during the summer months. Its layered roads running up the hill offer panoramic views of the ocean, and the town claims to have some of the world's best water, sourced from a vast aquifer that locals are proud to call their own.

Heading northwest, Roberts Creek is nestled between Gibsons and Sechelt. Known for its iconic mandala, a mural created and updated annually by the local community since 1997, Roberts Creek offers larger properties with a more rural feel. It is a perfect blend of natural privacy and community spirit.

As you continue along the Sunshine Coast Highway, the next stop is Sechelt. The town is a mix of retirees and young families, offering a quieter ambiance compared to Gibsons. With its proximity to recreational hubs like the Coast Gravity Park and the Sechelt Inlet, it's a paradise for adventure enthusiasts and a peaceful slice of heaven for nature lovers. Its central location makes it a convenient base for exploring both ends of the Sunshine Coast.

Explore more of the Sunshine Coast with this episode of RealTours.

On the house.

The Sunshine Coast offers a diverse range of housing options, catering to various preferences and budgets. In Gibsons, the trend leans towards multi-family developments, with condos becoming increasingly popular. These low-rise condos, coupled with the town's proximity to the ferry terminal (and thus, Vancouver), make it an attractive option for many - families, first time homebuyers and retirees all flock to Gibsons.


With its vast waterfront properties, Roberts Creek offers homes that range from modest cottages to expansive estates. The larger lots provide ample space for those looking to embrace a more rural lifestyle, while still being close to essential amenities from both directions.

Sechelt, on the other hand, is undergoing a growth period as it prepares for a surge in new housing developments. From rental purpose buildings to townhomes and single-family detached homes, there's something for everyone in this town surrounded by water. The oceanfront properties, offering breathtaking views and frequent visits from local wildlife, are particularly sought after.

Room for activities.

The Sunshine Coast is an adventurer's dream. Gibsons, with its bustling harbour, is perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in a maritime experience. Roberts Creek, with its sandy beaches and the famous Roberts Creek Mandala, offers a blend of art and nature. The town's proximity to the ocean makes it a hotspot for water sports enthusiasts; fishing, kayaking and ocean-cruising are all popular here.

Sechelt, with its diverse recreational offerings, is a hub for both land and water activities. From mountain biking at Coast Gravity Park to paddleboarding in the Sechelt Inlet, there's no shortage of things to do. The Golden Mile, where orcas are known to come up to the beach to rub their bellies against the flat stones in the water, is a must-visit for wildlife enthusiasts.

And speaking of bucket list activities, kayakers from all around North America come to the Skookumchuck Narrows to witness some of the fastest tidal waters in the world. The narrows are only about an hour north of Sechelt and they’ve thoroughly earned their reputation as one of the great whitewater wonders of the world. There’s no shortage of things to do on the Sunshine Coast.


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Down to business.

Here are some of the most popular local businesses on the Sunshine Coast, from Gibsons to Sechelt.


Beachcomber Coffee

The Sunshine Coast is home to several local businesses that add to its charm. One such gem is Beachcomber Coffee in Gibsons, a favourite among locals and tourists alike. This coffee shop, known for its warm ambiance and delicious brews, is the perfect spot for a morning pick-me-up or an afternoon chat. Grab a flat white and a Deadly Donut - you’ll thank us later.


El Segundo

In the heart of Sechelt, El Segundo has mastered vibrant flavours and fresh atmospheres, a testament to the vision of its founders, Scarlet Osborne and Heidi Murphy. This dynamic duo, backed by their extensive experience in the hospitality and culinary world, have crafted a space that radiates good vibes and delectable dining. El Segundo's ambiance is a delightful blend of tropical prints, retro kitsch, and bold colours, creating a setting perfect for all ages. Dive into a menu bursting with bold fusions, sip on tropical cocktails or explore their curated collection of local brews. At El Segundo, every meal is a celebration.


The Gumboot

The Gumboot offers a delightful culinary experience from 12-7 on weekdays and 10-7 on weekends. Whether you're craving takeout, a cozy indoor meal or an outdoor picnic complemented by a full bar, the Gumboot has you covered. Tucked away in Roberts Creek, their curried perogies are a local favourite. Filled with spinach, feta and potato, they are a must-try, served in a rich coconut curry that’s sure to awaken all your taste buds. For pasta lovers, the carbonara is a treat, while the grass-fed ground brisket burger promises a hearty bite. Breakfast enthusiasts can indulge in the hash royale or the refreshing breakfast tostada until 2:30 pm.

As you sip on their crafted cocktails, you'll quickly agree: the Gumboot boasts the best patio on the coast.

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School's in session.

Many families call the Sunshine Coast home, which is in part why the community places such a strong emphasis on education. The school district here offers a range of educational institutions, catering to the diverse needs of its residents. School District Number 46 operates nine elementary schools and four secondary schools, serving roughly 3,400 students from Gibsons to Madeira Park.

The focus is on inclusive education, an attitude and an approach that encourages all students to belong. Learn more about schools on the Sunshine Coast at the school district’s website.

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