Many of the West Coast’s most spectacular homes are on the water. To see them, you should be too.
TRAVEL ADVISORY | West Vancouver is hardly Amalfi, but like this picturesque stretch of Mediterranean waterfront in Italy, it does have interesting houses terraced into the rocky coastline, some with cascading, tropical gardens of Babylonian intent. And when the days are sunny and calm like they they will be shortly, we like to rent a (reasonably priced) runabout from Sewell’s Marina in Horseshoe Bay and treat our out-of-town guests to a tour of this gorgeous shoreline in one of Canada’s poshest postal codes.
Take A Do-It-Yourself Water Tour
Typically, we pick up a 17-foot 60-horsepower Hourston Glasscraft, which seats six, and keep it for two hours—great tourist value for $156 (a 15-footer is even less expensive). We travel a total distance of 10 kilometres (about an hour each way), following the West Vancouver shoreline in and out of the coves to the foot of 29th Avenue. Along the way we see classic post and beam designs, ’80s, ’90s and oughties contemporaries, new shingle-style homes, a Mediterranean manse, a faux chateau and a spectacular arts and crafts revival.
Two graphic standouts by architect Dan White are a house with a wing-like steel roof, which comes into view as you round Lookout Point, and another home that looks like a set of nesting Parsons tables, which is just opposite Abode Island. Also interesting is Fred Hollingsworth’s tribute to Frank Lloyd Wright at the foot of Oxley and Russell Hollingsworth’s variation on Greene and Greene at the foot of 29th. Russell Hollingsworth’s work is as distinctive as it is varied, and with 17-plus waterfront homes to his credit, he has become the design king of this stretch of coastline.—C. Rule
To find out more about renting a boat at Sewell’s Marina, check out their website at www.sewellsmarina.com