A former Oak Bay home finds a new space as part of a pocket community in Friday Harbour.

Oak Bay houses find new American life

Seven barged homes (five more to follow) from Oak Bay and Victoria are finding new life in special neighbourhood in Friday Harbour.

Is it building green? Is it affordable housing? Is it celebrating a vibrant community?

Kat, a massage therapist and her partner, Adam, an employee at the Friday Harbour ACE Hardware Store on San Juan Island, Washington State are celebrating all three as they prepare to move into their first home.

Seven barged homes (five more to follow) from Oak Bay and Victoria are finding new life in this special “pocket” neighbourhood in Friday Harbour. As a young couple excited to be moving into their first home, Kat and Adam are delighted that the 70-plus year old home from Cavendish Avenue in Oak Bay is soon to be theirs.

No waste or old growth fir is headed to a landfill somewhere and the original stucco, filled with broken seashells, has been saved and supplemented to finish off the part of the home that was damaged during transport. The fir floors and windows and doors are all original.

Once situated on its new foundation,  the house was made safe and livable for the next 70 years by replacing the knob and tube wiring, updating the plumbing and remodelling the kitchen. Contemporary paint colors were chosen for the interior finishes making the home welcoming and uniquely their own.

Finished homes built or remodeled by the San Juan Island Community Homes Trust, cost from $150,000 up. The land is owned by the trust and when owners move on, the home remains affordable and becomes home for another couple or family from the community. Green space is shared by all, making the new community an instant community.

Friends and neighbours and extended family members all pitch in to finish the homes. Kat’s dad contributed his tiling expertise to the final details of the kitchen and bathroom remodel.

On Sunday, July 17 community members joined together to celebrate with Kat and Adam and the other families who will soon be moving into their new homes and to raise $35,000 towards the purchase of the next two barged homes. Nearly 200 people came together to raise the money through a silent and a live auction and dinner and dancing under the stars.

Jan Mears

Oak Bay


Just Posted

Smoke from wildfires delivers jolt to Greater Victoria air quality

Online map collects air quality from home monitors

National championship tees off Tuesday at Oak Bay’s Victoria Golf Club

Oldest 18-hole course in Canada in its original location hosts Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship

New Victoria bus routes bound for airport, Camosun College

Bus routes and schedules are about to change this fall, and two… Continue reading

Michael Silberbauer named first coach of Pacific FC

The Island’s James Merriman named assistant coach

Police seek vehicle after early morning carjacking in Oak Bay

Stolen car is a 1999 Oldsmobile Alero, license plate FL307T

Oak Bay brothers scoop 10 kg of poop from park paths in 30 mins

Family picks up dog poo to give back, inspire others to be more responsible

Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha as pilgrims conduct hajj rites

More than 2 million pilgrims carry out the final rites of the hajj in Saudi Arabia

White Spot records B.C. Pirate Pak record day

Popular B.C.-Alberta event raises more than $116,000 to send kids and adults to Zajac Ranch

Suspect in Spiderman suit steals camera on Vancouver Island

Suspect in red and blue “onesie” caught on surveillance footage breaking into truck in Nanaimo

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Zeballos wildfire not getting any closer to town – BC Wildfire Service

Authorities optimistic about Zeballos; choppers grounded due to heavy smoke

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

UPDATE: Saanich Police seek to identify suspect in sexual assault

Assault occurred in broad daylight in tent near Ravine Way