Near the southern end of Sechelt Inlet sits a two-acre industrial property that features stunning views up the narrow bay, with the water hemmed in by cascades of tree-fringed mountains. Here, local residents and tourists alike will soon be able to gather, eat and enjoy the abundant natural beauty as the site transforms into a much-anticipated marina, restaurant and community hub.
“There is overwhelming support for this project,” says Adam Shepherd, East Porpoise Bay Community Association president, of the proposed TELUS Marina at Porpoise Bay, which is expected to break ground next spring.
Shepherd adds the development is emblematic of the positive transformation residents are eager to see in the neighbourhood.
“It really fits with the residents’ interests and town planning around how this area is transforming,” he says.
Development plans for the property include the construction of a new restaurant, a rooftop patio, a limited amount of tourist accommodation, community use of a new multi-purpose hall, marine shop and boat slips. The elegant west coast design for the marina and property will feature stone, cedar and steel construction, along with banks of windows to take advantage of the specular views and natural light. In terms of sustainability, TELUS Marina has ambitious architectural, environmental and technological design goals. The property will incorporate many elements of green energy, including water conservation, and endeavours to achieve a LEED Platinum certification.
“With this project, TELUS is creating an innovative and welcoming place for East Porpoise Bay residents and those coming to the area to gather. There is nothing really like this around for the community,” says David Kyle, senior communications manager for TELUS. “We’re looking to create a space that complements the area, that doesn’t stand out but is at one with the nature that surrounds it.”
With designs nearing completion, the project is slated to open in late 2024.
The project is a continuation of the company’s “we give where we live” philosophy and long-standing commitment to the Sunshine Coast. Between 2001 and 2021, TELUS has invested $100 million in community-giving projects and infrastructure — from cell towers to world-leading PureFibre network technology — across the region. Earlier this year, TELUS more than doubled its commitment, investing another $150 million in network, infrastructure and community projects now through 2035, including the new marina.
“We are excited to be part of the community that is near and dear to the hearts of TELUS,” says Kyle.
The project is being done in close consultation with the community.
Earlier in the fall, TELUS held information sessions with residents, sharing news of the project and inviting feedback, some of which the TELUS team is now working to implement.
“It’s a two-way process. We are here to listen,” says Kyle.
Of the roughly 100 people who attended the sessions, 90 per cent said they are strongly in favour of the project.
The new marina reflects the region’s shift from a resource-based economy to one that is vibrant and diverse, attracting tens of thousands of tourists every year to enjoy its abundant natural beauty, hiking trails, mountain biking, cultural festivals, boating and kayaking.
“Residents here believe strongly in the enjoyment and quality of life we currently experience in East Porpoise Bay and also in the long-term potential of controlled growth in this neighbourhood. Our aim is to protect and enhance this quality of life for all who live, work and play here, and similarly in the larger community of Sechelt itself," says Shepherd.
The TELUS Marina project also answers several community needs, particularly a multi-purpose hall for residents, visitors and marina guests alike to use for everything from celebrations to meetings to activities like yoga and Christmas markets.
“This will really raise the bar in terms of facilities available in the area,” says Shepherd. “The vision of our future is what TELUS is building.”