Taking advantage of growing retail and services spending, a number of national chains have located on the Sunshine Coast, including London Drugs and The Brick (in Gibsons), and Your Independent Grocer, IDA Rexall, and Canadian Tire (in Sechelt).
Lower Gibsons (“Gibsons Landing”) supports a charming, trendy business district with chic boutiques, galleries and restaurants that cater to both residents and tourists. This arts and cultural hub is anchored by the Gibsons Public Market (gibsonspublicmarket.com) adjacent to Gibsons Marina (gibsonsmarina.ca), linked to the main shopping precinct by a seawalk overlooking the harbour. Familiar to millions of viewers of CBC’s long-running “Beachcombers” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beachcombers )series, the Landing preserves a number of artifacts including the iconic ‘Persephone’ beachcombing boat, Molly’s Reach (mollysreach.ca) restaurant, and a permanent display at the Sunshine Coast Museum & Archives (sunshinecoastmuseum.ca).
“Upper Gibsons”, the commercial centre of the town, features national chain stores at its two malls, as well as other shops, restaurants and services. The Park Plaza Mall recently completed renovations and further expansion is planned. Sunnycrest Mall continues to welcome new tenants, most recently a national pet supply chain. Two new mixed commercial/residential developments on Gibsons Way – Soames Place and Blue Heron Village – completed construction in 2016. Both are now completely leased.
Sechelt boasts three major retail hubs and two industrial areas. Wilson Creek’s retail hub at Highway 101 and Field Road includes Canadian Tire, Haley GM, and Wilson Creek Plaza. Further up Field Road, clusters of light industrial complexes include manufacturing, repair and wholesale facilities. The airport (aerodrome) at the top of Field Road includes aircraft and helicopter transportation, service and repair. Davis Bay retail hub along Highway 101 focuses on the needs of visitors to the area, with restaurants, motels, a gallery and retail emporium. By far the largest retail and service hub on the Coast, Sechelt village and the adjacent shíshálh Nation lands are where most retail, automotive service, government offices and health care providers are located. Two malls anchor either end of the hub: Tsain-ko Village at the south end, and Trail Bay Centre at the north. Industrial operations line East Porpoise Bay Road as far as Sandy Hook.
Pender Harbour (Area A)
Pender Harbour has several small retail hubs: a small mall at Francis Peninsula Road and Highway 101) anchored by a RONA building supply store; Madeira Park village area with a mall anchored by IGA grocery, Sunshine Coast Credit Union and BC Liquor Distribution outlet and various service businesses and coffee shops nearby; Kleindale (at Garden Bay Road and Highway 101), primarily auto service and repair businesses; and Egmont is served by a general store with beer, wine and liquor sales. A nearby bakery is open seasonally.
Halfmoon Bay (Area B)
Halfmoon Bay has no significant retail development. Two hubs, at Welcome Woods and Halfmoon Bay village, each host a general store with beer, wine and liquor sales and one other business next door. In Halfmoon Bay village, a deli/bakery offers take-out snacks; in Welcome Woods, a new plant nursery recently opened its doors.
Roberts Creek has a small, charming commercial centre (the Heart of the Creek) with commercial, retail and office space. The Inside Passage School of Fine Cabinetmaking, which attracts students from around the world, is located in Roberts Creek village, as is the locally popular Gumboot Café and Restaurant. Many other businesses operate from home offices and rural residential properties.
Elphinstone (Area E)
Elphinstone’s only retail development is on Pratt Road, near Highway 101 adjacent to Gibsons. Most Area E business owners in this hub opted out of the SCRD and successfully negotiated to amalgamate their properties with the Town of Gibsons. Three independent retail operations on Pratt Road opted to remain with the SCRD.
West Howe Sound (Area F)
Area F has no significant retail operation except Persephone Brewery and Farm, which is also light industrial. Virtually all business operations in Area F, including on Gambier and Keats Islands, are either home-based or industrial.
© Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Organization. Content and images may not be copied without written permission.