Three children ago, the mister and I were driving north from Mill Bay through the Cowichan Valley on our way to the Crofton ferry. We got lost. One right-turn too early and we found ourselves in Maple Bay. I remember driving along Arbutus Avenue thinking how peaceful and romantic it seemed. From our car we could look through the houses on the cliff to the ocean. What a dream.
Two kids later, we were looking for a place to settle and raise a family. We didn’t want a big city and we didn’t want traffic jams. We wanted neighbours who said hello, fresh air, and a place to walk.
The mister found a small cottage in Maple Bay for sale. Remembering that drive years earlier, I was sold on the idea, even after we found out the house needed a new septic system, had asbestos in the ceiling, and had sashless single-pane windows that needed replacing—for starters.
Maple Bay is living up to its idyllic image. We have neighbours who are like family, a community of friends whose children are the same age as ours, a rowing club, a restaurant, a pub, a park, a beach we walk most nights and an ocean we swim in most summer days.
In November 2014, I was elected councillor for the Municipality of North Cowichan.