Siobhan Newton is marvelling at the sight of Beacon Avenue in Sidney.
“I’m looking out the window of our showroom right now, and it’s just bustling out here on a Friday afternoon,” she says. “Sidney is a great town.”
Newton is far from alone in her affection for Sidney. The picturesque town, at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, thanks to scores of people from across Canada (and beyond) discovering it and setting down roots here.
While Sidney continues to retain the “village feel” that has always defined it, Newton says the town is fast evolving into something much more cosmopolitan – both a reason for and a result of its increasing popularity. “It’s changing in such positive ways, and you can tell that by the restaurants and the stores and coffee shops. It’s just got a real vibrancy to it.
“And the demographic has become a lot more diverse. People are flocking to the West Coast now, and they like the feel of Sidney.”
In her role as head of sales for Aura Residences and other recent condominium communities, Newton has long recognized the need for new homes in Sidney that reflect the desires of a diversifying population – often young, modern-minded, worldly and eager to live a sophisticated environment.
Aura Residences, says Newton, was designed to tick all these boxes and more.
The four-storey, 34-unit Aura Residences offers luxury living in one-, two- and three-bedroom condominiums where no detail has been spared. Each home boasts world-renowned Bosch kitchen appliances, engineered hardwood flooring, energy-efficient windows and doors, over-height nine-foot ceilings and much more. Aura is built by the award-winning Homewood Constructors Ltd. – a key factor that ensures peace of mind for everyone who makes their home here.
“Reputation is everything, especially in a town this small,” says Newton. Homewood has been based in Victoria since its founding almost 40 years ago. As a result, “There’s a real sense of ownership and reputation on the part of the company that goes into a build like Aura. They know what people expect and they’re accountable.”
Homewood’s long-term commitment to its community extends to the contractors with whom it does business. Look around any of the homes at Aura and you’ll see the work of scores of people who live and work nearby.
“Homewood uses a lot of local, family-owned trades – from our sleek modern blinds to our sophisticated cabinetry to our polished quartz countertops to our brushed wide plank floors. They are all from locally owned companies that have been based in Victoria for years,” says Newton. These include Benson Cabinetry & Millwork, Colonial Countertops, Island Floor Centre, and Ruffell & Brown Window Fashions.
While Aura Residences boasts premium features and quality of construction that are the match of any luxury-living development, Newton points out that Aura’s relatively small size is a significant plus for those who want to live in surroundings that evoke big-city life while also forging the sort of close connections with neighbours that we tend to associate only with small towns like Sidney. “It’s more a sense of community. You’re not living in a high-rise block with hundreds of people. Everyone gets to know each other.”
Additional incentives include that pets are welcome with no size restrictions (maximum two pets per home), there is no age restriction for residents, and Aura owners may rent their home to tenants long-term. “This makes it a lot more attractive to a younger demographic, as well as investors and people who are thinking about resale value,” says Newton.
The icing on the cake is that Aura’s – and Sidney’s – convenient location makes it an ideal home base for all ages, including those who frequently commute. “What’s great about Sidney is you’re close enough to town, but you’re away from downtown. And you’re 15 minutes from the ferries,” says Newton. “If you’re of a certain age where you’re not driving your vehicle anymore, you can walk to the grocery store, there’s a movie theatre, there’s fishmongers and cheesemongers and artisan wine stores and great cafés and restaurants.
“But also, those same things appeal to more food-driven, younger clientele that are looking for something a little more trendy. It offers everything to everyone, I think, and it really shows in the people we see here now.”
To discover more about Aura Residences, visit auraresidences.com.