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Friday, April 12, 2024

Southlands in Tsawwassen: Metro Vancouver’s first agrihood

Farm-to-table dining is increasingly popular at local restaurants — but what about farm-to-home?

Century Group has begun construction on phase one of its Southlands project in Tsawwassen, a 530-acre “agrihood” with its own self-sustaining farm. The project is located on the site of the former Spetifore Farm, between Boundary Bay Regional Park and the Canada-U.S. border.

The first phase, consisting of townhomes, will be move-in ready with sales beginning in fall 2020. Southlands consists of 275 acres of the publicly-owned Southlands Farm, the 50-acre Southlands Community Farm with community allotment gardens, and over 100 acres of parks and natural area.

When the development is fully built out, it will include single-family homes, townhomes, live-work studios, apartments and courtyard cottages, as well as a six-acre community amenity area with a natural amphitheatre, small orchard and garden plots.

Rendering of Market Square
Rendering of the Market Square at the Southlands development in Tsawwassen. Credit: Century Group

“Over the next 10 years, Southlands will be transformed into a place where the design of the homes and town centre will cultivate meaningful connections between neighbours,” says Sean Hodgins, president of Century Group. “It is a pedestrian-oriented community where agriculture is celebrated by providing farming on the outer edges and food commerce in its inner core.” 

The historic Red Barn, measuring 5,000 square feet, will bring commercial space to the neighbourhood, along with a grange (agricultural support building) which will be a business centre for local farmers. 

The project has a long history — housing on the land has been proposed as far back as 1992, but faced stiff opposition from Delta council and area residents. A 2009 plan for 1,900 homes on one-third of the acreage was shelved a year later, as Metro Vancouver was in the midst of updating its Livable Region Plan. The current development will include 950 homes once fully built.

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner is an experienced journalist and media relations professional, based in Vancouver. As founder of urbanYVR.com, he has been reporting on urban development across the Lower Mainland since 2016, and has also served as vice-chair of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee. In October 2022, he was elected to Vancouver city council and is no longer actively reporting for urbanYVR.

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