When the television series, Canada’s Next Top Model chose Victoria BC for its inaugural Cycle 1, a single location became the obvious choice to house its stable of coltish contestants – a luxurious, stylish property nestled in a Vancouver Island setting that rivaled the natural beauty of the show’s ten young runway hopefuls themselves…
Morningside Ocean Estate.
Located just outside of Victoria, BC, this 6-bedroom, 6,000 square foot oceanfront getaway was fifteen long years in the making. And seeing it today atop the Saanich Inlet Fiord, overlooking the twinkling waters of the South Finlayson arm, one would have to agree that it was worth every minute.
“…the journey itself is as memorable as the destination.”
What makes Morningside Ocean Estate so exceptional? Everything. Whether winding through the lush rainforest by car or swooping down into the jaw-dropping landscape via float plane, the journey itself is as memorable as the destination.
And what a destination! Imagine eight oceanfront acres of lavish green coastal forest, a deep-water dock with mooring for almost any size vessel, cultured gardens abounding with succulent offerings of bananas, grapes, olives, cherries and peaches, and you might be getting some idea. The house itself is a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architectural masterpiece of glass and stone. And while numerous decks allow postcard-like views from almost every room, it’s from the large outdoor pool and hot tub that one can enjoy the most unique view – the home’s tour-de-force, a majestic 30 foot-high waterfall. Astonished so far? We haven’t even gone through the front doors yet…
Both the great room and the dining room feature massive fireplaces, again in the trademark style of the famous architect/interior designer/writer to whom the house pays such stunning tribute. The ideal venue for entertaining, each room comfortably accommodates upwards of 50 guests. And if that prompts you to start counting hor d’oeurves trays in your head, rest easy. A fully-equipped gourmet kitchen awaits challenges big and small and in-house chef services are available if cooking simply isn’t on the itinerary.
“…the tour-de-force, a majestic 30 foot-high waterfall.”
Up to 18 guests can comfortably spend the night and with 7 bathrooms, waiting is rarely an issue. Each bedroom is a celebration of authentic arts and crafts décor, complete with decks and air-jetted tubs.
But the master bedroom is the true masterpiece. You’ll find it at the top of the custom-made staircase, above the gorgeous indoor garden. The 1,000 square foot Japanese cherry wood-accented space includes a Neptune’s Zen overflow tub with active-air jets, a large glass shower for two (with steamer and rain shower head), a private deck and a large all-glass gazebo offering panoramic views of the Saanich inlet. If you look in the dictionary under ‘Romantic’…
“…in-house chef services are available if cooking simply isn’t on the itinerary.”
There are three other reasons to stay at Morningside Ocean Estate:
Location, location, location! The property is centrally situated on southern Vancouver Island, making for convenient excursions into town, up the island or around the Saanich Peninsula.
A day amid the cafes and boutiques of Downtown Victoria provides a shopping experience unlike any other. Start on trendy Lower Johnston Street in the colourful bohemian centre of Olde Town, home to indie clothing shops, restaurants and the historic Market Square. Stroll past the flowering hanging baskets of world famous Government Street and enjoy the array of retail shops, art galleries and patio restaurants. Turn into Trounce Alley for European-style gift-shops, boutiques and the best tapas in town. Follow Fort Street to Antique Row, a Tudor-style strip of collectibles stores and curiosity shops.
Craving the great outdoors? Put down the shopping bags for an unparalleled nature experience. Goldstream Provincial Park is home to two of the most awe-inspiring events to be found in the coastal old-growth rain forest. This world-class salmon-spawning river comes to life between October and December as thousands of chum salmon fight the current, returning upstream to lay their eggs. Visitors from every corner of the globe come to witness this amazing and surprisingly emotional spectacle. Not surprisingly, the influx of fish attracts the largest concentration of bald eagles in Canada. If you haven’t seen one of these majestic creatures up close, this is your chance.
For ambitious visitors looking to take an epic trek of their own, the Goldstream Trailhead under the giant black cottonwoods and red alders leads to the base of the Mount Finlayson trail – a hike taking you over 400 vertical meters above the trees. Most clear days, this amazing aerial view of Vancouver Island’s southern tip affords a glimmering glimpse of the city skyline 17 kilometres away. This isn’t just any bird’s eye view. It’s an eagle’s.
“The property is centrally situated on southern Vancouver Island, making for convenient excursions into town, up the island or around the Saanich Peninsula.”
But more immediately visible from the summit of Mount Finlayson is Bear Mountain Golf and Country Club – the first 36-hole course in Canada. The country’s latest and greatest mountainside resort community boasts two picturesque 18-hole courses (courtesy of Jack and Steve Nicklaus) that meander over the Mount Finlayson foothills and across the Valley Floor. The burgeoning Bear Mountain Village also offers swimming facilities, walking and biking trails, coffee houses, boutiques, bistros and an outdoor amphitheatre.
Whatever activities define your stay at Morningside Ocean Estate – whether improving your handicap, adding to your wardrobe, enjoying the world-renown cuisine or nature-watching… you can always look forward to a nightcap in the hot tub with the soothing sound of your own thirty-foot waterfall to lull you to sleep.
Socrates once said, “Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.”
The good life doesn’t get much better than Morningside Ocean Estate. For more information and to view photos of this exceptional property, visit the Morningside Ocean Estate page.