A Gated Seaside Active Living Community on Vancouver Island; Arbutus Ridge, by Bob Sluys

Hello, everybody – your ol’ buddy Bob the Blogger here.  Hey!  Let’s do a quiz!  Ready?  OK – here we go.

Answer this question: Arbutus Menziesii is . . .

#1) A famous Portuguese explorer.

#2) The conductor of the Florence, Italy philharmonic orchestra.

#3) A type of tree that the world-class resort-like active adult retirement community of Artubus Ridge in British Columbia, Canada is named for.

(Cue the Jeopardy “thinking music” . . . da da da da da da daaaaa, da da . . . ok – enough schtick.)

If you knew (or guessed) number THREE you are correct!  Nice job.

So, I called my new friend Cathy the other day to get the inside scoop on this “living in paradise” (as she calls it) community known as Arbutus Ridge.  After all, she and her husband have lived there for over 20 years and who better than a resident to get a feel for what one can expect and experience when considering a lifestyle choice!

Let’s check in with Cathy: here is a quick introduction to Arbutus Ridge that she shared with me.

“Arbutus Ridge celebrates its 25th anniversary on July 1st (Canada Day) this year.  This gated, village-like community of 600+ homes, with stunning salt water views of the Gulf Islands, attracts residents with its peaceful and healthy rural location on the east coast of Vancouver Island.  The moderate climate is a contrast to other parts of Canada, providing an ideal retirement location. Planned anniversary celebrations reflect the lively and active community spirit with a car rally, car show, golf cart decoration competition, parties, musical and other events. Residents have the choice of over 35 clubs/associations and many participate in volunteer work in the locality.”

Now, being from the northwest I had to look into the “moderate climate” claim. It’s true! Arbutus Ridge’s unique location does indeed provide its residents with a relaxing environment.

From their website – http://www.arbutusridge.ca – I also learned that there are tons of OUTDOOR activities – that’s right – with 55+ being the new 40 it’s time to break out the hiking boots, fishing rods, binoculars, cameras-the list is endless.  Sell your TV – it’s time to get active!!!

I think that you get the idea that Arbutus Ridge is not for everybody – just those that love to live life to its fullest.

Before I wrap this post up, I had to satisfy my curiosity about . . . the Arbutus Menziesii tree! Come on, now be honest-how many blogs feature trees?!

The first thing I did was to let my fingers do the walking and I jumped on my second favorite website (right behind ActiveAdultLiving.com) yep, Wikipedia.

Check this out – it’s pretty interesting!  “The Arbutus was important to the Straits Salish people of Vancouver Island, who used arbutus bark and leaves to create medicines for colds, stomach problems, and tuberculosis, and as the basis for contraceptives.  The tree also figured into certain myths of the Straits Salish.”

Ummm . . . contraceptives?  I know that Arbutus Ridge is an active adult community, but, well, let’s move on, shall we?

“The fruit is edible but has minimal flavour and is not widely eaten.  In Portugal the fruit is sometimes distilled (legally or not) into a potent brandy known as Medrohno.  In Madrid the fruit is distilled into Madroño, a sweet, fruity liqueur.

Arbutus is a great fuelwood tree since it burns hot and long.  Many pacific Northwest states in the United States use the wood of A. Menziesii primarily as a heat source as the wood holds no value in the production of homes since it doesn’t grow in straight timbers.”

There you have it- everything you’d ever want to know about Arbutus Ridge and Arbutus Menziessi!  Why not discover this incredible community for yourself? Only here on Active Adult Living!

Bob Sluys

Bob Sluys

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