Property in detail
LA FERME des REVES
La Ferme des Reves is located in the heart of Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley This is an area known for its warm summers and temperate winters. In fact, the climatic zone of Cowichan Valley is classified as the Mediterranean. It has the warmest average temperature of any area in Canada with no weeks of below zero, no wind chill, and very little snow. This is an area that is quickly becoming a destination for food tourism, wineries, and recreation, with its increasing selection of wineries (Napa North), farm-to-table produce, and skilled culinary artisans.
Maple Bay has several marinas and the Maple Bay Yacht Club, which accommodate both sail and motorboats, both locally owned and internationally owned.
Maple Bay also has regularly scheduled float plane service via Harbour Air Seaplanes, with multiple daily flights daily departing to and arriving from Vancouver Harbour. Flight time 35 minutes.
The Farm - Main Residence
The main residence is a conversion of a 100-year-old dairy barn, originally built as part of a much larger farm, which was ultimately subdivided. The nearby Quamichan Inn, (destroyed by fire a few years ago), was the Farm's Manor House. When it was built, the dairy barn was considered to demonstrate the most modern ideas for raising dairy cows.
The dairy barn was converted to a house about 40 years ago and has been home to several families, including actress Meg Tilly and her husband. It is now occupied by the man who, as a child, was the model for the little prince in St Exupery's well-know book 'le Petit Prince'.
Features of the home include:
The current owners have been very thoughtful in their efforts to maintain the French farmhouse character of the home. Several alterations in recent years have served to enhance the utility and maintain the exquisite character of the home. Some of the features include:
● New millwork in the library.
● New millwork, farmhouse sink, counters and refrigerator in the kitchen,
● Moved the kitchen sink to better locate it on the center axis of the triple window
overlooking Quamichan Lake.
● Replaced the old brick chimney in the entry hall with a new, larger one, clad in
● Added bead-board paneling, baseboards, and apron and stool cap to the entry
hall and the adjacent guest bathroom.
● Removed a mezzanine in the main bedroom, (one of the former haylofts), to fully
express the 20ft ceiling height and thus the beauty of the space.
● Created a new marble slab shower in the en-suite bathroom and built new
millwork for the ensuite bathroom vanity and linen storage.
● Almost every room in the house has been repainted with fresh, more harmonious
● Lighting throughout the house has been replaced with high-quality fixtures.
● Window and door flashings and seals have been replaced.
● Newly cast, custom concrete door sills have been installed.
● Insulation in the west wing attic has been replaced with both rigid and blown in
insulation, in both the ceiling and the wall cavities.
● Insulation above the living room has been maximized, with blown insulation, and the
wall cavities of both silos have been fully insulated.
● A new main electrical panel has been installed.
● New decorative fencing has been installed around the flower-vegetable garden,
including several panels of wattling, in the French style. Several gates have been
redesigned and replaced with decorative elements.
● Several trees in the heritage orchard have been replaced, maintaining the same
traditional, regular pattern of planting.
● Upgraded planters in the courtyard now accommodate a mature variety of French
lavender, olive, roses, bay and hydrangea, rosemary, and English thyme.
● The flower-vegetable garden has been considerably enlarged, with raised beds laid
out in the French style, with a central circular bed containing a columnar evergreen,
which contains more than one bird's nest every spring.
● The fruit-bearing plants in the garden have been increased with two mature fig trees,
many roses, raspberries, tayberries, blackberries, mulberries, and black currants as
well as many perennials of other types, including poppies, irises, tulips, …
● The green-house has been repaired and its soil significantly enhanced so that it is
now highly productive.
● The asparagus patch in the garden has been carefully tended and is now highly
Other Property Features
Set amid the cutting and potager garden, is the most charming guest cottage, containing a bedroom, a sitting room, a modest kitchenette, and a three-piece bathroom. The door from the cottage bedroom opens directly into the garden and a small terrace suitable for breakfast or an afternoon with a good book.
The historic barn is over 100 ft in length and was originally used to shelter horses and pigs and provide storage for the larger farm. A hen house completed the agricultural facilities.
Today, the barn provides storage for drying firewood and all manner of farm equipment: mowers, trimmers, log splitters, wheelbarrows, garden tools, and so on. It also accommodates a five-tiered-40-seat theatre with a small stage, which is ideal for small musical performances or for movie nights in the summer. Several enclosed storage rooms provide space for workshops and the storage of tools and sports equipment.
The Summer Kitchen
Located between the Barn and “Le Petit Lac”, the Summer Kitchen offers a perfect spot for summer dinners or an afternoon of sketching the beautiful pond and willow tree nearby. The picturesque gazebo is embraced by a tree hydrangea on its roof and climbing roses on two sides that have been carefully pruned to maximize their growth.
The Gardens surrounding the Summer Kitchen have been created and planted with perennials intended to provide for year-round enjoyment.
Le Petit Lac (the little lake)
The property has a brook running across it, with two ponds at intervals, that support many small wild creatures, such as Mallard ducks, Wood ducks, and a statuesque Great Blue Heron that frequently visits. The brook feeds Le Petit Lac, shared with Low Fell Farm to the east. A small dock with permanently affixed lawn chairs allows for an easy opportunity to sit on a summer's evening and watch the blue dragon-flies circle.
The Garry Oaks
The property supports several tall, old Garry Oaks, including one that we believe to be the largest on the Island. It is referred to as King Oak.
Over four seasons, the farm is home to at least 56 varieties of birds, including raptors, songbirds, ducks, quail, hummingbirds and many other visitors
The farm lends itself to gracious entertaining.... Whether its Christmas concerts in the main home or events in the Theater/ barn, or hosting long-table dinners in the courtyard in the summer. Smaller dinners or relaxation can also be enjoyed in the outdoor kitchen and dining Pavillion.
The main public areas of the house exude celebration. The rooms flow from one to the next in a manner that invites people to circulate, with a glass of wine, from one conversation to the next, without feeling too crowded. Stepping into the home seems to transport you to rural France.
The farm and the Cowichan Valley offer security and quality of life. The property is completely fenced. With the ability to grow food - fruit, and vegetables of all kinds and to have direct Farm to Table access to artisanal farm products delivered directly to the door, along with bread, baking, pasta, and meats. This area truly is the land of "milk and honey"!
The garden has been maintained with the help of a Certified Horticulturist who is completely familiar with the gardens and landscape elements.
In addition, a skilled located tradesperson is regularly retained for projects and maintenance at the farm.