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The compact mesh of streets that make up White Rock proper (decidedly not Surrey, to those who live there) has, since its incorporation in 1957, been a docile mix of summer cottages, ranchers, and custom mansions crouched on its view-rich cliffs. Tracts of pleasantly staid gated communities began to densify the perimeter. But White Rock remained clear of high-rises with their tendency to strip beachtowns of unrushed charm. That changed when Bosa Properties won the right to build four towers at White Rock’s centre (two are completed). Change proceeds at a glacial pace here, though. Teenagers with salt-stiff hair still laze at the beach over nachos, the police still stroll in pairs while sipping Booster Juice, and the air is still scented by brine and waffle cones. Still, this enclave’s history as an innocent, boardwalk-centred Pleasantville is coming to an end. The question: will it become an offshoot of super-Surrey or will White Rock retain its splendid isolation?—Pat Richardson
For Calgary natives Doug and Tracy Walker (65 and 64) White Rock was always the place “you drove by en route to someplace else.” They changed their minds when their daughter settled in the area.
THE HOME | 14367 Blackburn Ave. $1,010,000
THE REALTOR | The Realtor Beebe Cline of Hugh & McKinnon Realty, Whiterocklifestyles.com.
THE SEARCH The Walkers had casually assessed the area during each summer visit. They scouted a few properties but always returned to Calgary empty-handed. Last fall, they discovered that the house that had first interested them was still on the market. The mountain views from this 70-foot-wide lot are comparable to those from their old Calgary home. The six-bedroom place has three floors, a full deck, and plenty of garden. Plus a kitted-out 1,300-square-foot suite for Tracy’s mother, Helen Jones.
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD The Neighbourhood Gardening, beachcombing, and family time are what the Walkers were looking for, all of which White Rock offers in abundance. –Aliyah Shamsher