ROBERTS CREEK - The Gumboot Capital
Roberts Creek is approximately 15 minutes from both Gibsons and Sechelt and is often affectionately referred to as the ‘Gumboot Nation’. Take the Lower Road branching off Hwy 101 at Gibsons boundary or drop down on Roberts Creek Road and you’ll get an idea of what makes this community so different from all others on the Sunshine Coast.
There are plenty of signs, both literal and figurative. ‘Kids playing on road’, ‘Slow for children’, ‘Kids - Dogs - Serenity’, Olga Trowert’s amazing garden clinging to a creek hillside, Axel Stenzel’s sculptures peeking out from tall trees, Camp Byng’s Boy Scout arches. The Creek just feels different.
A part of the Sunshine Coast Regional District, Area D encompasses 143.6 sq. km. and has a population of approximately 3200 living in 1,350+ private dwellings. The growth rate in this area is around 7% over the last decade and is mostly concentrated along Lower Road, the heart of the creek area (main square at Roberts Creek Road & Lower Road), and upper Roberts Creek.
Typically homes in the section north of the highway have very large lot sizes or even acreage, and a flight overhead reveals the amount of farms, ranches and cleared spaces there are in this area.
The Creek is popular for commuters with an under-15 minute drive to the ‘first boat’ departing at 6:20am most days of the year. It offers a high quality of life with plenty of sunshine, good growing conditions for gardens, and an incredibly tight community of folks who are really there for each other, especially in the non-peak tourism months. When other small communities in coastal BC are in semi-dormant mode, Roberts Creek stays hopping year round.
A very effective and extroverted Community Association is at the core of what makes the Creek special. A visit to the association’s home page offers a glimpse into what makes them different: “We love our artists, actors, gardeners, musicians, academics, loggers, artisans, draft dodgers, carpenters, characters, fisherfolks, writers, teachers, small businesses, doctors, veterans, old timers and people from all walks of life.” - RobertsCreekCommunity.ca
The Roberts Creek Community Hall is probably the most beloved building in Area D. It plays host to events year-round, and there is nothing like going to a live music event in this old-fashioned space. With a capacity of 205 people, this is one of the larger venues on the Coast, and because the lower coast is on the ‘circuit’ for musicians, bands and theatre presentations heading for Powell River and Vancouver Island, the coast in general gets to see a great mix of both local and top-class traveling performers. There are events at the Hall almost every weekend, and smaller-venue gigs are offered at the beloved ‘Little Legion’ in Roberts Creek just off the 4-way ‘town square’.
Many festivals happen in and around the Creek: the coast’s Earth Day celebrations happen in Roberts Creek, the wildly popular and ever-fruitful Roberts Creek Community Mandala Painting project that takes place in the third week in July and culminates in the Manna Day Festival on July 25th, and the perennial Creek Daze festival with its signature ‘Higgeldy Piggeldy Parade’ and voting on ‘Mr. Roberts Creek”.
The mandala, beach and pier are a year-round draw for vacationers and locals alike. Beach Avenue is a long, level road great for strolls and dog-walking. Music is a huge part of the Creek, and you’ll often see informal jam groups on the beach and pier. Cliff Gilker Park is a beautiful park with soccer field, playground, and a great system of trails through tall trees and past waterfalls, and the Dakota Ridge Winter Recreation Area is a part of the Creek though it is largely accessed through Wilson Creek closer to Sechelt. There are 15km of snowshoe and cross-country trails, a sledding hill, and a warming hut and washroom available. Roberts Creek is also a regular destination for mountain bikers, who access the backcountry trail system via the B&K Road from the highway midway between Gibsons and the Creek. Crazy trails and a huge network of volunteers make this a special place. It’s also where the horse show rings are, with barrel-racing.
Shopping and Groceries
The Heart of the Creek area offers a range of shops and services, from a well-stocked country store with a small liquor store, to a health foods/produce shop, music store, rock & gem gallery. There are also a number of farms and organics home delivery in the creek, and a weekly ‘Farm Gate Market’ up at the hall every Wednesday from 3-6pm. A Sunday market operates in the summer months down by the iconic cafe.
There are two restaurants in the Creek: the beloved Gumboot Cafe, with live music, storytellers and art exhibits in a funky atmosphere, and the Gumboot Restaurant with a signature west-coast eclectic menu. Up on the high side of Roberts Creek you can also get great fish & chips and buy fresh and frozen seafood.
Roberts Creek is on regular transit service, with stops on the main Sunshine Coast Highway, and in downtown Roberts Creek and along Lower Road into Gibsons.
Roberts Creek Community Elementary School is a K-7 school centrally located on Roberts Creek Road, with sports fields, basketball court and playground situated for great sunshine. The Inside Passage School of Fine Cabinet Making, behind the Roberts Creek post office, is a world-class adult educational centre offering the “Impractical Cabinetmaker Program”. Students from around the world come here to learn fine woodworking in classes from one week to three years.
Roberts Creek Elementary - Principal Christa Rive
Roberts Creek Community Elementary has 200 k-7 students and is located in the heart of the beautiful natural surroundings of Roberts Creek. Walking distance to the forest, rivers, ocean, students access the natural environment frequently as a regular part of their experiential learning. We value nature and the outdoor learning. The highly dedicated staff create a welcoming environment with ongoing engaging programs that support a high level of academic excellence. They value social responsibility and focus on socio-emotional development, offering roots of Empathy, StrongStart, athletic programs and a pre- teen night.