When half acre lots were offered for ‘fifty dollars down and fifty dollars a month’, it did not take a lot of income to buy one – ‘unemployment insurance’ would even suffice. It was no wonder that the lots along Coho Drive were attractive to many of the folks visiting the gulf islands in the early 70′s. To those from the east, it seemed like a paradise – and a bargian to boot.
One of the first would-be residents was a young lad from Ontario who chanced upon the island in 1971. Visiting an aquaintance on Thompson Road, he spotted the “Lots for Sale” sign . He didn’t quite have the $50 with him, but a five dollar deposit held it for a week until he raised the other $45 for the down payment. Try buying a lot today with a five dollar deposit.
The price and the financing deal attracted several free-thinking folks, and before long there was an assortment of homes – from tents and small sheds to full sized houses, springing up. “Celebration house” was one of the first of the bigger homes and became a neighbourhood gathering place for the small group of like-minded folks who made up the small and fairly close-knit community that came to be known as ‘hippy hollow’. Some of them are still there today, and although they may have less hair and nicer cars, they are still part of what makes Gabriola what it is.