Innovative infill development for Sidney

Innovative infill development for Sidney

Aryze Develoments takes inspiration from Japanese architecture efficiency

  • Apr. 26, 2019 7:00 a.m.

– Story by Darcy Nybo Photography by Don Denton

When Ryan Goodman, a partner of Aryze Developments Inc., visited Japan, he became enamoured by the efficiency of architectural structures there.

“The lots were super small, but they built these amazing homes on them,” says Ryan. “When we discovered this 1,750-square-foot lot — that no one seemed to want — in Sidney, we saw something special and realized it could be the perfect spot for an innovative infill development project.”

As cities grow, small pieces of land are often not included in larger developments, becoming “leftovers.” These small plots aren’t viable or on the radar of most larger developers, but they can represent unique opportunities for teams like Aryze that focus on infill developments and appreciate the challenge of using architecture and design to overcome site constraints. Infill developments use these under-sized lots to create well-functioning buildings and homes.

“The live/work lofts at the front of the Leeward building were sold as soon as we started construction,” says Ryan. “As this building is zoned Flexible C, it opened up the types of uses allowed: the 690-square-foot lofts can be used as an office or living space or both. The townhomes are residential.”

There were a few drawbacks to building so close to the sidewalk and street. First and foremost was privacy. Aryze worked with Victoria-based project architect LHRA to create an architectural screen made with cedar.

“When I was in Tokyo, I noticed that everything was built right up to the property line, and everything is screened like this. You can’t see in when you are walking by, and it creates visual interest from the outside.”

The second drawback was parking.

“We couldn’t fit parking here as the land was simply too small and did not allow for a turning radius or pull-outs. There was room for the building but no more. That’s where Modo came in. Modo is a car-sharing service and each Leeward unit comes with a lifetime membership that allows owners to pick up and drop off from the Modo car-share space right outside their door. The membership covers gas, insurance, maintenance, cleaning, parking, privileges and more. I believe this is the first ‘no car’ building on the Saanich Peninsula.”

The car sharing, coupled with the many nearby amenities makes it acceptable to have no allotted parking spot, Ryan said. The townhouses are two blocks from the ocean, one block off the main drag, two blocks from downtown and two blocks from Eastview Park and the Sidney Pier. Should residents decide to take the Modo car, they are two minutes to the highway, seven minutes to the ferry and six minutes to the airport.

Then there is the inside of the Leeward building. We toured one of the townhouses and it did not disappoint.

Taking a Tahini Swirl Brownie. Don Denton photography

Upon entering a fairly spacious landing area, one discovers plenty of storage available under the stairwell for coats, boots, etc. From here, you can take either the stairs or the elevator. Should you take the stairs, you’ll find yourself on another spacious landing on the second floor with storage and … another staircase. Since the lofts in the front are located on the first and second floors of the building, the living space for the townhouses starts on the third floor.

No matter how you get there, the townhouse’s main living area greets you with plenty of light and open spaces. Most of the windows in this townhouse are south- and west-facing, offering some great views.

This floor has more storage space, as well as an open-concept kitchen/living area and a powder room. A large quartz island with a built-in sink divides the kitchen from the dining/living space. The townhouse comes with all black Whirlpool appliances, including a dishwasher, fridge and glass cooktop. Space can be made for a microwave if need be.

The ceilings here are nine feet high, giving the room a light and airy feel. White oak engineered floors and dark blue cabinetry give the space a feel of the ocean. This floor has a small balcony facing downtown Sidney and gives a peek-a-book view of the sea. Large windows extend to views of Sidney and the airport.

Climb another flight of stairs (or take the elevator) and you’re on the floor that contains the sleeping quarters as well as a stackable washing machine and dryer. This floor houses the master bedroom with an en suite as well as a private balcony with ocean views. (Imagine waking up to 180-degree views of the ocean, including Haro Straight and the Southern Gulf Islands!)

Down the hall from the master bedroom is a second full bathroom and a bedroom/office area. A transom window here faces the airport.

The beauty of this townhouse is that it is close to everything, and yet far enough away that the sounds do not carry into the living area.

Next, it’s time to explore the “yard in the sky.” As you walk up the staircase, light streams through from the transom window. And then, there you are, five stories above Sidney. This is one of the highest points in Sidney, and the views are expansive.

This rooftop deck is truly a paradise away from the cares of the world. Raised planters with bushes and plants provide privacy. There’s also a slat fence that separates each space from the neighbours.’

“We built this cedar deck on top of a waterproof roof membrane,” explains Ryan. “It’s like a floating cedar deck. There is plenty of room for a barbecue, with lots of space left over for entertaining. It’s even big enough to pitch a tent if you want to.”

In case you were wondering, there’s also plenty of space to add more planters and to garden to your heart’s content, with full power and water access on the roof.

Aryze is becoming known for taking challenging, under-utilized sites and doing interesting things with them. These young homebuilders are creating high quality architectural homes near neighbourhood villages outside of Victoria’s core.

Says Ryan: “We like to think of ourselves as entrepreneurs who have an underlying goal of building better communities.”

Taking a Tahini Swirl Brownie. Don Denton photography

Suppliers List

Financing Tate Knowles – Coast Capital

Architect Roya Darvish – LHRA

Engineer RJC

Constructor Aryze Construction

Electrical Slater electric

Plumbing MGM Mechanical

Excavation Erdem Excavating

Finishing Dustin Harrison

Flooring/Tile Island Floors

Drywall PR Wilson Interiors

Roofing Infinity Roofing

Elevators Home Elevators

Countertops Exotic Stone

Siding Chouinard Exterior Wall Systems

Millwork Woodshop 506

Paint The Painting Department

Lumber/ Supplies Home Lumber

homeReal estate

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Reuben Forsland in his East Sooke studio with the guitar he crafted from hemp wood that he hopes will start a conversation about sustainability. (Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror)
East Sooke artisan strikes a chord with custom guitars

Guitars include wood from Hendrix childhood home in Seattle

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. university rowing coach ‘deeply sorry’ after complaints

Barney Williams says he’s been committed to ensuring no other member of the roster had a similar experience

Island Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak in two houses at the Mount St. Mary long-term care home on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Google Earth)
Island Health declares outbreak at Victoria long-term care home

Resident, staff member test positive for COVID-19 at Mount St. Mary facility

A man accused of choking a 15-year-old in his tent in Beacon Hill Park Tuesday night has been arrested by Victoria police. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man accused of choking, sexually exploiting 15-year-old in Victoria tent arrested

Police arrested the 38-year-old in Beacon Hill Park Wednesday afternoon

Jessica Sault of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation is hosting a virtual cedar weaving workshop through Royal Roads University on April 25. (Black Press Media file)
Cedar trees weave deeply into lives of coastal First Nations communities

Jessica Sault of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation hosts virtual cedar weaving workshop through Royal Roads

A peacock struts by a pair of lamb siblings at the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm, which remains closed to the public. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
VIDEO: Victoria petting zoo optimistic about future after 13 months closed

Public helps non-profit Beacon Hill Children’s Farm with nearly $100,000 influx

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
B.C. teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

The Coastal Fire Centre is looking ahead to the wildfire season on Vancouver Island. (Phil McLachlan – Western News)
Coastal Fire Centre looking ahead at wildfire season on Vancouver Island

‘We’re asking people in the spring to be very careful’

There are lots of resources for seniors looking for information about COVID-19. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
COVID questions? Here are some phone-based resources available for seniors

Here is a list of numbers to keep on hand for Vancouver Islanders who aren’t fond of computers

Chum Salmon fry being examined with multiple motile and attached sea lice on Vargas Island. (Cedar Coast Field Station photo)
Study: Tofino fish farm sea lice infestations add fuel to push to remove open pens

Ahousaht First Nation asking for higher standards than what DFO requires

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Most Read