First Things First: Constructing The Grange and Restoring the Red Barn
Construction is well underway at Southlands. We started with the public buildings of Market Square—two cornerstones that effectively express the warm agricultural character of this community and the lifestyle where food plays such a central part.
The Grange is a new structure whose iconic architecture was inspired by classic farm outbuildings. With its neo-traditional aesthetic and distinctive pitched rooflines, it is uniquely Southlands and visibly prominent as you approach along Southlands Drive. In fact, it’s one of the first buildings you’ll see as you enter Southlands from the west, clearly heralding a community rooted in farming and food.
As well as being a neighbourhood landmark, The Grange is a functional, purpose-built structure that directly supports the business of farming. While most farm work happens outdoors, there are numerous tasks best accomplished under shelter. The farmers of Southlands Community Farm will use their indoor premises to organize farm activities and map out their crops. There’s space for storage and maintenance of tools; facilities for washing, sorting, and storing vegetables; and offices for administrative tasks. Situated at the edge of Market Square, The Grange connects to the public realm and is steps from a café where the farmers can break for coffee or lunch, mingling with Southlands residents.
Though far from new, the Red Barn is being given a new purpose and undergoing a complete renovation. This historic dairy barn will be a familiar sight to Tsawwassen residents who walk or cycle the trails of Boundary Bay. The noble bones and high ceilings of the heritage structure will retain their original character, but the interior is being reimagined as a warm and inviting social hub.
In 2006, we began holding regular community planning meetings in the barn. Even all those years ago, we envisioned that it would eventually become a vibrant gathering space for the Southlands community and the visiting public. Now, as the heart of Market Square, the Red Barn will host winter farmers’ markets, harvest festivals, and community events. With time, it might become a venue for weddings and other celebrations.