Cedar Corner in Tofino
by Jenn Dart, Tofino
It may seem like the construction on Cedar Corner, at the corner of
Fourth and Campbell Sts. in Tofino has been ongoing for quite some
The prospect of the Tofino Brew House has had many of us gazing longingly
at the unfinished building all summer. What we may not realise, however,
is that the scope of this project extends far beyond that of good beer
and good food.
The developers of this building, Tofino Community Investments, and
its project manager, James Rodgers, are aiming to create an environmentally
unique structure — from the construction of the building to the
operation of the businesses within it. The developers are made up mostly
of locals who aspire to unify environmental values with sound business
principles. Their philosophy is that of the Triple Bottom Line, which
maintains that the classic financial bottom line is insufficient as
a measure of a successful business, but rather that profit is interconnected
with the community and the environment. In other words, one cannot
come at the expense of another. If the project achieves its goals,
it will only be the 18th structure in the world that meets the leed
(Leader in Energy and Environmental Design) gold standards for 'green' buildings.
This organisation's system of awarding bronze, silver and gold
ratings is to construction what organic requirements are to food production.
And because Cedar Corner houses a restaurant and Brew House, this achievement
will be more significant, as no restaurant has ever held above a bronze
The challenge in creating a sustainable building such as this one
lies in achieving environmental goals affordably. And it seems as if
these methods will actually be cost saving in the long run. Starting
will be the actual building material – the wood used to construct
Cedar Corner is all re-used and salvaged wood from various sources,
including a old cannery dating back to 1881. The concrete is partially
made up of fly ash (a by-product of coal) which releases fewer co2
emissions, and all the materials used during construction are free
of harmful chemicals. Energy efficient systems within the building
include solar-heated water, subterranean cisterns to catch rainwater
and pump it back through the sanitation system, an air-heat recovery
system which includes the Kyoto (as dubbed by the crew) kitchen fan,
designed to retain as much heat as possible thereby using less energy.
All of these innovative systems will be integrated and monitored
to ensure minimal energy, water, and material wastage.
of the building's unique
only part of
James Rodgers also
envisions a business that caters to both locals and visitors by offering
choices in dining experiences – The Brew House and the Wild Fish
Restaurant (there will also be an organic deli style market in the
building, like the one once on this site). The building itself will
also fuse into the surrounding environment, with the outside deck (a
patio!) enclosing and protecting two old cedars as well as the topsoil
on the property.
Hailing originally from Barrie, Ontario, Jenn Dart has called Tofino
home for the last 3 years. She likes satin sheets and long shifts
at the Wick.