I did a tour for Tiny Homes on the Move a few months ago in British Columbia. On my way into Victoria, I noticed a little complex of buildings constructed out of used materials. I stopped in and met the owners. Everything was perfect. A tiny village in a kind of industrial area, built out of scrap, clothing manufactured in Canada (I bought 3 beautiful wool T-shirts), surfboards, an outdoor stage. I asked Paul and Nick to send us a writeup of what they are doing:
What started as a trip to the beach has grown from infatuation into obsession. Created in 2013, ANIÁN represents travel, adventure and nomadic culture. ANIÁN products showcase the beauty within simplicity and the importance of quality. ANIÁN clothing is made in Canada to ensure a quality product and fair wages for those who make it.
Nick and Paul, the two owners of ANIÁN (named after a mythical channel between Asia and the Americas) have transformed a rundown lot used for storing dumpsters in Victoria, B.C., into Canada’s first 100% solar, off-the-grid store. The store is best described as a cabin in the woods in the city. It is complete with a lawn, junipers and a small outdoor stage where local artists come to play all powered by four 250-watt panels, one 80-amp charge controller and eight 210 amp-hour, 12-volt batteries. By showing people that going 100% solar in a downtown location is possible they hope to inspire others to follow their lead.
ANIÁN is comprised of an outdoor stage, showroom/retail store, an interactive work shop, and a shipping container where finished goods are stored. 95% of everything is either made or covered in reclaimed material.
Most of the materials came from an old blimp hanger in the Comox valley (central Vancouver Island) where some of the material was pieces of Douglas fir up to 40 feet long.
The interactive workshop is built entirely out of the Douglas fir. The tongue-and-groove pieces ruggedly fit together, giving it a wonderfully rustic feel. The floor of the showroom is one laminated beam cut in half and then bookmarked into four amazingly golden white 3½-inch-thick ten-foot-long boards. All of the patio and boardwalk decking is made of four-inch wide Douglas fir tongue-and-groove. Slightly thinner planking; 2½-inch tongue-and-groove was used for the stage. The shipping container is faced with cedar shakes to help it seamlessly slip into this downtown escape.
Along with showcasing ANIÁN and providing Paul and Nick a place to display their coastally nomadic clothing the location has proven to be a great as a destination for outdoor musical festivals and charity fundraisers.
Next time you find yourself in Victoria, stop by 516 Discovery Street.