Cantiro refeathers Owl's Nest Estates

Luxury collection of 28 single-family homes will have rare waterfront access and a private marina on Lake Kalamalka.

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The old Owl’s Nest Campground in the Lake Country region of the Okanagan was once the scene of sunny summer holidays. Today, the long-shuttered resort is being redeveloped as Owl’s Nest Estates, an exclusive strata subdivision of multi-million-dollar homes on the shores of Kalamalka Lake, B.C. It’s rare lakefront opportunity that will make for some happy campers.

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“Lakefront property is extremely hard to come by. It requires a lot of regulatory work to get approvals,” says Ryan Smith, president of Cantiro Homes, part of Edmonton-based real estate company Cantiro Group. The property is being developed through its Cantiro Communities division. “We’ve done a lot of complicated rezonings over the history of our company, and so we felt like our experience and expertise would fit well with a project that would be extremely difficult to execute.”

Cantiro had been searching for development opportunities in the Okanagan and acquired the 5.75-acre site in 2017. Most of the land around Kalamalka is agricultural, and Owl’s Nest, north of Oyama off the Pelmewash Parkway, was one of the last remaining sites with lake views and access to a marina.

Just 28 single-family homes will be built on the south end of the lake. The three-storey walkout homes are on hillside lots and will offer 2,671 to 4,236 square feet of living space, not including the multi-tiered outdoor terraces. Sales have just started with base prices ranging from $2.3 million to above $4 million. Each will have luxury finishes throughout with features such as integrated wine walls, wine storage and interior design that captures the essence of Okanagan living.

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“We’ll have expansive glass on the back walls and sliding door systems that give you a full indoor/outdoor living experience,” Smith says.

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Owl’s Nest Estates, by Cantiro, are waterfront on Lake Kalamalka in the Okanagan, B.C. Photo by Cantiro /Postmedia

One of the favourable aspects of the development was Cantiro’s commitment to net zero construction. With provincial building codes moving to net zero ready by 2032, and the first Owl’s Nest homes scheduled for occupancy in 2026, Smith says it made sense to build to Step 5, which is the final step of BC Energy’s mandated performance codes.

“If you’re making a $2 to $4 million investment for the long term, it makes sense to future-proof that investment today. Further, the premium to go net zero on a $2 million home compared to a $500,000 home is smaller,” he says.

Each home will have a solar array that feeds into an air-source heat pump for the heating and cooling systems. In the winter, each home will draw from the grid and in the summer, excess energy will go back into the grid. Over a year, the home will produce as much energy as it consumes.

Cantiro made the decision to bring natural gas to the site so that Owl’s Nest buyers had the option to fuel patio heaters, fire tables and barbecues, plus gas ranges and indoor fireplaces.

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There are seven floor plans, each with a double-car garage and one model with a triple. The private marina will have 20 boat slips, which buyers have the option to purchase. Cantiro will build an amenity building, a pool, community firepits and pathways and stairs to the private lakefront.

Owl’s Nest is directly on the Okanagan Rail Trail, a 52-kilometre pathway that upon completion will snake through Lake Country from Kelowna to Vernon. It’s location in the Central Okanagan region puts residents close to world-class golf courses, award-winning wineries and ski resorts. Bonus points for proximity to the Kelowna International Airport which is only 17 minutes south on Highway 97.

To help mitigate the very real risk of wildfires in the area, Cantiro will xeriscape the site and ensure each home is fully sprinklered, Smith says.

“We’re a bit removed from forested areas with a good agricultural buffer. We’re making the site as safe as possible, but we’re less exposed to those challenges,” he notes.

Owl’s Nest is not the Edmonton company’s first foray into the B.C. market. Cantiro has a boutique townhome project in Penticton called Westmin 795 with prices starting in the $700,000s. That development, with first possessions this fall, offers access to popular Lake Okanagan.

Smith says Kalamalka is absolutely unique with its special colouration during the hot summer months. It’s a little less busy than other lakes and the locals hope to keep it that way.

“The community really cares about this lake and wants to see it maintained and kept to its highest standard,” he says.

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