Bowker Collection Approved by Oak Bay Council


Bowker Collection To Be Unveiled June 3rd

On May 10th the Bowker Collection was approved by Oak Bay Municipal Council. Bowker will be the first residential multi-family, mixed-use community in over 10-years to be approved in Oak Bay and is set to launch on June 3rd with a Welcome to the Neighbourhood Event from 12-4pm at 1967 Oak Bay Avenue.

Located in the quiet and picturesque Willows Beach Neighbourhood and within walking distance to 3 Villages & Willows Beach, the four-storey, mixed-use community will offer 1- and 2-bedroom & Den Premium Residences, Townhomes, Garden Homes, Terrace Homes and Penthouses. Ranging in size from 700 to 2,000 square feet, prices will start under $600,000.

“This is the first approved development of its kind in Oak Bay in over 10 years,”

Explained President of Abstract Developments, Mike Miller. “We are excited for the opportunity to join the unique and exquisite Willows Beach Neighbourhood in Oak Bay. Bowker Collection will not only fit with the character of the community, but provide much needed housing in a location that has had limited stock.”

Construction of the Bowker Collection is estimated to begin in the Fall of 2017 and occupancy is estimated for Fall of 2019.

Abstract Developments will celebrate the addition of Bowker Collection to Oak Bay by hosting a “Welcome to the Neighbourhood” event on June 3rd between 12pm and 4pm, offering the public a more detailed look into the design, features and amenities at Bowker.

This event will also mark the Grand Opening of the new community to the public. To learn more about the Bowker Collection, register at BOWKERCOLLECTION.COM for priority information.

Abstract Developments Looks to Help Victoria’s Red Hot Rental Market



Victoria apartments, construction, rentals


Abstract Developments recently received approval to construct a five storey residential/commercial mixed-use building located in the Uptown area near Douglas Avenue.

Originally planned as a condominium development, the Abstract Developments team has decided instead to build the project as a purpose built rental property. With commercial space and 95 residences; this development will help provide much needed relief to Victoria’s red hot rental market.

“The neighbourhood has been undergoing a revival and it needs to continue to occur,” said Mayor Richard Atwell in lending his support to the proposed development.


Victoria apartments, construction, rentals


The development is located close to transit routes on the Douglas Corridor, direct routes to UVIC and the Galloping Goose cycling trail. To help support alternative transportation and reduce vehicle impacts, Abstract has committed to providing 150 secure bicycle parking spots.

Residences will start at $800 a month, below the $850 affordability limit for the Victoria area identified by CMHC.

Abstract Developments is excited to bring this mixed-used community to the area.

For more information please contact

Summer markets in your neighbourhood

Summer Markets

Victoria’s abundance of public and farmer’s markets makes picking up local fresh produce, artisan crafts and handmade goods a truly authentic experience. With the summer season in full swing, we’re in awe at the variety of distinctly local offerings and memorable market experiences coming to neighbourhoods across Greater Victoria.

Here’s our team’s top five favourites for summer markets around town:

Moss Street Market
Arguably Victoria’s most recognized market, Moss Street Market takes place every Saturday throughout the summer at Sir James Douglas School in Fairfield. With more than 90 vendors offering sustainable and local products along with food and music, the Moss Street Market is great for meandering through for unique finds – rain or shine.

Ship Point Night Market
On Friday and Saturday evenings Ship Point Pier lights up with artisan vendors until 10:30pm, making it Victoria’s latest night market. Overlooking Victoria’s Inner Harbour, Ship Point Night Market is a great opportunity to take advantage of summer’s longer days and stunning sunsets.

Oaklands Sunset Market
For those with busy weekends, Oaklands Sunset Market is just the market for you. Taking place at Oaklands Community Centre on Wednesday evenings starting at 4:30pm, Oaklands Market offers fresh produce, hot food and even a beer garden; making it a great spot to celebrate getting over the mid-week hump.

James Bay Community Market
Two markets in one, the James Bay Community Market boasts handmade, homemade and homegrown offerings from the corner of Menzies and Superior Street on Saturdays, as well as at the Breakwater Market at Montreal Street and Dallas Road on Sundays.

Government Street Market
Our list on summer markets couldn’t be complete without the Government Street Market, a downtown destination for artisan crafts and and services. Taking place every Sunday on Government Street between Pandora and Fisgard Street, strolling the Government Street Market is a great way to burn off that Sunday brunch.

To learn more about all of the summer markets around town, we recommend starting on the City of Victoria’s Public Market page.

Black and White - Shop/Compare

Discover the Black and White difference

Black and White - Shop/CompareBlack and White is redefining stylish contemporary living: there is nothing else in Victoria that stands close. So what makes this iconic collection of residences rise above the rest?

It goes without saying that Black and White has all the elevated features and finishes you expect in a modern home, but there’s more to the Black and White story. We’ve narrowed the list down to 10 key differentiators and invite you to shop and compare.


Cadboro Bay & Bowker

Times Colonist: Condo-commercial development proposed for Oak Bay

Published June 4, 2016 06:00 AM

Abstract Developments is proposing a four-storey development on a pie-shaped parcel at Cadboro Bay Road and Bowker Avenue in Oak Bay.

The plan for the half-acre site calls for a mixed-use building with strata condominiums “appealing to the downsizer” and some commercial along Cadboro Bay,” developer Mike Miller said.


Vancouver Sun: Interest Keen in Victoria’s Black and White

From the Vancouver Sun
Published on: June 2, 2016 | Last Updated: June 2, 2016 10:25 AM PDT

Glen and Tanya Frecker may not have any connections on the West Coast, but that’s not stopping the Toronto couple from moving to Victoria.

“I just always had a feeling that I should go out West, and I never got around to it until the last two years,” Glen Frecker said.

“I said to my wife, ‘We have to get out there and have a look.’ We went out and I was hooked. Our drive from the airport into the city, seeing the sights, it being so different from Toronto — there’s something about the West Coast, it’s just a real warm feeling to me.”

When the move comes — two years from now, after Glen, a 58-year-old biomed engineer, retires — they’ll be settling into Black and White, a new building going up on Fort Street in Victoria.


Vancouver Sun: Vancouver’s boom spurs Victoria commercial renaissance

From the Vancouver Sun
Published on: April 19, 2016 | Last Updated: April 19, 2016 2:42 PM PDT

Downtown Victoria showing Forst Street, centre, with Abstract Development's new Black and White condo project higlighted. [PNG Merlin Archive]
Downtown Victoria showing Fort Street, centre, with Abstract Development’s new Black and White condo project highlighted.

Victoria’s Upper Fort Street is going through a commercial renaissance that local businesspeople and real estate experts say is linked to the skyrocketing cost of commercial and residential real estate in Metro Vancouver.

Located on the edge of Victoria’s downtown core, upper Fort Street had long been associated more with antique auction houses and dealers than with interesting places to eat and shop. But that’s now changing, said Suzanne Bradbury, the co-owner of Fort Properties and co-chair of the Fort Street Business District.

“In the last four years what we’ve really seen is improvement in the quality and variety and strength in the businesses that have popped up in that area,” she said in a recent interview.

“Fort Street used to be known as Antique Row and I would say a lot of the businesses were geared toward the tourist population,” Bradbury said. “That has totally changed.”

Some of the antique dealers remain, “but the majority of the businesses have really come awake to the existing residential and working-class population that lives in the downtown core,” she said.

Six months ago former Vancouverite Willow Hillard opened a women’s clothing shop called Folk Apparel at the corner of Fort and Blanshard streets. “What brought me here was the changing dynamic,” she told the Sun, noting she operated a store previously on Cook Street. “I wanted to be closer to the downtown.”

She agreed that the flavour of the street has changed in the last few years. “It has gone from an afterthought part of town to a destination.”

Hillard said her business is targeted at career women in their 30s and 40s who come into the store on their lunch breaks from downtown offices. “I’ve heard from several customers who come in that they’ve just moved from Vancouver and are getting to know the city,” said the mother of five.

Hillard said typical feedback she gets from Vancouver transplants is that life and business in Vancouver had become too expensive. “I moved here six years ago for exactly those reasons,” she said. “I started having kids and I even had a store in Vancouver and I just didn’t see it to be affordable or sustainable as I wanted it to be, so I moved here.”

Victoria-based Abstract Developments recently relocated their head office to the corner of Fort and Cook streets, in a space previously leased by the provincial government.

“We were in sort of deep Victoria-Oak Bay before, but our staff really liked what the (Upper Fort) area had to offer,” said Abstract CEO and founder Mike Miller.

He said the staff like being able to eat and shop on the street while still being just outside of the “hustle and bustle” of the downtown core.

Miller said many residents from Vancouver are taking a serious interest in Victoria’s Upper Fort area. Next week, the sales launch for Abstract’s new condo development, Black and White, which will be erected kitty-corner to their new office on Fort Street.

He said about 15 per cent of their pre-sale registrations have been from Vancouver residents keen to either cash-out by selling their big-city home, or escape the city’s big costs.

“We’ve seen a few trickles (of people relocating from Vancouver) before in the last 12 months, but really since the New Year there’s been a massive trend of people from Vancouver coming here,” he said. “You have the people who are retiring, who are leaving their west-side (Vancouver) home, cashing in for a lot of money and saying … I’m either going to go to Squamish or Kelowna or Victoria.”

He said they’ve also seen interest from millennials seeking jobs in Victoria’s growing technology industry.

“The tech sector in Victoria now … is reported to be a $4-billion industry,” said Dave Ganong, the managing director of Colliers International, Victoria. “That industry then ranks as our Number 1 industry, above tourism.”

He said there about 27,000 people working in Victoria’s tech sector, with most of them concentrated in “brick-and-beam” B- and C-class buildings in the downtown core that been vacated in a wave of relocations to newer buildings by provincial government tenants.

In the last five years more firms from Silicon Valley are seeing Victoria as a cheaper alternative to Northern California, Seattle and Vancouver, Ganong said.

“In Yaletown you’re looking at probably anywhere from 50-per-cent to 75-per-cent more expensive (commercial rents) … than you would be in Victoria,” he said, adding that the tech sector in downtown Victoria has helped nearby Upper Fort to blossom into a “trendier” district.

Victoria’s residential market is feeling the side effects of Vancouver’s costly surge. “There is a major move by people in Vancouver that are looking at selling their house in the west side that they’ve been in for 20 to 25 years for more money than they could have ever imagined,” Ganong said. “We’re finding a lot of those people are now coming over to Victoria.”

View article on the Vancouver Sun


Black and White’s Grand Opening – Join Us!


Black and White


A truly modern vision has arrived to Victoria with Black and White by Abstract Developments. With junior, 1- 2 bedroom homes, and a penthouse collection, it’s a redefinition of timeless and the creation of a new mode of contemporary living in Victoria. In a vibrant location and central setting, it’s the new hub of Victoria’s Upper Fort district. It’s Black and White.


Black and White’s public unveiling is just around the corner! We look forward to opening the doors to our beautiful Presentation Centre on Saturday April 16th from 12pm- 5pm! Join us for refreshments and your exclusive first look at Black and White’s exquisitely crafted residences.

Saturday, April 16th

Time: 12 noon to 5:00pm

Place: 1010 Fort Street, Victoria  

Our sales team is always happy to assist and will be available to answer any questions you may have during your visit!


At the corner of Fort and Cook, Black and White balances texture and colour to create a remarkable six-storey community that’s walking distance to boutiques, independent cafes, restaurants, yoga studios and every daily essential. This boutique collection of residences, created by Victoria’s leading visionaries Cascadia Architects, Abstract Developments and award winning designer Sandy Nygaard, is a progressive piece of architecture that represents the revitalization of Upper Fort. Black & White’s design seeks to combine the project’s stunning exterior elements into the interior design. Light and dark combine to create harmony and contrast in the interior spaces. The understated, sophisticated design combines wide-plank White Oak hardwood flooring with 9-foot ceilings and large triple pane windows that let in an ample array of light. Airy, bright and spacious, each suite strikes a distinctive balance between contemporary and classic- the signature of an Abstract Space.


Abstract Developments doesn’t just construct homes; we help build communities.

Our meticulous, time-tested development process spans years. Black and White is your rare opportunity to experience living in an Abstract space, stylish and contemporary with iconic architecture in an enviable location. For your exclusive first look or to RSVP to the grand opening event contact our sales team directly at 778.265.3464 or email info@liveblackandwhite.comYou can also register for updates with Black and White online at

London Arbour Living Rooms

Decluttering: benefits and tips for a more organized home

Now that the New Year is well upon us, it is time to put some order back into our lives. With this in mind, we are interested in how home design professionals and minimalist devotees keep their homes organized. After reading Apartment Therapy’s What NOT to do when decluttering your home and The Green Minimalist’s 21 ‘More’ benefits of decluttering, we pulled our favorite tips and benefits to keeping your home tidy and clean.


Tips on what NOT to do when decluterring your home.


Organize first; buy second.

Before making that trip to the store to buy an assortment of containers and dividers to organize your home, start by organizing and getting rid of any belongings that do not hold a special meaning to you. By doing so, you will be able to assess what you actually need to organize your home.


Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Organizing your entire home in one day will feel overwhelming to anyone no matter the size of your space. Begin with one room or a section of the room and schedule time over the entire week to get everything in order. This will help you feel a sense of accomplishment throughout the whole process.


Complete each task – completely.

Further to point number two; ensure you complete each room completely before moving on to the next. If you don’t, you run the risk of running out of steam at the end of the process thus leaving some of the task undone.


Benefits of starting the year off with an organized home.


More time for you!

Once you have organized your home, office, or any space you use daily, you will be more efficient in your day-to-day activities. This will make life easier and will give you more time to put towards relaxing and unwinding after a long day.


A more pleasant view.

Once your home is organized, your environment will feel more clean, pure and zen. Your daily views will be of a home that is well put together and this will translate into a light feeling and a smile on your face.


More space.

This one is pretty straight-forward. Less clutter, more room! Make sure you use this opportunity to bask in the feeling of having a more spacious living environment. Take it all in. It feels great!


More discipline and control over your life.

When your have everything in order, you are able to accomplish more in a shorter period of time. You know where everything is and you can access it quicker, making you more productive and able to achieve more. You are also able to discern that tasks need to be accomplished and better plan ahead.


More time for your family.

This new found productivity will allow you to get your task list done in less time, giving you MORE TIME to enjoy the fun stuff with family and friends. Imagine spending your Saturday afternoon exploring in nature instead of tidying the house.


More mental room for your progress.

This one is a good one. I don’t think people understand how much clutter can affect their overall mood and attitude on a daily basis. When you are better organized, you increase your ability to analyze and make progress on your overall lifestyle. If you are always busy simply trying to make ends meet, how can you get better at anything? Trust me, your will be more motivated than ever to work on every part of your life once you live in an organized space.


A better appreciation for your belongings.

Upon going through this exercise, you will come to have a better appreciation for the things you decide to keep. It isn’t an easy task, but when you honestly ask yourself what items you TRULY need in your home, you will realize that these things are not simple things, but they have a special meaning to you.


Increased Financial Freedom

This is a great one too. When you grow your appreciation for the belongings you currently have, you will no longer need to replace them for the newest version. You will realize that they have meaning. Trips to the mall will become less frequent as you will develop the need to be organized and realize with time that LESS IS MOST DEFINITELY MORE.



Jute and evergreen sprigs

Holiday Design Inspiration

With holidays ahead, we spoke to design partner, Sandy Nygaard, principal of Nyggard Interiors to find out her favorite holiday design tips and tricks and what trends she’s loving this season.

Best described as natural simplicity, Sandy’s approach to holiday incorporates key elements from the outdoors to create a seasonal aesthetic, rich in colour and texture. Here are some of our favourite recommendations;

• Keep things as natural as possible; fresh evergreen bows, holly clippings and natural accents like cinnamon sticks, clove balls and pinecones add dimension to the table or a fireplace mantle, and welcome fresh winter aromas indoors.
• If your space doesn’t lend itself to a real tree, consider a lit or LED tree; they’ve become much more widely available and come in a variety of sizes and styles. Sandy’s is from Restoration Hardware; it’s the perfect Charlie brown style tree and because it’s powered by batteries, there are no cords to fuss with.
• Frasier Fir home fragrances by Thyme; a crisp scent with Siberian Fir, sandalwood and cedarwood that boasts the most amazing scent of Christmas, and doubles as a phenomenal gift.
• If you’re planning your design and don’t know where to start, websites like Pinterest and Houzz are a great place for inspiring visuals. Sandy also recommends wondering through home stores like Chintz & Company.
• Sometimes thinking simple creativity is the best approach; no glitz and glam required. Instead, small touches like jute ties, twigs and cinnamon sticks create a feeling of heart-warming authenticity, and they’re easy to incorporate into the home.

Want more ideas like Sandy’s?
Try exploring modern Christmas décor ideas on Pinterest.


Natural Holiday DecorNatural Holiday Decor Jute and evergreen sprigs