History & Heritage
Humble Beginnings - 1946
A tent was the first "home" erected on the 11 acre oceanfront and forested Tigh-Na-Mara property. Newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. Van Norman purchased the tranquil property back in 1946. Determined and hardworking the couple built the first cabin followed by another two cottages a few years later.
Something in a Name - 1956
After passing through the hands of several owners and different names, Mrs. Roberts bought the property in 1956. Feeling that it reminded her of her native home Scotland she adorned the property with the name Tigh-Na-Mara – Gaelic for “House By the Sea." As the property continued to grow while passing between owners, the name still true, remains the same.
Taking Shape - 1981
Joe and Jackie Hirsch, present owners, and their partners, purchased the 11 acres and its 12 cottages. Gradually they renovated every one, added on more units, a swimming pool and eventually 11 more acres. Over the years the resort has added a conference centre, restaurant, lounge and children’s playground.
Evolution - 1983
From 1983 to 1987 the Hirsch’s and partners added an indoor jacuzzi and indoor heated pool, the Gabriola condominium, a new office with residence in the back for the Hirsch’s and finally a restaurant, lounge and conference centre with 4 conference rooms. The waterfront estate of Esson was purchased by TNM in 1988 to expand the property to its present day 22 acres. Between 1989 and 1992 the waterfront Texada and Ballenas condominium complexes were completed.
The Perfect Addition - 2003
In February 2003 the “Lodge” was replaced with a newer building now known as the Jedediah. Also in 2003, the Grotto Spa was completed and opened its doors to the public mid-March as one of Canada’s largest full-service spas. The resort is ever expanding; in 2004, the International Log Builders’ Association held their annual gathering at TNM. As part of a pre-conference workshop, a log gazebo was built and purchased by the resort. The gazebo now stands between the Ballenas and Gabriola ocean view condos – with a perfect, panoramic view of the tidal flat beach Parksville is famous for. The main office, which originally housed the Hirsch’s, has also been completely converted into full functioning office space. In the fall 2005, the expansion of the Grotto Spa 3rd floor was completed.
Upgrading the Finishing Touches - 2012
Along side the renovations which happen annually around the resort, the Spa Bungalows received a fresh new look with deep chestnut coloured furniture, stylish couches and chairs, and little touches throughout each room.
The Tigh-Na-Mara You Know - PRESENT
Today, this 22 acre property features 192 handcrafted log accommodation units which are spread through the Arbutus and Douglas Fir trees spanning the grounds and nestled above 3 kilometres of sandy beach. The resort has never stopped evolving with continuous updates and changes for the comfort of the guest. Whether it is known as a family resort, couples retreat or a spa goers fantasy, it is the perfect place to create lifelong memories…
Where We Go From Here… FUTURE
As we look to the future we continue to focus on our guests first, creating unique, lasting memories of fun and relaxation. With forward thinking and innovation, we will continue to design packages that enhance experiences, specifically suited to our guests’ needs.