History & Heritage


Humble beginnings

With a beautiful land which had just been purchased, newlyweds – Mr. and Mrs. Van Norman erected a tent as the first “home” on the 11 acres of oceanfront and forested property. Soon to follow, the first log cabin was built on the property.


Something in a name

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 never left.


Taking shape

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.



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

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

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

Today, this 22 acre property boasts 192 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…

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.