Downtown Vancouver

Being without a computer for a few months is a little like some divorces: it is both good and bad. However now that I’m back on line it is definitely time to show a few photos again.
I visited Vancouver in British Columbia a few days ago. It was a gorgeous day for a stroll through the downtown area. Even though public transportation here is fine, it could be said that downtown Vancouver is made for walking. There is always so much to look at. It’s a city for people watching, but besides that I keep my eyes also on the great architecture that runs rampant here. The old and the new freely and tastefully intermingle.

Vancouver, BC, sky


Vancouver, Howe and Robson

On another note I still photograph for my Duncan 2014 project. The other day the pickup truck was missing in front of this little building so that it could finally be photographed. If my memory serves me right the bookstore inside it opened its doors in the early seventies.

145-147-149 Kenneth Street

145-147-149 Kenneth Street

I’m glad to be able to show a few photographs again and hope you enjoyed this walk.


Recording Duncan

Here is the continueing story from the post before this one. At that time I walked around town very early in that dark night. Clicking away with my phone camera set me to thinking, the way I think so often, about photographing everything as a record for the future. Different cities around the world have these type of photographs in their archives, the ones that you stand in front of the building photograph and move on to the next.
For this post I started photographing about half an hour before the oficial sunrise. The closer I came to sunrise and going beyond it, the more the natural light interfered with the colors I wanted.
I’m showing a few of the same buildings photographed in the post before this one.

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duncan 023_187 Kenneth Street

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So these are a few of the storefronts that light up Kenneth Street. The new construction shows what kind of development is in the planning for this area. It’s a shame that the downtown core, about 6 blocks down to the railroad track, cannot be preserved for posterity in the mid of future tall steel and concrete development that will dwarf even city hall’s tower.

I like to show a building one block over. This building, even though with history, cannot be long for this world. Nothing pretty it’s just old. Across the road from it was Duncan’s Chinatown. The building housed the Chow Brothers convenience store. The store had a little of everything, a great comic and magazine section, and single cigarettes. Closing its doors coincided with the beginning of Duncan’s new era of growth, renewal, change.

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duncan 080 mant06

Nothing like an invigorating early morning walk through Duncan with its very cool air. I have cold hands to show for it. Glad you came along and hope to see you soon again.

More images of this project are being uploaded to my Flickr Duncan set of photogaphs.

Duncan very early one morning

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This post has a bit of an introduction to it. While my mother was in palliative care I spent a lot of time with her. First of all The staff at Sunridge Place that was involved with the care for my mother and the family around her needs to be complimented and thanked for the care they provided and the kindness and love they portrayed to us. Their care was both professional and, at times, beyond any call of duty.

When possible I used to go out early in the morning to get some cool fresh air. Mostly it’d be pitch black, but some days those mornings were close to sunrise. As it was in Duncan city, I couldn’t help but give my attention to all the little store fronts. They are small historic jewels very slowly replaced by humongous concrete boxes since the needs of the town grow. As I am not fond of night camera apps the HDR app on my phone was put to use again and seeing the results was a pleasant surprise.

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What you can make out here is the First Memorial Chapel. Before its present function the building was Duncan’s first Catholic church.

Here are a few of the store fronts in the dark. Over the years these buildings have had different businesses occupying them without much visible change to the buildings themselves.Duncan_2014-03-08_05-50-21_HDR[BL]




Daylight is making itself known as I wander back to my resposibilities passing by city hall.

early morning Duncan~04 early morning Duncan~06

This exercise calls for a follow up with camera and tripod in the near future. Thank you for walking with me.


About recording history

Driving to Chemainus as I do mostly using the byways rather than the highway I admired the bridge replacement across the Chemainus river (I haven’t taken any photographs there for a long time and probably will check on the new development this spring camera in hand) just before entering Chemainus from the south. The old bridge was like the Cowichan Station bridge I have shown in an earlier installment. Driving across that bridge I thought about how time changes things. Life on this Earth is change. These thoughts brought me back to Cowichan Station. When first I arrived here Cowichan Station was a post office, railroad track and important trainstation with a few houses around the post office, and farms. Oh, and a school. It’s still all of that minus the post office (which now is a private residence) and the school (which now is used for community affairs – I think). So from Chemainus I drove back to Cowichan Station to take photographs of the railroad overpass which is situated in the nastiest crook of a country road, single lane traffic, reckoning that at some time it is going to be history. A similar overpass across the Trans Canada Highway south of Duncan to accommodate train traffic to the CPR docks in Cowichan Bay was removed, I think (or remember) about 30 years ago. The Cowichan Station overpass cannot last. In photographic terms the day was dull, nevertheless here is the Cowichan Station’s overpass. The second photograph I took because I’ve been here so often and summer vegetation always totally obscures one of my favourite buildings, St Andrews church (which is no longer used for services). The photograph is taken from the tracks over the road (by the way here is a portrayal of its beautiful inside by Toad Hollow Photography). Another thing I sometimes wonder about is what will happen to our history on line during the alien invasion…My giddy aunt go run for the hills that sort of thing..

cowichan station [BL]

cowichan station [BL]2

At any rate once again I am so glad to have this chat with you, as I’m thinking about preservation of the beauty and authenticity of country roads and rural scenes.

Cowichan Bay 2013 finals

I have a weird addiction of photographing beyond the capabilities of the camera. Even when upgrading I still have to go that extra impossible step. ayayay!

The phone is used here where the camera wouldn’t do. Straight from the hip.




The photo above makes us look at the village from the Government Wharf

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Actually quite happy to be rid of this year and looking forward to 2014. I’m on my way to a small celebration and will see you all in 2014. All the best and take care.

In the pitch black I used the “HDR Camera+” app. They keep on asking me to upgrade to something with more functions (a bit of a nuissance), but the app is good as is. Using different cameras for different functions this is the most used camera app on my phone.


Mount St Angela

When walking around the Christ Church Cathedral, shown in the episode before this one, I came across an old building that clearly had seen better days. The Mount St Angela building was built in the second half of the nineteenth century and added on to in 1911. It was built as part of the Christ Church establishment, sold to the sister’s of St Ann for a sister retirement home in the fifties, and this century sees it in the eye of the developer. However, Mount St. Angela is a designated heritage building, an important one in the historic architectural fabric of Victoria and it has not been pushed over yet. Its architect designed many of the Victoria houses and buildings, the Richard (Emily) Carr house is one of them. It was designed by John Wright and George Sanders. Personally I believe that the right way of preservation is maintaining certain areas or neighbourhoods rather than individual buildings. It may be a little late for this approach in Victoria and the future may show us buildings such as this one surviving in the midst of 4, 6, or 20 story square boxes made out of concrete and glass. I’m by no means down on modern architecture (the most beautiful buildings worldwide definitely have a share of modern ones with them), but I don’t think that the designs that tend to show up in Victoria particularly beautify the city. At any rate let’s hope the building does not go derelict but gets restored. I think of seismic upgrading and realise there will be a struggle between history and money over the fate of this building.

Mount St Angela [BL]

Mount St Angela [BL] (2)

The future may see this building erased, partly preserved, or restored in its entirety including two houses that are on this property. At least that is what I came up with in my research. However the most recent news items about this place that I could find go back to 2008.

Here is some info on the architects. John Wright did a lot of building in Victoria during the middle part of the 1800s, later on joined by his brother in law, George Sanders, who had met up with him a few years before the Mount St Angela project.


Recently I had a stroll around this magnificent building Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria, British Columbia. Consecrated in 1929 it was built in a few stages throughout the twentieth century. The Gothic style comes from medieval times. The building is humongous and full of incredible details. The church is mostly open during daytime (an old fashioned custom no longer prevalent among churches) and that’ll allow me to do more exploring there, armed with tripod etc, in the near future.

Even though the front looks by no means small, with all its solidness it does not even come close to giving us an inkling about the real size of the building.

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There are many sides to this building but for this tour we are at the back of the building now.


Those three large stain glass windows we look at this time of day show nicer from the inside.

Christ Church Cathedral [BL] (4)

The plan is to delve into this building’s nooks and crannies one fine day in the next few months and the resulting photographs of that excursion will definitely be showcased here first.


Some time ago I posted a few photos of The Union Club Of BC. Photos zooming in on the building’s detail were missplaced. They never made it into the article. After some time they mysteriously reappeared back from their trip to no man’s land and gave me a chance to show them belatedly in a separate entry.

The first photo, an older photo taken with a phone camera, shows the front as an introduction to those finer details.


Walking up the stairs we’ll have a look at a few of the details that can only be seen by getting a little closer.







When looking over the ballustrade I see myself standing across the street taking the first photo, and round and round we go. We’ve looked at only two sides of this awesome building; the other two sides are obscured by the city.


St Andrew’s Cathedral

On the corner of Blanshard and View Street in Victoria British Columbia stands a grand building St Andrew’s Cathedral. It was dedicated by Bishop John Lemmens in 1892 and here it still stands.

We begin our quick walk-by facing the rectory on View Streetst andrews cathedral victoria bc [BL] (3)

Which adjoins the church next to it

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Continuing our walk we come to Blanshard Street and that is what  the church’s front looks out on.


The head stones on the corner commemorate three early pioneers of the church. They are buried in the church. These people have led busy and eventful lives and on their many journeys often had more adventures than they cared for.

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We have come to the front.

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st andrews cathedral victoria bc [BL] (8)

october 87 50mm f2.8 1/60

St Andrew’s Cathedral is a building well worth looking at both outside and inside. It is a nice addition to my classic-buildings-walk-around project and I say thank you for accompanying me here, hope you enjoyed the walk. God bless.

Here are two links dealing with historical aspects of the building:’s_Cathedral_(Victoria,_British_Columbia)

The Union Club Of British Columbia

One of  the beautiful buildings in Victoria BC, definitely from the era much inspired by the British of the time, is the Union Club of BC building. Nowadays it is very much like a hotel. It is advertised by the many hotel booking agencies that operate on line, but it still is a club with dress codes and such from long ago. The building was built in 1912 when the Club had outgrown its previous home. One of these days I hope to go inside but in the mean time there is the outside. The building, obviously designed for the awkward property it is on, is a prime example of west coast architecture with the British influences in the early 1900’s.

Arriving here from Amsterdam in the mid 1960’s I was awed by the inner city low building style and the subsequent feeling of total spaciousness. This building is part of that old low style. The landscape has changed somewhat in the mean time because of modern high rise intermingling but I’m able to ignore that aspect in these photographs.

Union Club Building-1


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