Posts Tagged With: Victoria BC


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.


Categories: Buildings, Photography | Tags: , | 6 Comments

The Northern Junk buildings revisited

Recently I posted a few photographs of the Northern Junk buildings even though at the time I did not know those were them. Since then blogger mates have pointed this out to me which prompted a revisiting of the site. As the oldest standing buildings (circa 1860) in Victoria they are historic and protected as such. They are part of the Johnson St Bridge development and Reliance Properties bought them. I have looked at the plan for this area and the buildings show nicely in it. The question is of course how they, especially their outside appearance, will show by the time everything is said and done. In this design which I downloaded from I circled the two buildings as they are shown facing the waterside.
Northern Junk Development as seen from the water
Below are a few more photos of the buildings in today’s environment starting with the front:
Northern Junk Buildings 2-2-2013 (7)bl
We are going along the side
Northern Junk Buildings 2-2-2013 (10)
to the waterside
Northern Junk Buildings 2-2-2013 (13)
Northern Junk Buildings 2-2-2013 (22)
Northern Junk Buildings 2-2-2013 (24)bl

 Big changes lie ahead for many here and not least of all for float home owners and marina users.
Categories: Environment, Photography, Property Development, Seaside | Tags: , , | 15 Comments

Parliament Buildings

Here is a view again of the Parliament Buildings in Victoria BC, showing Victoria as a historic and seafaring city.

Categories: Photography, scenic, Seaside | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Victoria’s Chinatown (three scenes)

The Chinese Public School was built in 1908 because Chinese children at that time were not allowed in the public school system.

This Chinatown, being the first one in Canada, has a great mural showing its early history.

Here are two links that are well worth perusing.

Categories: Photography | Tags: , , | 13 Comments

Victoria BC at Pembroke and Shore

Walking around in the old part of town this building jumped into my face. It is enough of a gem of recent antiquity to share.

Categories: Photography | Tags: , | 3 Comments


This photograph was taken through the Ritchet Building on Wharf Street. Wharf Street is situated in the Victoria harbor area and its businesses were marine related. The Ritchet Building was constructed starting 1861 and finished 1889. It was owned by a guy from San Francisco named Robert Paterson Ritchet. He came here because of the gold rush and as a business man maintained connections and trade between San Fransisco and Victoria. This man was very much opposed, against popular opinion, to joining with the USA and later was mayor of Victoria for some years.

The building was bought by the government and extensively renovated on the inside to accommodate office space. With the heritage protection that was activated in the mean time the outside could not be altered.
This is what I could see through a grimy window in a back alley looking towards Wharf Street:
Categories: Photography, Property Development, Uncategorized | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Walk through James Bay, Victoria, BC

My favorite area in Victoria is James Bay. There is nothing like it if you like old style funkiness, that is English style architecture of the late 1800s and early 1900s mimicked in wood. The area is unique in its appearance. Other areas show mansions built by the established rich and the nouveau riche. This area was built and inhabited by working class people from professionals to artisans, influenced and inspired as far as I can see it by the English, totally. Everything is close which helps to make it a real community and an area perfect for walking. When first I came to these shores the area looked well past its prime, but in the nineteen eighties it went through a total upgrade. I think the Victoria Heritage Foundation was behind this development. It was definitely and pretty near completely face lifted. Since then preservation and new development have both been active in the James Bay area, and old and new stand now side by side.
The next house was slated for destruction until the neighbourhood reacted against it, but its future is still uncertain according to one of the locals.
The new is everywhere and where it stands you may be assured that some of the old pieces of art have gone by the wayside. I would imagine that a few of the old houses were perhaps not salvageable, others were left to deteriorate before being torn down and, I believe, some of the houses were moved to other locations
Basically where ever one looks the new is always in sight and the old shows itself like a jewel in that setting.
Every house has a story and here are just a few samples out of countless very photogenic structures. The next two photographs are of a house showing a Queen Anne form and the plans are probably taken, according to Volume 2 of THIS OLD HOUSE, from a pattern book. Looking at an original photo I notice that the top floor windows are totally different now. The inside has been turned into apartments which means change there also. No idea how the original style has been maintained. The house was worked on just to save it in 1983 and more work happened in 2003.

When I need to be in Victoria for more than a day or just as a short getaway, my wife and I stay at the James Bay Inn. We opt for a heritage room on the top floor where we have our views. It is located in the heart of James Bay within easy walking distance from downtown Victoria, Dallas Road and the Pacific, and beautiful Beacon Hill Park. The building itself was built in 1911 as a rooming house and this is where Emily Carr spent the final part of her life and died.
Here is an early morning view from one of the room’s windows.
As an afterthought and a tip for local history buffs I like to mention the Crown Bookstore (I think that is its true name) on Government Street behind the Parliament Buildings. It is closing down either this month or next month after which it goes online. We stopped there on our way out of Victoria this past Wednesday. The Victoria Heritage Foundation has a series of books published, called THIS OLD HOUSE, with a volume for every area of Victoria. Only a few areas are available in the store for $25.00 with a 40% discount. We walked out with the James Bay volume and now want to get back there to get a copy of some of the other neighbourhoods if still available. This book has every house documented with history of owners, building styles, etc including stories about the houses that have disappeared. It is incredibly complete and detailed and the making of it must have been a labor of love.
Categories: Environment, Photography, Property Development | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Malahat Building

The other night standing at the intersection I saw this building just glowing red in that final sun of the day. The hand held bit and the zoom lens made photography at that time of the day challenging.

Of course looking at a photo always brings up the question whether it is any good in the blog. I thought this one could be  if it only had some history.
So I spoke with the family historian, my wife, and she surprised me knowing some of the building’s history by heart.
Apparently it is the first Federal building constructed in Victoria (in the 1870s) as the old Victoria Custom House. There is a rooftop viewing area so that boats in the harbour could be seen. It is also known as the Malahat Building. Building style is French, but the architect named somebody Scott doesn’t sound very French.
The building is small compared with what you see around it. The height of the building reminds me of the 1960s when I first arrived on these shores. What struck me at the time was the fact there were no highrises. That made for a spacious friendly almost other worldly feeling. Obviously and perhaps sadly much has changed and the planners and movers better watch out so that with all the new development (very much of that without imagination or links to the past) Victoria does not get lost in Victoria.
Categories: Photography, Property Development | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

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