British Columbia Documentary Photography #2

November 26, 2016 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Colwood, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photographers, Photography, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Old Home, New Construction Colwood Britsh Columbia 2016

I recently read an interview with a local archives manager. He talked about the work and purpose of the archives and about acquiring material for the facility. He is  always on the lookout for unique local photographs showing the community’s history but he made a a comment that I thought every documentary photographer should consider. He said that it was easy to find/receive images of the area’s main street, what was a challenge was finding images of the secondary and back streets. It’s a good reminder that the documentary photographers need to pay attention to the less obvious, the quiet areas where, in reality, we all spend most of our lives.



Robin Hood Motel, Victoria British Columbia 2016

May 29, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Robin Hood Motel, Victoria British Columbia 2016

There’s something about old signage. The Robin Hood Motel on Gorge Road seems a throwback to the 60s anyhow but it’s obvious in both the retro style and content the sign has not been changed in a long time. Despite the changeable sign below advertising wifi, the main sign still touts that they offer COLOUR television. The motel is one of the last of its kind in the city but must be quite popular with a close to downtown location  and new services including, as their website shows, they now offer digital TV with 70+ channels.



Giant Bathtub Parade Float, Victoria, British Columbia 2016

May 24, 2016 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Landscape, Nanaimo, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Giant Bathtub Parade Float, Victoria, British Columbia 2016

The annual Victoria Day Parade is a big deal in Victoria. It’s three hours long and  starts from from Mayfair Mall and moves all the way down Douglas Street through the downtown. It’s not  entirely unexpected, since parades are full of odd sights, to see a giant bathtub representing Nanaimo (famed for its annual bathtub race) coming down the street. It is however much stranger to later see that giant tub, still full of people, making its way down a street filled with regular traffic, and it must have been very strange to those who hadn’t been at the parade or possibly didn’t know there was a parade going on.

The annual bathtub race in Nanaimo isn’t what it used to be. At one time the race was from Nanaimo to Vancouver and the tubs weren’t the modern, streamlined, one piece constructions they are now. It was often a wonder the tubs survived  the crossing.



Former Toyota Dealership, Victoria, British Columbia 2015

May 4, 2016 | Filed Under Architect, Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Street photography, Toyota, Vancouver Punk, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Former Toyota Dealership, Victoria, British Columbia 2015

This style of building, an architectural homage to to the Japanese heritage of the car dealership’s home country, was not unique for this Victoria Toyota car lot. I’m not sure if at one point all Toyota dealerships looked like this but I remember another in Kamloops. It was remodelled years ago and is now a fast food restaurant box, all Asian influences removed. The Victoria building was torn down recently, after sitting empty for months, following the dealership move across the street to a new much larger purpose built building.



Fresko Cafe, Yates Street, Victoria, British Columbia 2016

April 16, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Cafe, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Wonderful hand painted signs on the exterior of this downtown cafe in Victoria.Fresko Cafe, Yates Street, Victoria, BC 2016



The Odeon, Brickyard and Efes, Yates Street, Victoria, British Columbia 2016

March 21, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

The Odeon, Brickyard and Efes, Yates Street, Victoria, BC 2016

Unique local restaurants and movie theatre along Yates Street in downtown Victoria.



Rain storm approaching, Harbour Road, Victoria, British Columbia 2016

March 13, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Historical, History, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Street photography, Uncategorized, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Rain storm approaching, Harbour Road, Victoria, BC 2016

 

This is the kind of weather we’ve seen a lot of this year. The street, Harbour Road, is one of the more interesting roads in Victoria simply because the side shown is new residential with some commercial/retail thrown in. The other side of the road is on the harbour and is still marine industrial giving the area a nice feel, holding on to an existing maritime heritage while adding downtown residential and  commercial.



Stores at dusk, Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC 2016

January 19, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Food, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Restaurant, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | 1 Comment 

Stores at dusk, Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC 2016

This area of Victoria the blocks where Blanshard intersects with Fort Street is becoming known as a “Foodie” neighbourhood. A variety of restaurants, cafes and coffee shops have sprung up in the area in the past few areas offering a choice in menus and prices and offering an alternative to the Government/Wharf Street pod of food outlets.



Douglas Street traffic in the rain, Victoria, BC 2015

January 17, 2016 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Douglas Street traffic in the rain, Victoria, BC 2015

This image seemed appropriate for a wet January morning. Early morning buses, cars and pedestrians navigate Douglas Street in downtown Victoria, British Columbia on a wet winter day. Wet weather being a standard part of west coast life through the fall and winter.



Tent city for the homeless, Victoria, BC 2015

January 10, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Homelessness, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Photojournalism, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | 3 Comments 

Tent city for the homeless, Victoria, BC 2015

Homelessness continues to be an issue, mainly for urban areas and Victoria is no exception.  Over the past decade a number of tent cities have sprung up, established by the homeless and transient street folk, usually in city parks. The city created a bylaw to address the issue, one that allows camping in parks overnight, but creates time boundaries, when tents can be pitched and at what time they have to be removed (7am I believe). The bylaw has worked reasonably well without solving any real issues, giving people a place to sleep with allowing any permanent encampment.

This situation has changed though with the realization by someone that the park abutting the courthouse in the downtown core is actually provincial property and not subject to city bylaws. This has allowed the creation of  a new tent city on the park grounds. Reaction from the province has been nonexistent but a solution of sorts for some people has been created with the conversion of the old Boys and Girls Club building into a temporary (April) shelter with room for about 40 of the tent city residents. That still leaves more than that still camped out in the park who have no intention of leaving and really, without anywhere permanent to go anyhow.

The tent city obviously can’t stay. the area is not made for any continuing encampment. There are no permanent washroom or shower or laundry facilities there. The constant foot traffic has already turned most of the grass into a field of mud (the park was still largely green when the photo above was taken) and the site is gradually being accumulating more possessions/garbage on the periphery.

The campers at this site have been largely responsible with their self governing structure but they need residences, a park in a city is merely a temporary stop. Continuing to allow the tent city to remain will only cause further deterioration of the park grounds and will not solve the very real issues of  homelessness.

Another take on the issue of the homeless and tent city’s can be seen here , from the blog Fraseropolis which explores a variety of urban issues on the lower mainland.

UPDATE: While some campers did leave, the tent camp has both continued to grow and become more permanent. Several wooden structures have been erected among the tents and the grounds continue to deteriorate. Note the full size filing cabinet, at centre of image.

 

Update #2: Andrew Macleod of The Tyee has an interview with one of the tent city residents here. I don’t think the guy does himself  or the encampment any favours in the interview, coming across not as someone who needs help or who has been overcome by events but as someone who is taking advantage of the situation.  A couple of quotes below:

The first time you started sleeping outside, how did you end up there?

That was actually a self-choice. I chose to become homeless because well, I was just sick and tired of life the way it was for me, and honestly it’s very, very freeing when you become homeless for the first time. Not needing to pay rent on anything, not needing to worry about having to work for this, work for that. If you go hungry in Victoria, you really have to be stupid, because there are so many things that are available to the homeless here. I’m also better dressed than I ever was when I was working.

Why’s that?

I’ve just had more expensive, nicer clothes, an abundance of them, here being homeless than I did when I was working. Working, you’d think about money, think about this, think about that. Here you get handed RDS hoodies, leather jackets. I got this; it’s a brand new Guess leather jacket, absolutely free. [It was] just a hand-me-down from somebody who donated it.”

 

Tent city for the homeless, Victoria, BC 2016

 



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