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.



Travellers Hotel and Swastikas, Ladysmith, British Columbia 2016

May 15, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Ladysmith, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Swastika, Uncategorized, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

Travellers Hotel and Swastikas, Ladysmith, British Columbia 2016

The first time I photographed the Travellers Hotel in Ladysmith on the town’s main street my attention was held by the dilapidated hotel sign over the main doors. I really didn’t look up at the higher stories and facade which at a quick glance seemed to be just fairly plain brick. A closer look on a more recent visit revealed a line of swastikas girdling the building. It seems a strange, and offensive, symbol to find on the side of a Vancouver Island building.

The building was constructed in 1912-13 and at that time the swastika was considered a symbol of  peace and prosperity, not gaining it’s Nazi connection/connotation until the Second World War. There was apparently talk during that later time of removing the symbols because of  anti-German feeling but in the end the swastikas were left as is.

The late British Columbia artist ManWoman spent his career trying to restore the original meaning of the swastika. His body was tattooed with over 200 swastikas and he used the symbol in his art. Victoria writer Tom Hawthorn wrote the obituary in the Globe and Mail for ManWoman. It details his connection with the swastika.

You’ll note the continued deterioration, if you look at the 2012 image, of the hotel sign.

 



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.



CTV Broadcast, Robson Street, Vancouver, British Columbia 2016

April 28, 2016 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver, Vancouver Street Photography | Leave a Comment 

CTV Broadcast, Robson Street, Vancouver, British Columbia 2016

Everybody has to work somewhere but it looked odd to see this television reporter, standing on a box on the Robson Street sidewalk waiting to respond to a remote (?) camera for a broadcast, not the traditional cameraman partner. Instead she was paired with a security guard, who was keeping an eye on the passing pedestrians.



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



Vancouver Public Library Steps, Central Branch, Vancouver, British Columbia 2016

April 6, 2016 | Filed Under Architect, Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Library, Moshe Safdie, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Urban, Vancouver | Leave a Comment 

Vancouver Public Library Steps, Central Branch, Vancouver, Briti

I stopped by the Vancouver Public Library’s Central branch, the big one downtown bordered by West Georgia and Robson Streets.  Designed by  Moshe Safdie and DA Architects, that complex’s colonnaded walls give it a sort of Roman ruin look. I was there to check out some of the early Vancouver photography held by the Special Collections photo section up on the 7th floor. Had an interesting chat with a volunteer one day and staffer the next and got to look over a few prints. On the way out, towards Robson Street, the late afternoon light was creating small beams of light that lit up a narrow section of the stairs. It created the circumstances for a unique street photograph with the light, people and the architecture. A side note, as I was leaving the Special Collections section I passed by a tour guide who was telling an assembled group that the rounded chairs on the floor were designed by Safdie, the architect that designed the library.



Cardero Grocery, Vancouver, British Columbia 2016

April 4, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Corner store, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver, Vancouver Street Photography | Leave a Comment 

Cardero Grocery, Vancouver, British Columbia 2016

The Cardero Grocery tucked away in Vancouver’s West End is another one of those old corner grocery stores that appears to exist in a time warp. Old painted lettering and old 7-Up logos on the facade. It seems to me the key to the longevity of these old stores is their proximity to a school. It’s not the local residents shopping that pays all the bills, it’s the children with their change buying candy and soft  drinks. The Cardero Grocery is no different, located across the playground from Lord Roberts Elementary.



Arbutus Cafe, Duncan, British Columbia 2016

March 29, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Cafe, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Duncan, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

Arbutus Cafe, Duncan, British Columbia 2016

While new architecture is as important as old, new, especially chain store architecture, is the same. A visual repetition that repeats across a province, a country and even the world, that makes everything appear to be the same, that in the interest of convenience takes away our regional uniqueness. The Arbutus Cafe in Duncan (above) is a one of a kind local establishment. It has a unique shape with it’s rounded roof that makes it stand out from other shops on the street. The name Arbutus, itself, is local, a tree that sports a peeling red bark and grows only in the Cascadia region (although it is known as a Madrona in the United States). The photo below, also taken in Duncan, shows a scene that could be anywhere, the photo at the top could only be at the corner of Kenneth Street and Jubilee Street.

The chain store architecture will, of course, date quickly and be replaced with a new look or colour or logo. The old colours, look and logos will then be part of our visual history as well.

Modern Stores, Duncan, British Columbia 2016



Royal Bay Development, Colwood, British Columbia 2016

March 28, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Colwood, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Real estate, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

Royal Bay Development, Colwood, British Columbia 2016

This will be an area I’ll be photographing over the next few years as this land gets built up.

This view will change quickly, a massive housing development will cover a former gravel pit site.

The very first houses in the Royal Bay development are going up in front of Royal Bay Secondary school. The school opened in 2015 and was the first building to go up on the 400 acre Vancouver Island site. The former gravel pit will eventually be filled with 2,800 homes  as well as a variety of  businesses and will house an estimated 7,800 people.



Next Page →