Friday, September 22, 2023
Tuesday, August 29, 2023
I like finding unexpected things. While exploring Courtenay, British Columbia, I found myself in a part of the city I had apparently never seen before. I have memories of places and stores just a few blocks away though.
In 1912, work began and land was being cleared in order to make room for a roundhouse, machine shops, and a station, as part of a stop on the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway.
|Courtesy of the Courtenay & District Museum |
|Courtesy of the Courtenay & District Museum|
|Courtesy of the Courtenay & District Museum|
The Courtenay Train Station was completed in 1914 and the first passenger train arrived on August 6, 1914. The line was to continue north to Campbell River. However, World War I put a stop to all future plans. As the war ended, highways and trucking services had improved and this became the end of the line.
Though this was the end of the line, it was still an important part of life in Courtenay. Passengers, mail, farm equipment, trucks, and sometimes livestock arrived by passenger and freight trains. Trains here would use the wye (Y), instead of the more common roundhouse, just past the station to turn around and head back south towards Victoria.
|2009 Prior to closure. Photo from Wikipedia|
The station was given heritage status by the City of Courtenay on 2002 and when it closed permanently in 2011 it was the Northern Terminus for the Dayliner service by Via Rail.
It appears that in 2014 a deal was signed (but not ratified) to restore passenger rail service which included money earmarked for improving track safety, replacing deteriorating wooden ties, steel repairs, and bridge upgrades. There was another news article from 2022 involving one of the same groups from 2014, still seeking government support and funding to restore passenger and freight serivce.
As of August 2023 the station is still boarded up and the tracks are overgrown.
Friday, August 18, 2023
We spent one of our vacation days on Gabriola Island, this is one of the Gulf Islands located in the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and the Mainland. It is a short 25 minute ferry ride from Nanaimo.
Gabriola Island is know for it's scenery and it's arts & culture. As one lady said to us in passing, "everyone here thinks they're an artist." We did see some amazing art and it does have a high concentration of artists.
One of our first stops was the Malaspina Galleries, however, this is not the type of gallery you may be thinking of. It is a natural formation that has been carved into the sandstone of the cliff by the waves. An awe inspiring testament to the power of nature.
Stayed tuned for our next stop!
Thursday, August 17, 2023
I seem to be really hot and cold with this blog, so thank you for sticking around! The next few blog posts will not be from my usual stomping grounds of Alberta, but instead all the way west to Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The ocean is always a welcome sight for this landlocked, prairie girl and it is where I have some great childhood memories. This trip I brought my son for his 2nd visit to the Island, but first to the areas we visited this time. I always call it 'the Island' as if it is the only one...
On our last night there, we stayed at a charming tiny house and just down the lane was the most magical looking barn. By this point I had already passed it twice without seeing it and perhaps I noticed it on the 3rd pass because the light was just right. Or maybe it was magic, it sure felt like I had stumbled into a story book or a secret place, but maybe that it just me being excessively imaginative.
Speaking of tiny houses, here is the one we rented. In the future I could live in one like this near the ocean and be completely content.
Sunday, July 2, 2023
2 nights ago, my area received 2 emergency alerts for tornado warnings. A strong storm cell was moving in and myself and a bunch of other like minded smart people did the opposite of what the alert said and headed outside towards the storm for some photos. Normally, these tornado warnings don't amount to anything and this time the storm did pass by with just some strong winds and a spectacular lightning show that lasted for hours.
The very next day, which was also Canada Day, a large tornado did touch down south of us and did do some damage. I was going to say about 45 minutes south of me, but it has come to my attention recently that Canadians measure distance in time....which doesn't really make sense to most. By the map it was roughly 80km south.
Here are a couple images of the storm cell:
Stay safe out there everyone!
Friday, June 30, 2023
One of the benefits of living in a lake town is the summer storms rolling in across the lake that make for some great subject matter. I took these pics just before the downpour.
That's all folks. Short and sweet. Just like me. Have a great weekend everyone!