Seeking Rusty Beauties

Today’s post is a bit different from what we usually post here at The Hollow, so please bear with us.  We are extending a plea for help here today as we are actively seeking rusty beauties on Vancouver Island.  We have a very exclusive client who is a private collector of our work, and we have been commissioned to create and deliver some new pieces for his collection.  These pieces are intended to be displayed in his private car garage, a custom facility covering over 7,000 sq feet that cost over $4M to build, and is hosting his multi-million dollar car collection.  Over the past year, we have delivered enlargements of some of his favorite shots of ours, printed using a very special and custom printing process called “dye sublimation on aluminum“.  These prints are 4 to 5 feet wide and look terrific in the context of a beautiful bespoke garage full of wonderful classic collectible cars.

Rusty Antique Car Planter - Metchosin, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Rusty Antique Car Planter – Metchosin, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Visit our blog “Headlights In The Field” for the story behind the photo.

Abandoned GMC Truck - Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada

Abandoned GMC Truck – Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
Visit our blog “Haunting Eyes” for the story behind the photos.

Rusty Artifact - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Rusty Artifact – Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

The theme for the collection is quite obviously rusty cars and trucks. These pieces are great additions to the space in how they juxtapose against the beautiful and pristine collectible cars that are on exhibit on the floor.  We are now asked to provide 6 more pieces to include in this very special place, and this is where we need to reach out to you, our fans and friends.

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When you think of the words “old” and “charm” do you think of Vancouver Island?  Not many people do, to be honest.  We’re located on the very westerly coast of Canada, with the next stop from here being basically Russia and China off our shores.  The west coast of Canada has only been colonized for a little over 150 years, so our history doesn’t run thousands of years deep as it does in many places in Europe and in the far east.  Yet, we do have our own history, and with it our own character and flavor.  Living on the coast of an active rainforest plays havoc on wood structures over time, and this havoc translates to weathering that creates distinctly west coast scenes.  One of our favorite types of scenes features weather stressed barns and outbuildings, and can always be found on a Vancouver Island farm.

Crooked Weathered Barn - Vancouver Island Farm, British Columbia, Canada

Crooked Weathered Barn – Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

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We were recently assigned a visit to St. George’s Anglican Church located in the heart of Cadboro Bay, a tiny community in the city of Victoria, British Columbia here on Vancouver Island.  The Cadboro Bay community is a wonderful place to visit as it sits by the ocean.  Here you will find delightful landscapes and architecture that speak of our west coast lifestyle.  Our ongoing “Anglican Church Project” has been a real source of adventure and discovery for us these past few years as we get to explore these wonderful churches, learning why each and every one is unique and a reflection of the community it serves.  Join us here today as we visit St. George’s Anglican Church.

St. George's Anglican Church - Cadboro Bay, Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

St. George’s Anglican Church – Cadboro Bay, Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

St. George's Anglican Church - Cadboro Bay, Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

St. George’s Anglican Church – Cadboro Bay, Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

St. George's Anglican Church - Cadboro Bay, Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

St. George’s Anglican Church – Cadboro Bay, Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Upon arrival, we were immediately struck by the recent changes the church has taken, adding on to the existing building with a very contemporary west coast addition that blends in with the old church and the flavor of Cadboro Bay.  The new structure, known as a narthex, is constructed of beautifully finished wood and is a sympathetic addition.  It creates a passage between the entrance and the nave of the church itself, with terrific architectural features and a dramatic, tall ceiling.

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Island living has many perks.  The landscape and oceanscape changes by the hour, revealing new vignettes as the hands of time march along.  Summer is now upon us, and with it comes bright, sunny days that showcase the island and the communities that dot the shores.

Anchored Boats - Chemainus Oceanscape, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Anchored Boats – Chemainus, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

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The excitement was building as we headed up Knight Inlet in search of Grizzly Bears in an early June morning on the west coast of Canada.  There was a chill in the air, and a thick fog covered the still ocean as our boat made its way up the inlet.  The anticipation of what laid in store was truly palpable onboard the boat, yet there was an eerie stillness that lingered in the air as we made steady time.  It was only a matter of another hour or so and the scene would change rapidly as the sun broke through the morning mist and a bright day emerged.  It was a truly magical day, one that will follow us forever.

Knight Inlet - West Coast, British Columbia, Canada

Knight Inlet – West Coast, British Columbia, Canada

Knight Inlet is a place unlike any other, with seascapes that change by the minute as land emerges and then hides again as the rolling fog transitions.  These landscapes are alluring and haunting at the same time, leaving us all profoundly changed as people as our personal experiences intermingle with the reality just outside the window.  An island emerges from behind the veil of fog, leaving us all speechless as the profound natural beauty sinks into our very souls.

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It’s really hard to believe that July is here already!  With summer just around the corner in Canada, it’s time to start planning for visits to our local car shows.  The weather is getting nice on Vancouver Island, and with it comes a bevy of sightings of classic and custom cars, trucks and motorcycles.  In other words, this is the time of year that Mr. Toad, yours truly, loves to get out and meet new people and spend time checking out the cars!

Custom Chevy Nova SS - Beverly Corners Show and Shine 2015 - Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Custom Chevy Nova SS – Beverly Corners Show and Shine 2015 – Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

In today’s post, we are going to celebrate a stunning classic hot rod, one that can easily stand on its own in terms of detail, raw power and earth-shattering speed.  There is a bit of a deeper backstory to this beaut, though, one that is personal to me.  For those who follow us regularly, you already know of my love for classic hot rods.  I have owned many myself and continue to be amazed at the quality and attention to detail that goes into our contemporary builds up here in Canada.  This custom Nova SS is a perfect example of this.  It exhibits a wonderful blend of impeccable beauty and earthquake inducing power.

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Vancouver Island is a place full of special places.  Go in any direction and in short order you will most certainly find a little piece of Heaven to call your own, if only for a few lucky moments.  But some places are so special, so uniquely beautiful and breathtaking, that you can’t help but leave a little piece of your heart behind in an effort to someday find your way back.  Telegraph Cove is one of those rare places.

Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

A tiny, historic boardwalk community built in the 1920’s to service the telegraph line from Campbell River to the north island sits nestled protectively in a scenic cove overlooking the Johnstone Straight.  Once home to a lumber mill and fish cannery, the original homes built by the pioneering and adventurous families who braved the elements, and undoubtedly their own fears, now comprise the world-famous Telegraph Cove Resort.  Home to stately eagles and myriad other birds, marine and landlubbers alike, majestic black bears, harbour seals, and river otters, to name just a few, the scenery changes by the minute.  A plethora of ecotourism adventures begins at the end of the pier with  whale-watching, grizzly bear tours, fishing expeditions, kayaking and scuba diving.  Or simply sit and watch nature’s dazzling display unfold in front of you from the comfort of the charming coffee shops or restaurants.

Tide Rip Grizzly Tours - Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Tide Rip Grizzly Tours – Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

While Telegraph Cove will surely steal your heart, a short jaunt up through Johnstone Straight to Knight  Inlet will bring you to a place that will haunt your very soul for evermore.

Tide Rip Grizzly Tours - Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Tide Rip Grizzly Tours – Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Glendale Cove. The southern most point of The Great Bear Rainforest and home to one of the most beautiful and least understood creatures known to man, the venerable Grizzly Bear.

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Imagine waking up in a beautiful character home, surrounded by the chirps of the local birds as the fresh Cowichan Valley air gently stirs in your room.  You awaken and head downstairs to where a lovely breakfast awaits you as the day begins.  All your plans for the day are yours for experiencing, as well as some wonderful surprises that are quintessentially Vancouver Island.  If this sounds good to you, you will definitely want to consider booking your stay at the McLay Heritage Guest House.

McLay Heritage Guest House - Duncan, Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

McLay Heritage Guest House – Duncan, Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

The Arts and Crafts style of architecture was fairly predominant during the early 1900’s on Vancouver Island, resulting in many buildings, homes and facilities that exhibit this style.  Several well-known architects were responsible for many of these designs, and Robert McLay Jr. was most certainly one of those.  Here we see many of the features and details of this particular style including the river rock masonry, wood-framed windows and half log siding.  These details are carried over to the interior of this house where we find the original Douglas fir floors, a granite fireplace, wood built-ins and wood paneling to add the perfect finishing touches to this character home.

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We love our history on Vancouver Island and on the West Coast of Canada, and we particularly love our history in the context of our wonderful and unique architecture.  We were absolutely delighted to meet Magdalena and Stefan Opalski more than a year ago, and learn of their plans to fully restore Wentworth Villa, one of Victoria’s most prized heritage homes, and then turn it into a museum that celebrates these homes here and in the Pacific Northwest.  As time went on, we visited as much as we could during the work phase, slowly watching their dream turn into reality as one of the city’s most important heritage landmarks found new life.

Wentworth Villa Architectural Heritage Museum - Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Wentworth Villa Architectural Heritage Museum – Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Wentworth Villa is located in the very heart of Victoria city, being one of only a handful of original homes that were designed and created during the early years of settlement in the greater Victoria area.  Designed and built in 1863 this wonderful home features a wide variety of lovely architectural details and features, making it much more than just a house.

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Romance comes in many shapes and forms.  Sometimes it is a concept, sometimes it’s an emotion.  The one constant is it is always centered around how it makes your heart feel.  Romance can be spurred on by people, and it can be created by places.  In today’s article we are going to take you to a very, very special place located at the north end of Vancouver Island called Telegraph Cove, one of the most romantic places we have ever visited in our lives.

Telegraph Cove - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Telegraph Cove – Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Telegraph Cove was established in 1911, starting as a one room telegraph station servicing this particular region of the west coast of Canada.  Today it is one of the last remaining boardwalk communities, located at the end of a quiet road that would be so easy to miss if you weren’t looking for it.  Our article today is a feature from our trip to the northern part of Vancouver Island in the fall of 2015.  Previous articles from this area are featured in our “North Island Toads” catalog, if you are interested in seeing more from this wonderful area.  To read about the interesting history of this community, please visit the official Telegraph Cove History site for details.

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