Developers Hit The Swamp

Posted: 27th January 2011 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Today’s post finds us wandering the swamp, so to speak.  I find beauty and intrigue in some of the strangest places, and the homes we are going to showcase and highlight today definitely fall into the strange category.

This particular area of our city is kind of funny.  It is full of families trying to get by day-to-day.  There is a local elementary school in the area, serving a further reminder of the neighborhoods roots in family dwellings.  The area is also rife with drug dealers, drug addicts and other seedy characters.   It is quite normal to be heading down this street and see a lane blocked off with a contingent of police vans and cars performing some form of  “neighborhood cleansing”.  I’ve personally had my car stolen from this area in the last few years, and I had to hunt down and find my stolen car myself…  our police department was busy dealing with other, more pressing, matters I guess.

Classic Home - Victoria BC Canada

Classic Home - Victoria BC Canada

Given that the neighborhood is peppered with all walks of life, and given the nature of the car in this driveway, I would be lead to believe this home is inhabited by a local family just trying their best in the times we live in.  The fence and several different shades of color on the siding in this scene really creates a sense of struggle and dichotomy.  This home is of a typical 1970’s west coast styling that we see quite a bit of.

Classic Home - Victoria BC Canada
Classic Home – Victoria BC Canada

The rezoning application sign shows that someone is intending to acquire the line of lot’s on the main road here, undoubtedly to raise new condominiums.  Whatever new condo’s are erected here will probably be well outside the price range of the folks living in these homes currently.  This is a common theme lately with the rising price of housing on Vancouver Island; push the low income families out and try to bring in young, over-leveraged people with high ratio mortgages.  I wonder what could possibly go wrong…

Classic Home - Victoria BC Canada

Classic Home - Victoria BC Canada

Even the sign discussing the rezoning application isn’t free of the local vandals touch.  Graffiti adorns the sign and I am left with the feeling that the new tenants are going to be living in shiny new boxes soon, but unable to wander out safely in their own neighborhood without a security contingent….

Classic Home - Victoria BC Canada

Classic Home - Victoria BC Canada

This image was particularly striking to me…  the only window on the whole house with a color frame is visible here, and the garage on the side of the house has been sealed over with a rudimentary door installed, probably to create additional rooms in the house.  All the textures and details here create a compelling and dramatic scene.

Classic Home - Victoria BC Canada

Classic Home - Victoria BC Canada

This image was intriguing to me, not just because of the typical stucco home that we see a lot of, but close scrutiny of the scene shows that the front cement staircase is starting to separate from the main house, is tilting towards the front yard, and will eventually…  fall into the swamp.  The gray van in the background that hasn’t been run in 15 years adds a bit of depth.  I think the satellite dish just above the roofline of the van really notches up the irony component here.

Classic Home - Victoria BC Canada

Classic Home - Victoria BC Canada

This home and the scene it presents us has so many diametrically opposed elements in it, a close look will definitely result in some serious head scratching.  The garbage can and the strewn garbage in the front yard sets the tone; this is not an upscale neighborhood.  Given our local climate, the inclusion of the palm tree (or should I say half dead, half alive palm tree) is definitely noteworthy.

And of course, there’s a Porsche in the driveway.

We’ve got more coming for tomorrow, so stay tuned folks!  Thanks for dropping by today, please leave a comment we love to hear from you.




  1. avatar Jim Denham says:

    Wow. There’s some serious life in these shots and your words Toad. You really get a sense of what life is like there. Well done!

  2. Did you and your camera wander around with a “rent-a-cop” at your side? These images really evoke conflicting responses and emotions. Let’s sit inside the Porsche, with a six-pack, and discuss it! 😉

    • Let’s put it this way, these were hand-held shots, no time or desire to be encumbered by a tripod… this is a very scary place to be with expensive camera gear by myself to be honest. I was literally in and out as fast as I could scurry…

      Sure thing, Barbara! No adventure can be considered complete unless you have a beer or two with a good friend in a Porsche! 🙂

  3. avatar //Sub/Corpus says:

    very nice photos … 🙂

  4. avatar mindymilburn says:

    These are some great shots but I love how you take us on a journey with your photos and words!