As Mrs. Toad and myself hop about Vancouver Island, we encounter some really different scenes.  Today’s post showcases a very different and unique find in a little town named Chemainus.  Chemainus became famous for having reinvented itself after the collapse of the logging industry.  They did this by inviting local artists to paint murals on the buildings in town and thus created a tourist destination.

Telephone Co. Ltd. - Chemainus BC Canada

Telephone Co. Ltd. - Chemainus BC Canada

What an incredible setting!  The sign and the wonderful lights that dangle over it are completely reminiscent of an older time.  This is probably the back of a building, but you encounter this on the main road right in the middle of town called Willow St.  The bicycle and the stairs create a 3D aspect to the overall scene, almost like the pop-up books we used to read as kids.

Telephone Co. Ltd. - Chemainus BC Canada

Telephone Co. Ltd. - Chemainus BC Canada

Being an engineer by trade, anything mechanical fascinates me.  This bicycle is no exception!  Since I first came to Chemainus for a visit in the early 1980’s, this bicycle has been a high-point that I always look forward to.  This perspective allows us to see that someone has firmly attached the bicycle to the wall, but it take pretty close scrutiny to really see this; the end result is both subtle and artistic.

We are definitely heading back to Chemainus in the coming months to do a full-on expose of the murals on the buildings.  They are all truly amazing works of art and will really produce a great series of images to share.

Many thanks for the visit today, we really appreciate it.  Please feel free to leave us comments as we love to hear from our visitors!!




  1. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    That explains why my phone calls are not going through 😉 Lovely find Toad!

  2. Fascinating (as usual). 🙂

  3. avatar A.Barlow says:

    wow, this is cool! I love how people do these drawings, that’s awesome. Great shot man, you made it feel alive!

  4. avatar Fred Norris says:

    Great story Toad ,love the bike!Looking forward to you and Mrs Toad further exploring this little town called Chemainus.

    • Thank you so kindly Fred! We’re really looking forward to getting back up there to do up a really great series of shots of all the murals. It’s really amazing!! Thanks for popping by today and leaving such a great comment my good friend!

  5. avatar mindymilburn says:

    Another round of great architecture! These are great 🙂

  6. avatar Bob Lussier says:

    Love the placement of the bike.Cool image can’t wait to see more.

    • Many many many thanks for popping by today Bob, we sure do appreciate that my friend. I hope we can entertain you further after we get back for some of the other murals in town. Really appreciate your support & kindness Bob!!

  7. avatar Viveca Koh says:

    Love these, that mural painting is delightful, and the bicycle almost looks as if it has been painted on in the top photo, trompe-l’œil style. I’ll look forward to seeing some more murals from this place 🙂

  8. avatar Heather says:

    I wish I had your gift Toad! How do you guys find this stuff?

    • What are you talking about Heather??!? I’ve seen your work, you’re awesome too! 🙂 We’re just lucky to live in an area that is full of this sort of stuff, I guess. Thank you so much for stopping by today, it means the world to us!

  9. avatar Tom Barnett says:

    Good shots, good blog. Makes me want to go there. Looking forward to more shots!

  10. avatar Jim Denham says:

    What a wonderful find! Love how these places are frozen in time and allows anyone with interest to experience even the tiniest bit of that era! Fantastic stuff!

    • We can’t wait to show you all more from Chemainus, it’s an amazing little town. These artifacts and architecture are really important historically, but they were also successful in staving off the total decline of the town. These days, in the summer, the streets are packed, parking is hard to find and the restaurants are reverberating with activity!!

  11. This is very unique! Can’t wait to see this series! This is really cool.

    • Funny you should mention it! We just hit the town this weekend on a massive shoot… have to go back it seems at least twice more…. stay tuned, it’s coming! Many thanks for your great comments my friend!