Please visit our blog post “The Toad And The Bear” for the back-story to this photo series.  Today’s post is a long time coming, and it’s a new series we’re so very excited to bring you!  This photographic series details and documents the current state of affairs at the Bear Mountain development project in Victoria BC.  This project is absolutely full of intrigue and currently sits in an unfinished state.  Court cases are ongoing and no one knows the outcome.  The grand vision was to create a special high-end facility that provided both very nice living for local residents, and spas and country clubs for the rich and famous to come visit.  This vision sits unfinished and is a source of displeasure for many local folks in the greater Victoria area.

I am sure everyone has heard someone say “Yeh, and if you believe that, I have a bridge for sale.”  Today’s blog post begins our photographic journey at the bottom of Bear Mountain, where an intended overpass was originally designed to alleviate some of the massive traffic problems we are encountering on the lower island due to ongoing urban development.  We truly do have a bridge for sale.

Overpass - Bear Mountain, Langford BC Canada

Overpass - Bear Mountain, Langford BC Canada

This panoramic image tells the entire story in one quick look.  A bright red For Sale sign adorns our countryside as you make your way out-of-town, a constant reminder to commuters of the developments plans that have yet to be realized.

Overpass - Bear Mountain, Langford BC Canada

Overpass - Bear Mountain, Langford BC Canada

Overpass - Bear Mountain, Langford BC Canada

Overpass - Bear Mountain, Langford BC Canada

Millions of dollars have been spent bringing the bridge to this point.  A bright red KEEP OUT sign greets you as your eye wanders up what one day might be an exit ramp.  Gravel remains unfinished and the entire bridge is currently totally impassable by most cars.  The city of Langford has paid for their portion of this project, the developer has allegedly not.  For us local taxpayers, we’re left with a useless and ugly bridge that only provides value to photographers looking to express ultimate irony in a picture form.

Overpass - Bear Mountain, Langford BC Canada

Overpass - Bear Mountain, Langford BC Canada

Immediately to the right of the overpass sits this grove of Garry Oak trees, a protected and rare tree here on Vancouver Island.  If we had a Garry Oak tree on our land and cut it down, I understand we’d be in plenty of trouble with the local bylaw enforcement folks.  This grove has a nice, shiny FOR SALE sign in front of it.  We assume the developers wanted to own this land to protect this important ecosystem on our island; why else would they buy it?

Overpass - Bear Mountain, Langford BC Canada

Overpass - Bear Mountain, Langford BC Canada

As we stand across the highway looking at the overall scene, we can clearly see Canada’s beautiful rolling mountains and forests…  littered with incomplete gravel stretches of roads and unfinished landscaping.

Overpass - Bear Mountain, Langford BC Canada

Overpass - Bear Mountain, Langford BC Canada

It’s bad enough that we’re constantly reminded of the failure of the project as we crawl along underneath this bridge during rush-hour at a blazing 5-10 mph.  Just on the other side of the cement barricades lie a pile of garbage…  if someone was to try to take those tires to a recycler could we raise enough money to finish the bridge?  I guess my second question would be does someone think “Huh, I’ve got these old worn out tires in the back of my truck here, I think I’ll pull over and toss them onto the side of the road“?  I just don’t get this type of disregard for our environment.  This is quite obviously the work of more than one person.

Overpass - Bear Mountain, Langford BC Canada

Overpass - Bear Mountain, Langford BC Canada

There should be a sign here, “Welcome to Bizzaroland“.  As you wander up one of the gravel exit ramps to the top of the bridge, you are greeted with a finished, paved, and fully operational bridge.  Too bad it’s totally inaccessible!!  Huge piles of gravel sit in the distance, waiting for a grader to finally come and try to make some sense of the madness left behind here.  It may never happen.

This is just our very first installment of our new series, please do stay tuned.  Tomorrow we begin our journey up the other side of the mountain where the Village is situated.  As we make our way up, the images that present themselves to us become stranger and stranger….

Please feel free to leave us any comments you may have, we sure do love to hear from all our visitors!!  Thanks for your visit today, and we hope you’ve enjoyed this inaugural installment of our latest series.

  1. avatar chrisdmrf says:

    A truely sad commentary on local planning officials. What a complete waste of money and more importantly forest

  2. avatar Jim Denham says:

    How sad that something like this would get started and finished, bringing the beauty of the landscape down to it’s now low level. Great documentation Toads!

    • Thanks so much Jim, that means a ton coming from you! It really is a sad commentary on modern times and rapid development, in my humble opinion. Really appreciate your visit today my good friend, thank you!

  3. avatar Kristi Hines says:

    Thanks for posting the back-story to your photos. It definitely makes them more meaningful! And it’s really sad to see people abusing the environment – I think it all starts with one person, then the next goes “well, if they did it.” I wonder if someone would clean it up just once if the people who come to dump their stuff there would change their mind.

    This kind of reminds me of this huge building that went up in our neighborhood. They stopped working on it part of the way through over a year ago, nothing is happening with it, yet they leave the lights on throughout the building every night. What a waste!

    • Gosh, Kristi, I am hearing and seeing more and more of these sorts of stories these days. It’s amazing; some of it kind of flies in the face of common sense in my opinion, but that’s just me I guess. Many thanks for your visit today, we sure do appreciate that support!!

  4. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Wow, that’s pretty depressing. Very good commentary. Sad that so much of that forest and protected stands of trees have to be put in danger for a development that is not very well thought out.

    The worse part is that once some of these stands of trees are gone they make way for invasive plant species that drive out endemics like birds, lizards and butterflies.

  5. avatar Fred Norris says:

    Thank you Toads for doing a series like this!I think the shot of the tires and garbage really makes a strong statement all on it’s own.

    • Thanks so much for your visit today, Fred! This entire series is really astounding when you take in the body of work in it’s entirety. I sure hope you’ll have a chance to pop by and check out the rest of this series as we post it up over the upcoming days here. We sure do appreciate your visit and support; thank you very much!!

  6. Unbelievable… That just blows me away that something like that happens… I really appreciate your documentation on stuff like this, Toad. Maybe it will open some people’s eyes and something can happen from it!

    • Really appreciate your visit and words of encouragement today, Chris, thank you profusely! We can sure hope, can’t we my friend; these photographic projects are more than just snapping away at some interesting images, there is an element of social stewardship as well. Someone has to stand up and show why these things aren’t all going according to plan, only then can change be facilitated. Thanks so much for your support Chris, we really appreciate that!

  7. What a cluster…totally baffling! Inspite of the turmoil, you captured the situation with photographic grace! Even the tires look good in your photo Toad!

    • Thank you so very much Cathy, we really appreciate those really great comments my friend! Yeh, a lot of trees gave up their lives for this 8th wonder of the world. Except this one isn’t because it’s a wonder, but it actually makes you wonder…

  8. avatar Jason Hines says:

    I always enjoy how you tell a story with your posts Toad. Very nice my friend, keep up the great work!

  9. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    I enjoyed reading this story and the images really drive home the realism of the matter. It’s a shame this project is in such limbo.

    In Baltimore Maryland we have a “Bridge to Nowhere” that was built back in the 70s. The project died on the vine and the bridge stands to this day. You’ve given me the idea of capturing some images and posting about it as you’ve so nicely done here.

    Good stuff!

    Here’s to hoping your project gets back on-track in the near future. 🙂

    • I would LOVE to see a photo series on the bridge you mention here my friend! Really appreciate your visit and your comments today, thanks so very much for the words of encouragement and support!