OK, let’s imagine for a moment that part of the reason you just bought your new house was because you were promised a thriving town to facilitate easy living.  Twinkies, Ho-Ho’s, Snickers Bars, 12 packs of both soda & beer, movie rentals, haircuts…  all just a few feet from the doorway of your new abode.  You would be able to stay in your own little village and never have need to leave.  Idyllic, ain’t it.

Sometimes life is hard and the nearest Twinkie is miles away.

So be it for the residents on Bear Mountain.  In case you’re just joining us, please visit our blog entry “The Toad And The Bear” for the back-story of this development site and some of the “made-for-Hollywood” details that create this hard-to-imagine story.

Bear Mountain - Langford BC Canada

Bear Mountain - Langford BC Canada

From yesterday’s post we found ourselves looking at the Westin Hotel & Spa and some of the surrounding buildings, and today we turn a little to the left of that spot to take in this seemingly normal village scene.  Out here on the West Coast it’s becoming a common thing to find building complexes that are composed of local small businesses in the lower level and condo units above.  A lot of folks really like this style of living; your amenities are steps away from you.  Please notice the dominant building on the left of this picture, mostly brown in color with really beautiful and large windows…  a typical sight here on Vancouver Island.  The hotel is just to the right of it.  A few cars are in the area, giving the sense of a busy and active village.

Unfortunately, not completely true.  As we stood here taking this picture, we stood atop a pile of garbage left behind in the parking lot.  As mentioned in a previous post, this included several pair of woman’s underwear…  used.  All is not as it might seem.

Bear Mountain - Langford BC Canada

Bear Mountain - Langford BC Canada

At first glance everything may seem in order here.  This appears to be one of the buildings designed and built to house businesses and services for the local village-dwellers.  A closer look reveals that on the right side here, we’re looking at doors that are boarded up.  The windows in this building still have the tape on them from being installed.  An even closer look reveals that the inside in not totally finished and the building is…  absolutely empty.

We’re not sure how long it’s been like this, but on the day we were here doing the shoot it was dead quiet in town.  A condo unit across the street from here had a lower level that was indeed for local businesses… but only housed For Lease signs.  There was one solitary and lonely sign for a hairdresser that appeared to be no longer in business.

There was also at one time a lovely old-fashioned trolley that ran from the village to the main city of Langford, several miles away.  The signpost for where you would meet the trolley stated the service was canceled and no longer ran.

Bear Mountain - Langford BC Canada

Bear Mountain - Langford BC Canada

And just a few hundred short feet away from this forlorn building, you encounter…  a dead-end.  A gate post.  A gravel road.  I believe the original plan called for further houses to be built up this road which leads over the side of Skirt Mountain and heads in a general southerly direction.  Obviously this isn’t happening anytime soon.

We really hope you’re enjoying our ongoing series!  Thanks for taking the time to visit today, please feel free to leave us a comment as we truly love to hear from our visitors!!




  1. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    Great series Toad!

  2. avatar Kristi Hines says:

    First off, love the titles this week. Second, I would hate to be promised nearby Twinkies just to have none. And finally, great images and story. Kind of reminds me of some “stepford wives” kind of neighborhood with some seedy, creepy things being hidden behind something that looks too good to be true.

    • AWESOME comments today, Kristi! Thank you so much! I think you’ve just nailed it; the Stepford Wives angle is really a great analogy for the feeling you have while you’re there! At first glance, all seems to be in order… a slightly closer look, however. and cracks begin to emerge in the facade… really appreciate your visit & absolutely wonderful comments today!

  3. avatar chrisdmrf says:

    Awesomeness personified

  4. Well done on this series, Toad!

  5. avatar Ryan Sexton says:

    Cool series. Have a great weekend.

  6. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Great additions and story to go with it. Bum deal for the hair dresser. I honestly think at this point most of the people involved in the development have prob just written off this place as a loss.

    How is this place viewed by the rest of the locals? I would think there would be somewhat of a stigmata attached to this area now. Even if it does come back I don’t think it would garner much enthusiasm.

    • Really great comments today Aaron, thanks so much! Yeh, it really depends on who you talk to. I was just up there earlier this week and it does seem that a lot of the houses they’ve started on are still being worked on and will be finished eventually… the village area though and all it’s little business type spots… not so sure there, although one would hope….

      There is indeed a big stigma attached to this place, depending on who you talk to. The current residents, many of them are just trying to get on with their lives up there and the loss in property values and discouraging lack of completeness, seem to be putting on a good face and trying to be OK with it all. Investors are RIGHT ticked at the developers and there are all sorts of lawsuits underway now. Last we heard, the main creditor bank now holds deed on all this and are hoping to regain somewhere around $200M invested so far. Yes, that’s 200 million dollars. Also, a lot of residents in the greater Victoria area see this development as greed gone wild and the developers in some circumstances are used as fodder for comedy. You can’t take a stroll around here without meeting someone with an opinion on all this, that I can tell you!

      Once again Aaron, we sure do appreciate your visit & comments my friend… you’re the best!!!

  7. avatar Jim Denham says:

    How sad! Great images Toads, but this area just seems increasingly depressing to see such beautiful potential with little realization! Well done!

    • Thanks Jim, that means so much to us my friend! It really is a bit of an eerie feeling to be there, you can just tell something is a bit amiss. Maybe one day they’ll complete this site and it can become what they were originally hoping for. Really appreciate your visit & comments today!

  8. avatar Fred Norris says:

    Toad you really have hopped on a great story here!Is it true ,I remember reading somewhere that this development has not one but two separate 18 hole golf courses?

    • Ah!, indeed you are correct there Fred! I had forgotten about that, so thanks for mentioning it. Yeh, it’s a little funny that they spent all that time and money making sure that we could all whack little white balls around but someone forgot to build the houses! LOL Wait until next weeks installments, you will love it. Thanks so much for popping by!

  9. avatar Heather says:

    This whole series has me thinking these people are going to be screwed when the zombies show up.

    Really though this is a sad sad reminder of the state of our respective economies 🙁 thought provoking series to say the least!

    • Thanks Heather! At least for vampires we can wear a strand of garlic.. zombies though? I have NO clue how to combat those! LOL Yeh, I can only hope that those folks have deep freezers full of Pizza Pockets to survive the pending onslaught of the zombie army! LOL Really appreciate your kind words and the visit here, my friend, you’re the best!!

  10. This remonds me of back home – love this series!

  11. Looks like I can’t spell today! LOL

  12. avatar Jim Nix says:

    yep these are cool, keep ’em coming! Jim

  13. avatar Tom Baker says:

    hey Toad – awesome writing here. I could feel the sense of gloom that inhabits a half built, unfinished area like this. And hey the pics were good too for the record 🙂