On today’s photoblog post we come back to our roots, photographs of classic and heritage architecture.  This post continues our running series “The Toad Visits Chemainus” which is a photoblog series showcasing the small town of Chemainus on Vancouver Island in BC, Canada.

Vancouver Island is home to a pretty unique style of architecture.  The heritage buildings are by-and-large Victorian in design, complete with wonderful details and features that really make these homes feel welcoming.  Unlike a lot of modern architecture, where most buildings are a carbon copy of one of several designs, the classic heritage homes found on Vancouver Island are each and all unique.

Heritage House - Chemainus BC Canada

Heritage House - Chemainus BC Canada

There is just something absolutely grand and infinitely interesting in this home.  A local B&B, we believe, all the wonderful architectural elements on this home really add a sense of interest.  The color of blue and contrasting white are very typical for the west coast.  We also really love the stonework that comprises the base of the columns that create the front porch and entrance.  We also notice a slight reddish hue to the front of the house, a result of the light reflecting off the red porch.  The touch of the pergola on the porch creates an inviting setting that glows in the afternoon sun.  Who wouldn’t want to sit back in a rocking chair here with an ice-cold glass of lemonade?

Heritage House - Chemainus BC Canada

Heritage House - Chemainus BC Canada

This is another B&B in town.  Architected after all the historic and heritage buildings in Chemainus, even the new buildings are designed to fully fit right into the overall style and feel of the little town.  Similar coloring and trim details further add to the continuation of the designs.  The only real difference to staying in such a beautiful home as this versus the older, heritage homes would be the lack of a creaky floor.  And maybe one or two less ghosts, but no promises there.

Heritage House - Chemainus BC Canada

Heritage House - Chemainus BC Canada

Heritage House - Chemainus BC Canada

Heritage House - Chemainus BC Canada

Another beautiful and unique B&B in the little town.  Recognize this home?  Probably not.  For our regular readers, you may recall a series of interior shots taken in a castle we have recently posted.  Please see the posts “In The Castle’s Keep” and “The King’s Bedchamber” if you haven’t had a chance to see these images yet.

This home was just recently purchased by a new friend of ours who is actively looking to complete her finishing touches and turn this into a regular B&B.  In the backyard there is a, you guessed it, castle!  We were invited in and captured the images posted in the above photoblog links and had a wonderful time.

Once again, all the beautiful heritage Victorian accents and trim details on this wonderful home really add a strong sense of nostalgia and history to the scene.  The porch is so very inviting, not lacking in any details.  We really loved the staircase and the wonderful shadows that are dancing on the porch.  If you look closely, you can see the interior staircase in the front window.  We sure love to showcase these sorts of details.

Heritage House - Chemainus BC Canada

Heritage House - Chemainus BC Canada

Heritage House - Chemainus BC Canada

Heritage House - Chemainus BC Canada

As we continue our stroll through town, we’re struck by the varying sights we take in.  The yellow house with the colorful roof was visible from down the street and as we approached it, it beckoned us to photograph it.  Photogenic, to say the very least.  The second shot with the green trim and the stereotypical white picket fence showcases a quaint house full of gorgeous details.  The wooden front door adds a splash of warm color to the overall scene, and compliments the green trim just wonderfully.  Do these scenes not look like they are frozen in time, a throw-back to the late 1800’s?  We truly think so; the only thing missing was to turn and see a cowboy with a hoss makin’ their way down the street, in search of the local saloon.

Heritage House - Chemainus BC Canada

Heritage House - Chemainus BC Canada

We wrap up today’s post taking a look at an absolutely gorgeous home.  We’re not totally sure if this is a hundred plus year old building, or if it’s a new one modeled after the older homes.  A little scrutiny during our visit led us to believe this is indeed a heritage home in just absolutely stellar condition, but we could be wrong.  Once again, the colors are truly typical of west coast living.  This large home is surrounded by the most beautiful gardens, and the upper floors have just incredible views of the ocean to take-in.  This may be one of our dream houses.  Again, we take in all the architectural details that add so much to these wonderful places.  And the splash of red in the flowers on the front lawn really adds a dash of spice here for us.

Play House - Chemainus BC Canada

Play House - Chemainus BC Canada

We saved the very best for last today, folks.  Check this out.  A little girls playhouse sits in the backyard of the house shown directly above.  Notice the details that went into this design to ensure it fitted right in with its surroundings.  The shape of the front door is just incredible, the shakes on the roof, the gables…  all had to have been created by the finest craftsmanship in the area.   A gorgeous little stone path leads up the way to the entrance, and the front of the house is surrounded by luscious greenery, further adding to the welcoming setting.  Slightly closer scrutiny also reveals what looks like the pumpkin chariot from the story “Cinderella”.  Can you possibly imagine how much fun the children who live here must have?  The community itself is small, quaint and really feels like it’s held itself still in time.  The ocean is nearby to take in the sea and all the life that it holds.  Neighbors all wave as you go by.  A strong sense of community is here.

This is why we love island living so very much.

Thank you so very much for taking the time to visit today, we sure do appreciate that.  If you have time, we welcome you to leave us some comments as we truly love to hear from all our visitors.  Also, please do stay tuned, we’ve got more coming from the little town of Chemainus tomorrow!



  1. avatar Heather says:

    I cannot pick one. I would live in all of them! Amazing!

  2. avatar Chris Wray says:

    Now that’s a playhouse! So cool. I expect a hobbit to come out of the door! Great captures, Toad.

    • That’s what I was looking for! A Hobbit! LOL I have to admit I am not a huge Lord of the Rings fan, but was looking for this expression… you’ve totally nailed this, Chris! Awesome comments, thank you so much for taking the time to pop by my friend!

  3. avatar Jason Hines says:

    That last one almost looks like it could be a Hobbit House! Great images Toad!

  4. avatar Jim Nix says:

    cool shots Toad, and love that dollhouse, such great craftsmanship like you said!

  5. avatar Jim Denham says:

    Holy cow, even the doll house is crafted beautifully! What a beautiful area! Who wouldn’t want to stay at any of those B&B? Great work here Toad’s!

  6. These are all just delicious! Each home is unique and elegant; thanks Toad for sharing your images and your obvious affection for them all. I can’t believe that the little doll house has its own totem pole!

  7. Whats going on in that last one!

    Really well captured set of images!

  8. This whole post is awesome, but I agree, that little girls play house is absolutely amazing!! Love the architectural details and fanciful woodwork!! It must be fantastic living on your island!

    • It sure seems like it, doesn’t it?!? We love it out here, I am CONSTANTLY amazed at the things we find to photograph out here! It’s like finding a treasure chest, only without a horde of angry pirates!! Thanks so very much for your kind visit, Cathy!

  9. You really captured this area beautifully! You’re making me want to move up there! I love creaky floors!

  10. avatar ChrisdMRF says:

    That play house is awesome my friend. I love the architecture of this area it looks, as you say, straight out of another time. The images are simply amazing, inviting the curious to wonder at the insides of these wonderful properties.
    As always the words wonderfully compliment the images, I just love the friendly, laid back style you use, taken together makes me want to emigrate to your island today.

  11. I am really enjoying your series on Vancouver Island architecture and am always surprised how many of the places I have never seen. You give each home its own special treatment both in the photo and the story behind it. I especially love today’s dollhouse. What a dream it must be for the girls who get to play in it and it must have been fun to build too – let alone photograph! Well done.

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