We’re continuing our latest photoblog series, “The Toad Visits Chemainus“, today with a look at some of the interesting items and artifacts that have been put on display in town to facilitate the rebuilding process.  This running series showcases the little town of Chemainus, BC on Vancouver Island in Canada.  During the early 1980’s, the logging industry underwent a major adjustment and the local mill was shut, causing the town to have to reinvent itself to survive.  A series of murals were commissioned, and the town took on a special flavor to attract tourists.  Today, Chemainus is a thriving community that is most definitely a tourist destination with visitors coming from all over the world.

In the center of town there is a park complete with wonderful historic artifacts and a bandstand for live entertainment during the summer months.  A special carved statue welcomes visitors to the park and really helps to form the experience.

Park Sign - Chemainus BC Canada

Park Sign - Chemainus BC Canada

This statue welcomes the visitors to the park, but it also shows a snapshot of life as a logger almost 100 years ago here on the island.  We believe this artifact is created from local cedar, which was a prevalent source of income for the community for over 80 years before the downfall of the logging industry.

Waterwheel - Chemainus BC Canada

Waterwheel - Chemainus BC Canada

This image was taken in the early spring, before the waterwheel was running.  During the summer months, the wheel spins, just as you see it in the picture behind the pool.  This is a very famous spot in town, in the summer you have almost no hope of grabbing an image of this without people.  Buses full of tourists and locals from other parts of the island flock here to have their pictures taken in front of it.

In this shot, the red flowers are just making their initial appearance.  The day was bright, but it was also cold and crisp.  The dash of color in this scene was really the first notice we had of pending spring and summer this year, and the visit to Chemainus was a fabulous experience for us.

Artifact - Chemainus BC Canada

Artifact - Chemainus BC Canada

This is the towns Rope Master K.  I think it had something to do with ropes.  The town is absolutely full of these sorts of historic artifacts that are truly wonderful to take in.  With this item in particular, the textures of the wheel are really wonderful as are the details and textures you can take in with the metal cable that affixes it to the tree.

Artifact - Chemainus BC Canada

Artifact - Chemainus BC Canada

Doesn’t this just scream Alice in Wonderland to you?  This buggy sits beside a business in the main part of town, and I am not sure if it is actively used or if its whole purpose now is to be an artifact for the visitors to enjoy and photograph.  No matter, it adds yet one more element to the town to help create the feeling you have when visiting.  The only thing we haven’t seen yet in our series is a horse-drawn carriage…

Horse Drawn Carriage - Chemainus BC Canada

Horse Drawn Carriage - Chemainus BC Canada

No detail is left unfinished in Chemainus.  We have our anticipated horse-drawn carriage here to enjoy!  These carriages are seen throughout town, especially in the summer months.  Mrs. Toad and myself have taken this tour before and the conductors are very well versed in the history and the stories of the town.  As you travel through the town, you are treated to a running commentary of the history of the place… to say this is a worthwhile and wonderful journey would be quite the massive understatement.  I know for certain that Mrs. Toad and I will be partaking of this feature in town this summer, that is for certain.

Thanks for your visit today, we really appreciate you taking the time to pop by.  If you’ve been enjoying this series, we encourage you to stay tuned as we have more posts to share in the coming days.  As always, we would love to hear from you so please do feel free to leave us comments!




  1. And what a perfect small town it must be. The Rope Master K image is so strange and wonderful! It’s hard to maintain a proper sense of scale in this Wonderland village. I guess you just have to blink and accept what’s before your eyes. It’s easy to see why this charm is cultivated and preserved by residents and visitors alike.

  2. avatar Heather says:

    And I want to go here too! So cool! I love the water wheel shot!

    • Thanks so very much Heather! That image is going gangbusters on our Flickr feed today. Sometimes I get surprised as to what are people’s favorites. I wasn’t expecting the wheel to be such a big hit but am thrilled that everyone seems to like it so far. Thank you kindly for your visit & comments today, we sure do appreciate that!

  3. avatar jimdenham says:

    What an amazing place! Looks like they’re ready for the summer season too! Good stuff Toads!

  4. What a wonderful tour! I just love your write ups and the style you process your images with.

  5. It’s like your Island has a never ending supply of charm!! I’m loving this series Toad!!

    • 🙂 Thank you EVER so much Cathy! We are truly blessed to have such great subjects to work with, and such great friends to share them with here online! We thank you so very much for your visit and most wonderful comments today, both here and on Twitter!

  6. avatar cwramblings says:

    My Lord, you’re prolific in your blog posting, Toad! I can’t keep up. The BC travel bureau ought to be giving you a big cut. 🙂 You’re so thorough in your history and reporting. Always enjoy your posts! Best to you and the Mrs.

  7. avatar Tom Barnett says:

    Great blog today. Looks like such a cool place.

  8. avatar ChrisdMRF says:

    Great set Toad, Love the pulley really cool finish on the metal body. The carving at the entrance is equally fantastic. It’s great to see a town that has managed to re invent itself so successfully and your love of the town is evident.

  9. nice work my friend, I especially love the shot with the horse drawn carriage, well seen!

  10. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Great write up on the town. Looks wonderful. The images are terrific and well composed and processed. I will be in Vancouver for a few days and if I have time, may have to visit.

    • Really glad to have hooked up with you online here, Len, thanks a ton for the visit and great comments today! If you do make it over, check out the Willow St. Cafe restaurant, they put on great food and Phil & Michelle there are just wonderful people. Sure do appreciate the comments and visit my friend!

  11. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Some awesome shots ya got here Toad! really nice color.