Thanks for visiting again today, folks, we’ve got a pretty substantial post to share with everyone.  We’re back in Ladysmith, on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.  Today we’re going to look at some of the heritage and historically significant architecture that sits on 1st Avenue, the main downtown street.

This post is a continuation of our latest running photoblog series “The Toads Visit Ladysmith“, so please feel free to check the other posts if you are interested.

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

At the turn of the century as towns like this were popping up all over the landscape it was the hotels, saloons, post offices and general stores that were typically the first to be built.  This is the Travellers Hotel, situated just a few hundred feet from the hotel we posted in yesterday photoblog.  Beautiful brickwork creates the foundation for this iconic building, and all the art-deco type details that add further character really are wonderful.  If you will carefully notice, the front facade of the building has what appears to be the same symbol as used by the Nazi’s in the 2nd world war.  This hotel was designed and built before that party came into being, and at that time this symbol meant something completely different.

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

As we come around the building in these shots we see the myriad of colors and textures that the brickwork is composed of.  This would be from repairs and/or additions being performed on the building.

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

This building once again is constructed with the fabulous brickwork we’ve come to know and love on the island.  The lamps that hang above the entrance-ways are all of the old heritage design and add a strong element of nostalgia.

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Tiny, tiny stores pepper the roadway as we stroll, and in this shot we also really notice the steep grade of the road.  Given the age and the fact that these buildings are all living in a rain forest and in sometimes fairly harsh weather conditions, the overall condition is really excellent.

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

More stores, some big, some small.  All very vibrant and colorful, even with the odd bit of weathering and wear exhibited with some.  The awnings also are very reminiscent of an older time and further add to the historical feel you get while walking up and down the street.

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Some of the storefronts are closed, waiting for new tenants.  The yellow building here in the last shot is starting to really exhibit the effects of wear and weathering.  If you look closely, the top section of the building appears as if it’s starting to crumble a bit.  All these little items and details really serve to produce the sense of character one has while visiting.  Some of these stores are full of items created by local artisans and crafts-people, all things which help make up the fabric of the town and surrounding area.

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ladysmith - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

These last 2 pictures serve to show how steep the roadways are in town.  This grade undoubtedly resulted in some pretty creative engineering in terms of design of the local buildings.  With these shots, it almost looks like these windows were open before and at some point recently were boarded up.  We could be totally wrong on that point, it just seemed that way.  We also really, really loved the details and textures evident in the brickwork with this building, contrasted with the weathering that is slowly accumulating from years of extremely wet and damp weather.

Thanks for visiting today, we really do appreciate it!  We’ve got some detailed shots of the artifacts that are placed about town, and some of them are truly one-of-a-kind items so please do stay tuned!  We are looking forward to posting those shots in the coming days here.  And as always, we love to hear from all our visitors so please do feel free to leave us any comments you may have.




  1. I’m really starting to like this little town. You’ve really brought out the character of Ladysmith through your pictures. Wonderful.

  2. avatar newd7000user says:

    Love the little shops we have rows of these in nearby Park City, they have so much character, it’s funny I was reading your description of the window shots and I was thinking the same thing, “It looks like they built the building then put the road up right next to it” Great textures!

  3. Wow, I love the architecture within this community. And the colors of the buildings look amazing. Very nice post

  4. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    It feel like the old west just showed up. Love all the old store fronts you managed to find. I love your walkabouts!

  5. You tell a great story with photographs Toad. It looks like a wonderful place to visit.

  6. avatar Rachel Cohen says:

    I love this Toad! what a fantastic place, and a wonderful story to tell. You really make it come to life with the images and post! Beautifully done!

  7. avatar ChrisdMRF says:

    It’s funny to look at the “old Buildings” in your part of the world. In London we have some really old buildings but they don’t have the same impact. I look at some of the images you produce and think of old mining towns, goldrush and the wild west. We don’t have that style of building, most of our old buildings are stone and having grown up with them they just seem as normal as the glass tower blocks next to them.

    • Funny you should mention that! Mining and logging are all parts of our history, that’s for sure. We sure get the same sense a lot when we go on our adventures. I would really love to visit the UK one day, I have seen some of your castles and manors and such, and they are just incredible. We just aren’t old enough to have items like that here, yet. Thanks SO much for your visit & kind comments, Chris, your friendship means the world to us!

  8. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Looks like a cool little town. I bet they have good food too 🙂 It’s funny, we have tons of newer condos being built in my area and they very much resemble the style and color of the subjects you post. We have cheap imitations, lol.

    • HA! Isn’t that interesting, Aaron! And you are so very right, my good friend, they have FABULOUS food here! There are a couple of local small restaurants in town, and man… they put on a great cheeseburger that’s for sure! Thanks so very, very much for your visit & awesome comments here today, Aaron, I can’t tell you how much we appreciate that!