Hi everyone, thanks for popping back around today we really do appreciate it!  Today’s photoblog post finds us wrapping up at the Bamberton company/town cement factory.  Yesterday’s post “The Toad In Cement Shoes” discusses the history and controversy around the pending developments of this 1,500 acre parcel of pristine BC land, and today we take a look at the remnants of the plant itself.

Abandoned Cement Factory - Bamberton, BC, Canada

Abandoned Cement Factory - Bamberton, BC, Canada

As mentioned yesterday, the entire area has been actively in process of being developed over the last while.  Controversy and opposed views on the notion of developing this land have raised roadblocks along the way and as it stands today, we’re not totally sure of the future of this area.  The entire zone is heavily secured with gates, fences and signs everywhere.  Mrs. Toad and myself thought we had struck gold when we found some local signs stating the museum was open.  When we got to the area, though, that appeared not to be accurate and we quickly knew that we probably were not welcome here.  Grab some shots and leave.

Abandoned Cement Factory - Bamberton, BC, Canada

Abandoned Cement Factory - Bamberton, BC, Canada

1,500 plus acres of some of the most gorgeous land on Vancouver Island.  With rolling hills and ocean views, this would undoubtedly be a wonderful place to live.  The problem is, there is a highway that provides access to this area and it winds over a treacherous mountain pass.  Traffic at the best of times produces headaches and problems for local folks.  I personally drive this highway every day to and from work; sometimes accidents shut it right down for hours on end.  I usually in the winter bring a change of clothes and supplies in the back of the car in case the highway is shut so I can either grab a motel or try to call my best friends, Mr. and Mrs. Mudpuppy, to see if I can wrangle a nights stay with them.  Putting myself and the Mudpuppy into the same room for an extended time usually results in all sorts of trouble, but that’s a whole ‘nother  story.

So, the controversy here is centric around traffic congestion.  The land area is so huge with massive projected development plans, this would only serve to worsen the traffic conditions quite substantially.  This is where the push-back from local residents comes from.  I have heard of no solution at all to this problem and personally suspect this will result in this area remaining undeveloped for quite some time.  We shall see, I guess.

Abandoned Cement Factory - Bamberton, BC, Canada

Abandoned Cement Factory - Bamberton, BC, Canada

This is the money-shot, if you will, from this location.  All that remains of the original, and I have to say it was massive, facility and structure are these ruins.  If you look closely, you can see two stack tower remains and a large hole for what must have been one mega-huge industrial fan or something.  From our research, we see that the factory left in 1980 and left behind quite the ecological mess.  Cleanup was expensive and long running.

Abandoned Cement Factory - Bamberton, BC, Canada

Abandoned Cement Factory - Bamberton, BC, Canada

Another set of ruins of what appears to be a similar facility sit ocean-side.  It just seems so haunted and still in the area; as we stood taking it all in and capturing these images, all that could be heard was the wind rustling in the trees and distant birds.  This facility was originally responsible for producing all the cement required for nation building here in Canada; this includes dams that were designed in BC’s interior quite a while ago now.  Due to the limestone that was deposited in this area, perfect for cement production, and coupled with the actual location of this area the factory was actually one of BC’s first town/companies.  At one point it was a very active community.  Today, it is home to our wildlife and the ruins we’ve explored.

I have to admit a sense of melancholy overcame us as we visited the location.  An almost creepy sense of the folks who lived here is imprinted directly in the land.  Life was hard back then, and I have no doubt working in a cement factory would not have been an easy existence.  But still, families were born and raised here, people spent their lives working and creating the community…  and today it’s all gone.  I doubt anyone could visit here and not feel something.

And still, the final chapter is yet to be written.

Thanks so much for your visit today, we sure do appreciate it!  Please feel free to leave us any comments you may have as we love to hear from all our visitors.

  1. avatar Heather says:

    That second picture soothes me….

    • And do you ever need that after the horrible week you’ve had there, Heather, I am glad it brought you a little peace. Thank you so much in light of it all for taking the time to pop by and leave us these great comments.

  2. Fantastic post Toad! And great pics as usual 🙂
    Have you been up to the Jordan River Diversion Dam? Karsten and I went up there a couple years ago and it’s quite the structure with some amazing history as well 🙂

    (sidenote: I was named because of the Jordan River on Van Isle 😉 )

    • OK, now THAT is cool! No, we have not been there, but now that you’ve brought it to light I am putting it on my todo list! Jordan River is an AWESOME place, I am so glad to see that your personal awesomeness is reflected by that river here on the island! We sure are lucky to live out here, no doubt about it! We really appreciate it when you have time to pop by and leave us these great comments, Jordan, we’re hoping we might have a chance to meet up with you in person this fall, if you do indeed head back here at all!

  3. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Wonderful post Toad. The area has beautiful scenery and you have captured it so well.

  4. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    Whoever worked here has a fantastic view. Can you say corner office for the win!! That second shot is just so soothing and calming.

  5. avatar Fred Norris says:

    Loved the money-shot Toad!

  6. avatar Rick says:

    I’m always saddened to see such beautiful spaces overcome with development or that land is posted and you no longer have access to these spaces. I guess I can understand why, but whatever happened to being able to enjoy the beauty of God’s earth?

    Such a beautiful place this is. I hope that it stays that way. Thanks for sharing!

    • Gosh, thanks Rick! That’s so kind of you! I totally, totally agree. This land is absolutely incredible and should be readily accessible to all who might want to visit. Thank you for your visit and wonderful comments here today!

  7. Wow just stunning images today. Each and every one.

  8. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Very nice write up. That 2nd shot is amazing.

  9. avatar Justin says:

    Hey Toad, I came across your blog while looking more into the Bamberton Concrete Factory. I must say, you do an amazing job documenting & photographing Vancouver Island’s many hidden treasures! Until today, I had never heard of the Tillicum Lodge. Anyways, I was up in the Bamberton area today doing a bit of Geocaching & while I was there I wanted to go find the factory for myself, but I was unable to do so. I drove down Bamberton Rd off of Trans Canada Highway as far as I could, but I came up to a red flashing light, cameras and a big grey gate with a pin pad. Im just wondering, how did you get to the factory? Did anybody cause you any problems?

    Looking forward to more of your articles!!

    Justin of Victoria (Esquimalt)

    • Hi Justin! Very nice to meet you here at The Hollow today, thank you for visiting and leaving your terrific comments!!

      These are fine questions you pose, my friend. On the day we captured those shots, the museum was advertised as open and we made our way into the facility looking for that. We couldn’t find the museum on this particular visit and got the distinct feeling that it was closed so we just grabbed a couple of shots and left the area immediately. The area is privately owned and is secured, as you found out yourself there.

      As a matter of interest, we have just engaged and are working actively with the folks at the museum and the current site owner to do a huge feature story on Bamberton. We’ve completed one site visit, with several more scheduled to facilitate getting all the images and background info required. If you stay tuned to The Hollow here, we hope to be rolling out this massive new feature story in the coming weeks! Thanks so much for your kind interest and terrific comments Justin, we hope to see more of you here!