This will likely be our last set of photographs of the Holiday Court Motel here in Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island in Canada. This iconic and storied building is slated for demolition really soon, according to the rumors in town these days. Several years behind schedule, the motel has been abandoned and boarded up for quite a few years now and the plans are to replace it with a massive new facility for a local plumbing supplier.
Almost everyone who lives on lower Vancouver Island is well aware of this place and its checkered past. We have covered the Holiday Court Motel before when we were just starting our blog here: please see ““Holiday Court Motel” – The Toad Hits The Swamp” and “Holiday Court Motel – Requiem” for the detailed story behind the history of this place.
I am pretty sure it was originally built in the late sixties, or even more likely, the seventies. Some of the details and lines really speak of these times. During its original heyday, I am quite sure the location of the motel was picture perfect for families who were on vacation to stay with great central access to many of the amenities and features of the city.
But, as the relentless hands of time marched on, the area changed. It became more of a central place for troubled people, some with substance abuse issues and some who worked in the local sex trades.
During the eighties and nineties, the motel was a frequent stop for the local police force. I have no doubt that rooms were offered for rent by the hour. The combination of the area and what was once the norm for here, coupled with its reputation, resulted in the motel becoming a magnet for trouble. It eventually became part of the local vernacular.
We know folks who have friends and family with history here. Most of the stories are truly sad, and not all end well. But, this strong tie to the history of the place leaves many residents here with a bittersweet sense in regards to its ultimate demise. Honestly I think it’s just hard to see change no matter the reason.
Today we find the vines are the only active residents here. The entire area is actually going through a bit of a metamorphosis and the re-purposing of the land to be host to a new business facility can only mean more positive improvements. This is all well and good.
Then why can’t I shake the sense of melancholy? Do these buildings and facilities become personified over time, and does their demise signal a form of loss and even perhaps death? Is it the rich textures? The weathering? Everywhere you look, different textures and details emerge, and each of them has their own story.
Even the vines appear to be aware of the pending doom about to befall them. They appear to be hanging on, nay, clinging to the building… as if in their last gasps of life. Just one more day! Just one more week!! No, the weeks draw to a close for the Holiday Court Motel, and soon all that will remain of it will be the photographs many of us have taken over the years, the memories, and the stories.
With our penchant for capturing things of historic value, things with great details and textures, things that have ties to our local history… I doubt I’ll be back to photograph the new building. It will be lovely, don’t get me wrong, but it won’t have the interest in terms of imagery that this place has. There will be no history to it. It will just “fit in”. It will almost become part of the backdrop to the area, a wholly uninteresting and almost invisible entity.
As I stood taking this last picture, the broader realization that these might be some of the very last pictures of this place sunk in for me. I found myself still, taking the scene in before me. I could almost hear the bones of the motel crying out that is had stories to share, things to tell… but soon, it will be silenced forever.
To be honest I don’t know why I am saddened by all the changes that are happening around here. But I am. Maybe it’s the thought that with the loss of these places a part of my history in this city will also disappear with it.
I guess it’s high time to make new memories. And with that thought, I turned to head back to the car.
Thank you so much for taking the time to pop by our blog today and take in our latest story here. We really appreciate it. As always, we encourage everyone to leave any comments you may have as we truly love to hear from all our visitors. And in the meantime, we wish everyone a wonderful weekend.