You could venture into the forest a thousand times and never see anything like this.  And the further you go, the more you realize you’ve uncovered something completely profound.  Is it a statement on modern civilization, is it a political message, is it one of Canada’s best kept secrets?  It’s all these things.  And more.

This post is a continuation of our running series “Two Toads in Wonderland” that takes us on a journey exploring the legacy of Canadian artist George Sawchuk and his Wacky Woods.

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

Canadian west coast forests are dense.  Visibility into the thick trees and vegetation is typically limited to a number of feet.  This is not terribly meaningful in-and-of itself, but when taken in the context of this art display it serves to mask and hide the true grand scale of the exhibit.  This place it truly amazing, you can almost feel the magic in the air as you wander the incredible presentation, taking in all the intricate pieces and the beauty of their surroundings.

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

George was a passionate and intelligent man who really seemed to love the area he lived in and the country he was part of.  Each piece is totally unique, sometimes sharing a very specific message, other times hiding it in subtlety.

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

A road sign tacked to a tree.  Clearly there is no road here, as a matter of fact we’re quite far away from the nearest one.  Nevertheless, as we came across this presentation we stopped for a moment to try to understand the meaning behind it.  Several ideas were bantered back and forth between myself and Mrs. Toad, but neither of us could come to a definitive solution to the question.  If you look closely you will see the actual street sign is fixed in place by the tree, almost as if it’s holding it up.  This organic blending of art and nature is to be found everywhere in the exhibit adding so much depth to the sensation and mystery that comes with a visit here.

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

In this piece we have nature and man working together in the creation of art.  Its direct meaning is lost upon us, but we find ourselves absolutely mesmerized.  The chilly and damp spring day we visited only served to further mute the tones and colors in the gallery, resulting in some of the pieces almost melting into their surroundings.  To take in the entire gallery, one must remain alert and in tune with the everything around you.

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

And what have we here?  We really don’t know, for sure.  We’d love to hear some interpretations from you.  This is definitely a very unique item.  Again, the blending of natural organic materials in conjunction with carefully crafted bits of scrap metal combine to create the most elaborate and interesting piece.

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

Around every corner is a treasure.  At times if you peek around a corner you will see much more awaits you deeper in the woods.  It seems to go on quite forever, really.

The amount of time, care and effort that George put into creating each item for the display is mind-altering.  This is a huge body of work, focusing on several key issues in the modern-day world.

Each visitor who comes across this fabulous exhibit leaves a changed person.  The items on display cause most to stop and look deep within, to question our own thoughts and beliefs.  We found ourselves a tab bit introspective after our visit, almost as if the act of coming to experience the gallery has made us more acutely aware of who we are as people, and how we fit into the society we find ourselves living in.

Thank you so very much for taking the time to visit us, we really appreciate it.  As always, we encourage everyone to leave us any comments that you may have as we truly love to hear from all our visitors.



  1. avatar Eden says:

    Looks like a lovely place! Your processing really makes the moss stand out in that first shot :)

  2. avatar ehpem says:

    Hi Toad. I am enjoying this series. What a wonderful place. You must have been thrilled to find it. I like how everything is “melting into their surroundings”, both intentionally and also with time. In a few years, it will be hard to spot most of these things as they will have become part of the forest. I wonder if that was part of his intention.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      We’re definitely going to be exploring these thoughts in upcoming posts, my friend. Indeed, we were absolutely delighted to find this place, and at the time we did when all the pieces are in great shape like this. Both Mrs. Toad and I have strong feelings about the wonder of this magical place and really hope that it’s preserved. Thank you so much for taking the time to pop by today, and for leaving us your absolutely top drawer thoughts. Really very much appreciated.

  3. These are very interesting and unique pieces of art. Thanks for sharing them with us.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so, so much Steven. Your visit and awesome comments here mean far more than we can properly express, my friend.

  4. avatar Dave DiCello says:

    What a wonderful series here my friend, love the write up, as always!

  5. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Very cool place Toad…how do you find these places? I love the 3rd image with the Marigold Rd sign….did you ever find the road…LOL.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Nope, but we’re still looking, Edith!! LOL Thanks so much for your visit today, and for leaving us those comments that really brought a smile to our faces here!

  6. Another great post Toad. I just love the surrealism of this wonderful woodland work

  7. avatar Jim Nix says:

    what an interesting place Toad, well done as usual my friend!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      You, sir, are a scholar amongst gentlemen Jim. Thanks so much for your ongoing friendship & support!!

  8. avatar Rick Louie says:

    Such interesting pieces, especially the pressure gage, spicket and flower pot in the slice of a log! You wonder what people are thinking when they dream up these pieces.

    Fun as always, Toad!

  9. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    What a unique place you have found Toad. The creativity of George’s works really come through your images and words. Another wonderful post.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks, Len, that means an awful lot to us. We really love this place and enjoy being able to share it with our audience here. Much appreciated, my friend.

  10. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    I’m just gonna guess that the bike in that last shot is no longer usable. Man, so much green by you!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want to try and ride it! LOL :) And you know that green is the color of our rainforest here in Canada, and it’s the color of a Toad. Just sayin’. LOL

  11. avatar Rich McPeek says:

    Very cool series Toad! Love your work and writeups as usual!

  12. avatar LensScaper says:

    You’ve stumbled upon a real Aladdin’s Cave of artifacts here, Toad. What an extraordinary body of work.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Well said, Andy my friend! Indeed, we did. Thanks so much for your ongoing support here, it really is awfully kind of you. We’re so happy you popped by and enjoyed this post today.

  13. What a fantastic discovery you made. This is why I love walking in the woods. One just never knows what vestiges of prior civilization are to be uncovered with just a left or a right turn at a fork!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you, Mike! We totally agree, we just seem to find the most amazing things hidden away in the lush green forests here! Thank you so much for taking the time to swing by and see us here, we sure do appreciate it!

  14. avatar A.Barlow says:

    I can’t wait to one day visit where you live man. Seems like everything has a story behind it and so much character. The wacky woods seems like a fun place.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      We would LOVE to see you Aaron, that would be a highlight and an honor good sir! It really is a fun place, and the best part is we only explored a portion of it due to the condition of the paths and the weather. We’re heading back in a number of weeks to complete the shoot. Plenty of time for you to get up here and join us, my friend!! LOL :)

  15. avatar Adam Allegro says:

    An awesome post Toad!! What a fantastic find. I could spend a week in a place like this just having fun with my camera. Way to go buddy, another winner :) I’m so glad you enjoy my posts, thanks for always visiting and commenting!!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Hi Adam, and the same in return to you, my good friend! Thank you so much for your continued support and encouragement, we really do appreciate it all!

  16. Miss the forest. We don’t see that much here in Arizona, but we do have lots bush. :)

    Great read. Looks like you spent good amount of time process and writing. Nice!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Hi Terence, thank you so much both for your kind visit and for taking the time to leave us your awesome comments here! We sure do appreciate it and hope to see you again! :D

  17. I like hidden gems, espåecially when in a place like this!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks so very kindly for taking the time to come and visit, and for leaving us your comments we really appreciate it! Hope to see you here again soon!!

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