Vancouver Island is a multifaceted place full of character, whimsy and even a bit of intrigue.  The little community of Coombs is a great example of this, full of things you just won’t see on a regular day.  Mrs. Toad’s latest blog post “A Lovely Day For A Motorcar Ride” takes us along as she explores the markets and the quirky little stores, and this is a great place to start on an adventure in Coombs.  Once the first few moments of surprise have passed and you realize you’ve come through some sort of magical door at the back of a wardrobe only to find yourself in wholly different world, some of the finer details start to emerge.  They don’t always make sense, but they sure do make an appearance.

Morris Minor - Coombs, BC - Vancouver Island, Canada

Morris Minor – Coombs, BC – Vancouver Island, Canada

The center area of the Coombs Market plays host to a plethora of really interesting things.  Statues of all types and kinds, some even made from what appears to be fine granite or marble, decorate the courtyard all surrounded by buildings and stores containing treasures you can’t even imagine.  Giraffes, whales, lions, outlaws peeking out of windows at you, the smell of hot dogs roasting lingers in the air… and, of course, you have a lovely little Morris Minor sitting on display, waiting to ferry enthusiastic visitors of all ages to all sorts of points unknown.

At least at first glance.

Morris Minor - Coombs, BC - Vancouver Island, Canada

Morris Minor – Coombs, BC – Vancouver Island, Canada

A little closer of a look reveals a tale of a different type, however.  The first thing that comes to mind right here has to be the distinct lack of padding one would experience when trying to traverse the bumpy roads and pathways that ribbon around the community here, sure to result in a day where one would have areas of tenderness one would prefer to avoid.

Now, we all love a nice convertible with the feeling of the wind running through our hair as we make our way down the motorways and byways, a sense of freedom and joy that is almost palpable.

Morris Minor - Coombs, BC - Vancouver Island, Canada

Morris Minor – Coombs, BC – Vancouver Island, Canada

This takes that concept a bit too far.  Even motorcycle enthusiasts get a flip down face visor and/or a windscreen of some sort to keep the flying portions of protein out of your mouth and teeth as you enjoy the scenery.  In this car we don’t even have the luxury of a steering wheel, let alone a radio or any form of climate control!  I shudder to think what’s under the hood…

It’s this very unique brand of quirkiness that makes our island what it is.  During the summer months, Coombs is packed shoulder-to-shoulder with tourists and locals alike, exploring the myriad of stores, venues and haberdasheries on the hunt for that perfect nick-knack for the kitchen, or a gift for Uncle Harry.  Whatever you can dream of, and some things you haven’t yet, it’s all available here.

Thanks for joining us as we continue our latest photoblog series “A Trip To The Market” today at The Hollow!  We’ve got some pretty neat surprises from Coombs coming up in this series in upcoming posts so please do stay tuned!  And as always, we love to hear from all our visitors so we encourage you to leave us any comments you may have.




  1. A rag-top “Moggie”, a rare sight, indeed! I used to see a lot of these cute little cars when I was growing up in England but did not expect to find one so far from home. Were these sold in Canada or could this have been a personal import?

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      This most definitely would have been an import, although with Victoria having such a strong presence in the community from this part of the world we do see them from time to time on the roads up here. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit us here today, Mark, we really appreciate you taking the time to leave these fabulous comments!

  2. avatar Rachel Cohen says:

    Ooooh, gorgeous images Toad, and a fantastic post Mrs. Toad! Lovely details, and that Car the Morris Minor! I Love it! 🙂

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you ever so kindly, Rachel, your ongoing friendship and support here means the world to us!

  3. avatar LensScaper says:

    I learned to drive in a Morris Minor! As always a good read with some evocative images

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Oh wow, how cool is that? Thanks for taking the time to visit us here Andy, and for leaving these terrific comments I am sure everyone will enjoy!

  4. Another wonderful array of awesome HDR images. Your subject is quite interesting. I love each photo you have captured here. Each seems to build on the next until we are right inside this car looking out. The details are amazing and the story really shares the warm feeling of Coombs. I can’t wait to come see it very very soon.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks, Spencer, you sir are a true scholar and a gentleman! We really appreciate your kind visit here today!

  5. avatar Edith Levy says:

    This is great Toad. I’ve never heard of a Morris Minor but this is very cool. The images are as usual fantastic.

  6. avatar ehpem says:

    I shudder to think what is under the hood of even a pristine Morris Minor – something very small and willing no doubt.

    My grandmother in the UK had one of these, but hard top. I remember when I was about 8 that we got shunted from behind by a semi, flattened an ancient milestone, a portion of hedge and found ourselves, unharmed, in the middle of a field. It however was a very dull colour, grey I think, with a steering wheel which was little help for dealing with that extra boost from the lorry.

    I don’t see any grasses or other vegetation in this car – do you suppose the famous Coombs goats keep it nicely trimmed?

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      What a story, Ehpem, wow!!! So happy to hear that all turned out well from your topsy-turvy driving incident there! Terrific comments, my friend, thank you so much for taking the time to leave them here!

      And regarding the goats… shhhh… 🙂 we’re going to share all that in an upcoming post!! I suspect you are right, though! 😀

  7. Things have changed a little since last time I stopped there some years ago. For one, I don’t remember the statues. Definitely gotta check it out again. Meanwhile I look forward to seeing more of this series.

  8. avatar Erin Duke says:

    Beautifully photographed and written. I just love those old cars; working order or not! More, more, more! 🙂

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      You are such a great friend to us, thank you Erin, we really appreciate your visit and comments here!

  9. Great photos, and what fun! I used to live in Parksville, so Coombs market was a regular stop. Do they still have goats that feed on the grass roof? That was always very popular with the tourists back then.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      😀 The whole goat thing is part of an upcoming post on our series here, we’ve been b-a-a-a-a-a-a-d at keeping the secret, but we’re working on it! OK, that wasn’t my best pun, but it kind of got the job done. Thank you so very kindly for your visit and comments here Laurie, we really appreciate it!

  10. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    What a cool find Toad. You continue to amaze with words and images.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you ever so kindly, Len, we really appreciate all your kindness and support here!

  11. avatar ken bello says:

    Coombs seem like a fun destination and full of photo ops, too. I guess it would take a lot to make the car road-worthy but at least it looks nice in the plaza.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks Ken! Yeh, I really don’t think a lick of paint will do the whole trick although it would be considered a start. At a glance, I see some other parts missing… I guess we would call this a project! 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to visit us here today, and for your great comments; I know everyone will enjoy them!

  12. avatar Jim Nix says:

    haha great car, nicely shot!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      😀 Thanks, Jim! I’d offer to take you out for a ride, but I think we’ve got a little work to do on it first! Thank you so much for popping on by today, we really appreciate it!