Island Living

Posted: 30th September 2013 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography
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Island living means many things to us native Vancouver Islanders, and the truth of it is expressed in our local architecture.  Many of our homes are designed with classic architectural elements and features, creating a wealth of heritage styled homes in the area that showcases the essence of life on the island.  For it’s our homes that express who we are, and therefore make up the fabric of our society in a way that is distinctly Vancouver Island.  And by studying these homes we can discover a little more about ourselves and how we fit into the communities on the island.

Classic Heritage Home - Victoria, BC, Canada

Classic Heritage Home – Victoria, BC, Canada –

For those of you who follow us regularly, you already know of our deep love for photographing homes and architecture here on the island.  At the end of the day it will always be my favorite subject matter.  The homes featured in this post today are both from the east end of Victoria, just outside of the central city core.  They were all designed and built quite a few years ago and even though many of them don’t have official heritage designations, many of them are most certainly worthy of it.

If we take a close look at these fabulous abodes, we see that each one is unique.  Each one expresses the character of the island in its own way, yet when they are taken in as a collection a common theme emerges.  Inviting entrance-ways, intricate stonework or brickwork and incredible woodwork are the hallmarks of these homes.  The little details all merge to help create a whole and complete picture, if you will.

As I stand and take in these details, I am always left wondering what it’s like inside these places.  This sense of mystery and intrigue is actually quite wonderful, leaving the imagination to fill in the details creating a myriad of halls and cubby-holes for the imagination to run down and duck into to hide.  As a little boy I would have lost myself in these homes, using all these elements as a foundation for my imagination and play.  You’d never have gotten me out.

Classic Heritage Home - Victoria, BC, Canada

Classic Heritage Home – Victoria, BC, Canada –

The use of color is quite prevalent in our homes, too.  Many of the homes feature warm earth tones that both express a feeling of joy in the neighborhood as well as letting the house blend in seamlessly to the surroundings.  Tall trees and lush and gorgeous fauna are found everywhere on the island and it’s only fitting that our homes merge into this backdrop in a natural way.

You just have to wonder about all the celebrations that have been witnessed by the house here; births, graduations, weddings, Christmases, all form an important part of the character and spirit of the home.  They are a connection to our past that allow us to move forward with a sense of the familiar, enjoying traditions that have been observed for many a year.

We’re all familiar with the old adage “home is where the heart is”, and we can honestly say that our hearts are tied to Vancouver Island and all the wonderful character it exhibits.  After-all, it’s easy to find a place to live, but it’s not so easy to find a place that connects so perfectly with who you are as a person, enveloping you instantly in a sense of belonging.  This is island living to us.

Thank you so much for your kind visit today, we really do appreciate it.  As always, we love to hear from all our visitors so please feel free to leave us any comments or thoughts you may have.  Until next time, friends!




  1. You certainly live in a very beautiful place! I love houses like these, they are just so full of character.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      They are and always will be my favorite photography subject. Thanks so much for your kind visit and comments here, my friend, they are very much appreciated!

  2. avatar Edith Levy says:

    I really need to come back and visit. I haven’t spent nearly as much time as I would like in Vancouver and the rest of BC. Wonderful post Toad.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      We would love, love, love to see you Edith, that’s for sure! Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement, my friend, it really means a lot!

  3. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    What a beautiful place to live, Toad. I really like the architectural style of the homes.

  4. Love that era of homes. Looks like a gorgeous place to live.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      It’s really a very special place, Chris, for sure. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit us and leave these comments, we can’t thank you enough!

  5. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    One of these days, i will spend some time on your beautiful island. I have been there a couple of times but you can’t really see the true beauty in a few hours. Fortunately we have you to post some fantastic images that shows us what is beyond the tourist stops, Toad. Your love for the island comes shining through. Sorry for my absence these last few months. It has been a very heavy travel period for me and I am glad to be home for awhile. You’ll see me back regularly now.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I am so, so, so happy to see you pop by Len! I knew you were on the road, so to speak, it sure is great to see you back again. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit and for leaving us your wonderful comments. It’s always a huge highlight for us when you swing by to see us here. Best wishes, my good friend!!

  6. avatar Lois Bryan says:

    Both examples are lovely … would love to visit up that way some day!!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so, so much Lois! If ever you make your way to the island let us know, we’d love to meet up and show you around!! And thank you for leaving these great comments!

  7. avatar LensScaper says:

    Fabulous pair of handsome houses Toad. I wouldn’t mind living in one of them

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      You and I both, my fine friend!! 🙂 Thank you so much Andy, we really appreciate your kind visit and support here!

  8. avatar ehpem says:

    Hi Toad – you certainly have done a great job of bringing us a couple or houses that are representative of so much of the area’s architecture. I too wouldn’t mind living in one of these houses, my place sadly being representative of something quite different!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      You have a lovely home, too, my good friend! 🙂 Thank you so much for your visit and taking the time to comment here today, Ehpem, we really really appreciate it!

  9. I especially like the first image. It is very elegant with nice detail and tonal values.