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Monday, November 30, 2009

Church Of Our Lord - Another Window

The bright, warm colours of the Church Of Our Lord stained glass windows are so delightful during the wet gray days we're having just now that I'll share another with you. This one shows the Holy Spirit Descending and was installed during the 1980s.

I must take this opportunity to thank the Church Of Our Lord Heritage Coordinator, Sylvia Van Kirk, for providing much of the historical information contained in the last few posts I've made about this church.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Church Of Our Lord - Living History

No church here embodies the history of Victoria like the Church Of Our Lord. Yesterday's post of the Eliza Harris window only weakly suggests the associations of this church with so many of Victoria's early citizens. Two of the windows at the far end in this photo were donated in memory of Sir James Douglas, Victoria's founder, and his son. There are two prayer desks in front of the altar, one dedicated to a sister of artist Emily Carr who mentions the church in her memoir, "The Book of Small."Opposite is another prayer desk donated in memory of a daughter of Dr. John Helmcken, another prominent early Victorian. It is not difficult when sitting beneath the wonderful ceiling of this church to imagine a Sunday in the 19th century when the Douglas family (who occupied the first pew) would be sitting here along with the Helmckens and the Carrs and many other citizens whose names are enshrined in the streets and buildings of this city.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Church Of Our Lord - Eliza Harris Memorial Window

On Monday I posted a photo of the exterior of the Church Of Our Lord and promised some photos of the interior. Victoria has many hidden jewels and here is one, the stained glass window given in memory of Eliza Harris, wife of Victoria's first mayor, Thomas Harris. Eliza Harris was respected for her charitable works and her window depicts the biblical character Dorcas, who was well-known for clothing the poor. This window was donated in 1890 and a special opening in the Prayer Chapel was created for it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Dallas Road

The rain let up yesterday and the sun came out briefly. However, by the time I got out the clouds had drifted back over most of the sky. Nevertheless, there were lots of Victorians taking advantage of the respite from the wet weather, including this couple out for a stroll along Dallas Road.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Holland Point November

These gulls at Holland Point were making a lot of noise about something in the water below them but it must have been a gull thing because there was nothing I could see.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Favourite View

Here's favourite view of mine whose winter colours are still rich though muted under these gray skies.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Red Berries

While walking across the grounds of St. Ann's Academy I found myself suddenly treading on all these glorious ruby-like berries scattered profusely over the path. Anyone know the name of the tree these berries come from? It has needles like an evergreen but instead of cones it has these red berries.
Thanks to Lori who suggested in a comment that these berries are the fruit of some species of the Yew tree. I suspect she is correct.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Church of Our Lord

"This picturesque building is one of the finest expressions in wood of the Gothic Revival style in Canada. It was constructed in 1875 for the Reformed Episcopal church by the Reverend Edward Cridge. Architect John Teague enhanced the building's Gothic character by exploiting the advantages of board-and-batten siding to reinforce the vertical thrust of its pointed roof, pinnacles and spire. Inside, a Gothic hammer beam ceiling spans the broad open space to provide an unbroken view of the apse and pulpit."
(From the Historic Sites and Monuments plaque in front of this church)

This fine old church is right downtown at the corner of Blanshard and Humboldt Streets. We'll have a look inside it a little later this week.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

St. Joseph's

When St. Ann's was in use as a boarding school it had an operating orchard on the grounds, to provide fruit for the resident schoolchildren and nuns. Remnants of this orchard, a pear tree and some apples, can be seen in this photo. On the left in the distance on the other side of Humboldt Street, the imposing structure was formerly St. Joseph's Hospital, Victoria's first hospital, erected in 1876. It has now been converted in apartments.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

St. Ann's Academy Chapel

At the heart of St. Ann's Academy is the chapel pictured here. It's the oldest part of the building and was erected in 1858 as St. Andrew's Church. It is Victoria's oldest religious building. In 1886 it was moved across Humboldt Street to its current location and integrated into the academy. It has since been fully restored and is a lovely little chapel. The two ladies visible at the bottom of the photo are engaged in ongoing maintenance and restoration.

Friday, November 20, 2009

St. Ann's Academy

This is the entrance to St. Ann's Academy, a heritage building in downtown Victoria. I posted some information about this building in an earlier post and tomorrow we'll take a look inside the chapel.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ready for Spring

Me too!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Shanghai Noodles

I pass this restaurant several times each week and only noticed recently that there is a new mural on the front of the building. It's interesting how certain wild animals come into style or become popular at various times. Pandas have been in vogue for some time now. Meerkats are also very in right now, at least with advertisers. Geckos are also currently popular. When I was a kid koala bears were much thought of but who ever speaks about koalas now? In any case I enjoy this Panda and her awesome brood. As for the food, I've not eaten there but I plan to after reading this review from Chowhound.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Now, God be thanked Who has matched us with His hour,
And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping,
With hand made sure, clear eye, and sharpened power,
To turn, as swimmers into cleanness leaping,
Glad from a world grown old and cold and weary,
Leave the sick hearts that honour could not move,
And half-men, and their dirty songs and dreary,
And all the little emptiness of love!

Oh! we, who have known shame, we have found release there,
Where there's no ill, no grief, but sleep has mending,
Naught broken save this body, lost but breath;
Nothing to shake the laughing heart's long peace there
But only agony, and that has ending;
And the worst friend and enemy is but Death.

(Rupert Brooke)

Monday, November 16, 2009


Victoria is experiencing an uncharacteristic amount of rain for the last few days so I will continue to look fondly back on a dry and hot summer vacation in the Okanagan Valley. Here are some hoodoos near the highway just north of Penticton.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Listening to the Stars

Here's another photo from my summer holiday in the southern interior of British Columbia. This is the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory at White Lake in the mountains above Penticton. There is no telescope. These huge dish antennae collect radio signals from space. Scientists have their reasons for doing this. You can read all about it HERE. I didn't see any aliens around the place but you can't get inside so who knows what's in there?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Witty's Lagoon IV

Across the strait are the mountains of the Olympic Peninsula in the USA. On this side this couple shares a landscape of blue and gray with a Great Blue Heron hunting for his supper.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Witty's Lagoon III

Many people associate the West Coast with the wild and rugged beauty of the Long Beach area. However, there are many more subtle and tranquil beauties found along this coast as well.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Swan at Witty's Lagoon

If you read the comments on yesterday's post and picture of the beach at Witty's Lagoon, there is a good description of the area by my friend, Dean Lewis. But when you're walking down from the road, before you get to the beach you walk around the lagoon. Above is a photo of one of the first views of the lagoon that you see on the trail.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Witty's lagoon

This is the beach at Witty's Lagoon, a short drive along the coast west of Victoria. I'll tell you a little more about Witty's lagoon tomorrow with a few more photos.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Old House

Here's another from my summer trip to the dry interior of our province. Back in the hills there's still many old log structures standing, beautifully weathered by time and the elements. Those who built them are long gone, as are their dreams and those who loved them.

Monday, November 9, 2009


When it's cold and dark and wet outside it's time to get out all the summer photos and browse through them. Here's one from my trip to the southern interior of British Columbia in August of this year. This is the Similkameen River near Keremeos.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Beacon Hill Autumn

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Chinese Benevolent Associations

I always enjoy looking at these two tall, thin buildings on Fisgard street in Victoria's Chinatown. On the left is the Shon Yee Benevolent Association Building and on the right is the Lee's Benevolent Association.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Shutters

Here's another shot of my favourite Songhees Condominium, The Shutters. I see from reading about this place on Google that condominiums here are much used as a time-share/vacation rentals. This explains to some extent the lack of life in the area since there may not be many permanent residents. In any case, I like the appearance of the several buildings that comprise this development.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Court House

People tell me this used to be the Main Police Station for Victoria's City Police. Now, however, it is used as the court house. I don't know anything more about this building except that I like its unusual style. I'm hoping some of my more knowledgeable local readers can fill me in on a little of its history. It's on Fisgard Street, just across from the Chinese Public School.

Major blooper here: This building is NOT the court house. It houses the Capital Regional District Offices. Thanks to Victorian reader Corey Burger who pointed out my error.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sunset on the Gorge

The Gorge is a splendid feature of Victoria and is well used by residents who like to be on the water. This is a fairly typical scene in the late afternoon as rowers and boaters head for home under some very photogenic clouds. This photo was taken from Selkirk Trestle, looking towards the city. The island on the left, Halkett Island, was featured in an earlier post.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sir John A. MacDonald

We've seen the front entrance to Victoria's City Hall in an earlier post. The original building, however, proved too small for the modern city and there is a newer addition on the back with another entrance. Here visitors pass in and out under the benign scrutiny of this statue of Canada's first prime minister, Sir John A. MacDonald. The statue was sculpted by John Dann in 1982.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Welcome to Victoria!

Downtown today my heart gave a leap when I saw this long line of revelers. My immediate thought was "Oh, it's the Olympic Torch Relay!" But looking more closely I found that none of them were carrying a torch. "Of course," I thought, "it's the line-up for the H1N1 vaccination!" But no, there's no clinic nearby. When I noticed the smiling faces and the multitude of cameras, however, I realized I was just suffering from media induced fantasies again. This is a tour group, of course, one of the last of the season no doubt, probably just fresh from passing through airport security by the look of them. Welcome to Victoria, happy travellers!
(I kept my distance, mind you. That little soccer zombie on the right looks like he has sharp teeth.)