Thursday, September 4, 2014

Then and Now: Victoria Harbour 1971

This is a shot my dad took of Victoria's Inner Harbour in 1971, and below it is a shot of the harbour I took a few weeks ago. My, how things have changed. 1971 Inner Harbour Victoria

In the foreground, the most obvious change is the rearrangement of the docks. Seaplanes still come into the harbour, but they don't dock in this part of it anymore. In the background, well, nothing's the same. All the buildings are gone, and the big piers jutting out into the harbour are gone. The MV Coho that dominates my photo docked on the other side of the harbour in 1971. The only building that remains is the old CPR Steamship Terminal building in the top left corner. In 1971, it was the Victoria Royal London Wax Museum; after recent renovations and seismic upgrading it's now the Robert Bateman Centre. IMG_5939 Missing entirely now is the Undersea Garden (seen behind the seaplane in dad's photo). The Undersea Gardens was a long-time tourist attraction in the harbour. It's a 150-foot purpose built vessel where, according to Wikipedia, visitors "....descended 15 feet (4.6 m) beneath the ocean surface to look through the many viewing windows of the aquariums that surrounded the vessel and see the various marine life of coastal British Columbia, in their natural and protected environment." It was originally opened at the Oak Bay Marina in 1964, then it was towed to the Inner Harbour in 1969, but closed last year. We saw it this past January while kayaking in the harbour. It was towed to a shipyard where it sat waiting to be scrapped or sold. IMG_2064

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