Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tofino, circa 1976

I'd seen this film before, but then I lost track of it. Thanks to Godfrey Stephens for posting it on Facebook today. Fabulous footage of Tofino when there were only 500 people, it was still a fishing village, it still had the Gust of Wind, when toy pistols were allowed at school, and so on. Please comment if you can shed any light on people, places, etc. and I'll update the post.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Best Regards From Clayoquot Sound, Wishing You Were Here

I wrote on my other blog (well, one of them), about some recent postal finds that relate to the history of Long Beach. (About two post offices that no longer exist - one at Long Beach and one at the airport during the war.) I hadn't made the connection before that a part of my house - the part that originally had been on Long Beach - was, for a time, the Long Beach Post Office. Considering I'm quite interested in all things postal, this was a nice coincidence.

At the same stamp sale, I also picked up some other envelopes with post marks related to Clayoquot Sound.

This first one has a post mark from Kakawis, the location of the Christie Residential School. This post office was open from 1912 to 1964 and you can see the list of postmasters (usually priests at the school) here

Wally's Drygoods was a popular store in Tofino for many years. 

And this one is from Hot Springs Cove, which had a post office on and off between 1912 and 1964. The last record in this database is from 1964, which would coincide with the year the original village was wiped out by a tsunami. (After that, it was moved to the current location on higher ground.) 

While the cancellations are interesting (to me at least), I'm more interested in actual letters. Further to that, I have a little project brewing. Do you have letters written to or from the west coast (Clayoquot and Barkley Sounds area?). If so, and you'd be willing to let me  have a look, I'd love to hear from you. I'm not asking to keep them, but I'm always interested in peoples' impressions in their own words. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Tofino Postcard Project


I'm reorganized, refreshed and ready to get back to this blog, celebrating the creative community and other great things about Tofino. I've been wanting to post about the Postcard Project, the brainchild of Marion Syme and her friend (and honourary Tofitian) Petra Mueller for several months now. These two artists hung out for a bit this summer and as they travelled to the XOXO Festival in Portland (without me; sniff), they created five original postcards based on imaginary colours submitted by, well, whoever wanted to submit a colour. Here are the results for the randomly-drawn colours: Fogust, Russula Rosacea Red, Procrastination Blue, Winkle White and Violet Velella.

Russula Rosacea Red
I'm hoping they'll find the time to create cards based on a few more colours (ripe banana slug?; an inspired colour, IMHO) and also will bring Super Studio classes to Tofino in 2014.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Story of a House

I've been meaning to do this for awhile, but today discussion on Tapestry, about homes, got me down to the scanner with a mitt full of photos. Here is the story of our house, from Long Beach to Tofino.

This is where our house began its life. It was part of Abbott's Store - a store and several out buildings - at Long Beach, near today's Kwisitis (formerly Wickaninnish) Centre. I assume it was built here, but perhaps it was moved here? Not sure. This photo comes from Pacific Rim National Park's building inventory. When the national park came in, buildings were moved or razed. This building was moved to Tofino. (Notice the leaded glass windows, which we saved and moved. The main one visible here is now on the front of our house. Perhaps not the wisest move [have you ever tried to clean leaded glass?] especially as they are single-paned, but they look pretty.)

Look at our little house, sitting amidst the stumps and trees. Apparently it was a wetland (which is very apparent when it rains here; our backyard becomes a lake). Apparently there were salmon in what is now our backyard. 

Up in the air you go, little house. Whitey Bernard owned the house then. He got a big-ass crane and lifted it up. Then he built a second floor below this first little part and also added the back. 

And this is how the house looked when we bought it back in 1990. It was essentially a two-storey "L" with a large deck and carport filling in the space to make a box. 

About 6 years later, thanks to Pattison Architecture (and the bank), we did a huge renovation and the house looks like this. (This was about 6 months after the renovation was "completed." I think we finally finished the interior last year and still have to tile the backsplash.) 

It was nice to say goodbye to teeny tiny tubs, shag carpets, glittery wallpaper, ... but it's very cool to know we can tell some of the story of our house and that a few pieces still remain. (See that leaded glass window?) 

Sunday, July 22, 2012


While I won't flatter myself to think that there is actually someone out there in the blogosphere wondering where I've been, I thought I just check in and give a quick update. (I do have a few followers!)

A lot has been happening the past few months, which has meant I've had to focus my efforts. Much as I love it, The Heart of Tofino had fallen off what is doable for me at the moment. So, I'm officially going to take a hiatus until after Labour Day and cross "Update The Heart of Tofino" off my To Do list for a few weeks. If nothing else, I'll go easier on myself.

I will be checking in over at Long Beach Wild ( from time to time, however.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Tofino Collective & Mr Booth (again)

Why have I not seen this before? Reading it made me feel a little old and extremely un-hip—especially since I've known Zina since she was a baby—but finding things like this makes me fall in love with Tofino all over again. Knowing we have such a well of creative people who want to be here, makes it one of the best places on the planet. Make sure you check out the Like Minds page. I see they're just re-emerging after a little hiatus (believe me, I know how that happens when you're trying to run a blog or five), but I look forward to reading and seeing more of what they'll create very soon. And speaking of creative Tofino folks, Duncan Booth has two more podcasts up and available for download here.

Hera Medal Comes Home

The President's award, given to Nigel Campbell over 100 years ago for his part in the rescue of passengers from the Hera, has returned to Clayoquot Sound thanks to the efforts of The Tonquin Foundation. You can read more about it here. Thanks to everyone who played a part in its return.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

Debunking Tofino's Volcano

The tourist season is upon us, so let's just nip this bit of misinformation in the bud: Lone Cone, on Meares Island, is not a volcano. It was serendipitous that I was thinking about this. Yesterday I came into a treasure trove of west coast history books. Most of them I had, but there were some gems I was delighted to add to my library. In the box was Lone Cone by Dorothy Abraham, which I already have, but am always happy to see and be reminded of. Some lucky friend or family member will get this copy.
Lone Cone is a memoir of Dorothy Abraham, a World War One war bride who found herself in the Tofino area (her husband homesteaded on Vargas Island).
It may have been Dorothy who actually started (or at least put the "fact" in print) that Lone Cone was an extinct volcano. On page 17 she refers to Lone Cone, "an extinct volcano." So, sorry, Dorothy and others who want to believe. Lone Cone is not a volcano, extinct or otherwise. Geologist and writer, Jackie Windh, debunked this years ago in an article in the local paper, The Sound. Then, just yesterday after I was going through the box of books and did a little Google search, I found this article.