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Notes on the Geography of Canada (B.C.): Up Island

Vancouver Island is mostly "bush," and money has historically been found in fish, logs, and minerals. They're still important, but tourism and recreation are displacing them year by year.

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Canada (B.C.): Up Island picture 1

For Sale: this fishboat was tied up at Chemainus, south of Nanaimo. The margins were too thin to make fishing profitable. Nobody was offering to buy the boat.

Canada (B.C.): Up Island picture 2

Ruined docks at Sooke Harbour symbolize the decline of the once-mighty salmon fishery.

Canada (B.C.): Up Island picture 3

A few carry on.  As usual, a fog banks awaits them.

Canada (B.C.): Up Island picture 4

Sawmills, along with pulp and paper mills, have traditionally been an anchor of the island's economy. Unions have been militant.

Canada (B.C.): Up Island picture 5

Chips are barged through the inland waters.

Canada (B.C.): Up Island picture 6

For Sale: the hotel at Port Renfrew. It's suggestive of the working character of the island's settlements, once you get past the coastal veneer.

Canada (B.C.): Up Island picture 7

The rail station at Duncan. The Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railroad (a tributary of the Canadian Pacific), was important for coal and lumber development on the island. Traffic is light today, though a Budd rail car until recently ran up and down once daily, much to the disgust of the railroad's managers.

Canada (B.C.): Up Island picture 8

The "new economy" arrives on Vancouver Island with money for retirement- and second-homes. This is at Craig Bay, south of Parksville.

Canada (B.C.): Up Island picture 9

Not a cheap development. It replaced a campground that had been here since World War II.

Canada (B.C.): Up Island picture 10

Where's the money coming from? Not fish, logs, or minerals. More likely from Vancouver, Seattle, and the Pacific Rim.

Canada (B.C.): Up Island picture 11

A small ferry leaves Crofton for Vesuvius, on Saltspring Island.


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