Photographer Christopher Grabowski has a beautiful photo-essay at Geist magazine on the subject of decaying resource towns of the British Columbian coast, with emphasis on Alert Bay and Ocean Falls. You can read the essay alone, or as the multi-page photo essay, and also read an interview with Grabowski here. A fuller set of his Ocean Falls photographs can be seen here. (2018 edit: here)
It is striking how Europeans and other settlers were so active on the coast. Hundreds of communities have come and gone, and settlers are now concentrated in only a few major towns. Meanwhile, the First Nations remain on their land – in the long term, perhaps, European presence on the remote coastal lands will come to resemble a blip more than an occupation.
In the meantime, these fantastic photos remind us of the wasteful ways of the culture with perhaps the shortest attention span on earth: Canada.