Decaying resource towns of the BC coast.

Inside the school library at Ocean Falls.

Inside the school library at Ocean Falls.

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.

The inscribed fireplace in the ballroom at Ocean Falls: Archie Martin … Ocean Falls community is a monument to his memory. Indeed.

2 responses to “Decaying resource towns of the BC coast.

  1. Thanks for the pic’s even though they made me very sad. I spent my younger years in Ocean Falls in the ’60’s. It is sad that this once beautiful town has decayed. It was unforgettable to live there. It’s still beautiful though. I hope I can retire there one day. The scenery alone is worth living there again, cuz memories can’t be taken away. Cheers!


  2. John, I’m glad you found the post. It must have been a remarkable place to spend time. BC Ferries still stops at Ocean Falls so it is actually one of the more viable remote communities to live in if you really do intend on moving back sometime!


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