Thursday Doors: Christmas on Vancouver Island






I’ve been looking more closely at doors lately. Inspired by Montreal blogger, Norm Frampton, who hosts a weekly link up called Thursday Doors, I’ve begun to see the entrances to buildings in a brand new light. These shared posts, by bloggers from around the world, have taken me to new and intriguing places. They’ve also returned me to familiar places with fresh eyes. My favourite door posts so far (here, here and here) have done just that and have provided rich and intricate details of my own country’s architecture.

I became absorbed in these posts and wanted to join the collaboration. Several weeks ago, filled with enthusiasm, I went bounding outside with my camera ready. On that first outing, I came away empty-handed. It wasn’t as easy as I had thought. Many of our town’s most interesting buildings tend to have Home Hardware-like doors. I sucked back my initial disappointment. Silently I have continued my lookout. That door post remains a work-in-progress.

This holiday season has offered a playful spin on my endeavor and has provided me with much latitude for experimentation. It has also allowed me to give you a small teaser of some of our mid-Vancouver Island buildings (plus a couple of shots from Vancouver snuck in for good measure)!

Doors offer or deny access and connection. Welcoming or excluding they make a definite statement about their interiors…and about the people who dwell inside. In the spirit of the season, I kept my eyes focused on entrance ways that were festive, colourful and joyful. I looked for doors that simply or elaborately sent positive vibes and made me want to explore their buildings further.

In order of appearance (on the side column), here are my top picks. Vancouver Islanders – how many of the buildings do you recognize (without reading below)?

Crown Mansion Boutique Hotel, Qualicum Beach, BC. Originally built in 1914, and graced by such visitors as Bing Crosby, John Wayne, and the King of Siam (source) much effort has gone into preserving this home’s original grace and beauty. If you are in the vicinity, its restaurant, Butler’s, offers a first-class dining experience.

Tigh Na Mara, Seaside Resort, Parksville, BC. Founded in 1946, its name is Gaelic for “house by the sea.” This luxury resort with 192 handcrafted log guestrooms and cabins has evolved from humble beginnings of a single tent. Its spa was named number one in Canada (source).

Hospice Society at Oceanside, Qualicum Beach, BC. This 1913 home has been used by our local hospice society for over twenty years. Whenever driving by, this building makes me want to stop in and volunteer…especially at Christmas time.

Bear Lodge, Mount Washington, BC. In the 1970’s, Mount Washington became the first comprehensively planned ski resort in British Columbia. The resort village has continued to expand since then while remaining relaxed and affordable (as ski resorts go!). This pic was taken early morning when most other skiers were still fast asleep. Don’t the warm lights make you want to step inside from the cold?

A Bute Street Residence, Vancouver, BC. The next two photos stray slightly from my Vancouver Island theme. When walking down Bute, a residential street in Vancouver, I was immediately captivated by the elaborately decorated doorways of several houses in a row. This supports my deep belief that the spirit of the season is contagious…and that our neighbours do influence us more than we sometimes realize. This first Bute Street home shown is one-hundred and fifteen years old.

Ashby House Bed and Breakfast, Vancouver, BC. Also on Bute Street, this heritage-designated house was built in 1899. Converting this home into a bed and breakfast (1986) has allowed the owners to restore and preserve many of the home’s original features (source). The colour contrast between the building and its lighting quickly caught my attention and has put this B&B on my wish list of places to stay when in Vancouver.

Milner’s Garden, Qualicum Beach, BC. The piece-de-resistance of our area, and the feature photo of this post is this heritage house surrounded by 60 acres of woodlands and ten acres of garden. Visited by Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Lady Diana, Milner’s Garden (since gifted to Vancouver Island University) has quite the history. Every December, the gardens and its buildings are transformed into a winter wonderland (with festively-lit trails, a Teddy Bear’s cottage, and Santa’s Den) bringing out the inner child in all of us.

Be it with a simple wreath, or more elaborate lighting/ornamentation, have you decorated your front door to welcome in this holiday season?

Wishing you warmth and peace this Christmastime and the whole year through.

Thursday Doors is a blogging/photography challenge hosted each Thursday to Saturday by Norm Frampton at Norm 2.0. If you are a blogger/photographer why don’t you join in?

26 Replies to “Thursday Doors: Christmas on Vancouver Island”

  1. What beautiful doors! I have the same issue with doors around my neighborhood off-season… boring for the most part. But, during the holidays, the lights and porch decorations add so much to the warmth and welcome. I love the colors of the yellow house the best. Thanks for sharing! Warmth and peace to you too, my friend.

    1. Hi, Janis –
      Thanks for replying so quickly. My computer systems appear to have gone on early holiday so I wasn’t sure that my posts were actually sent out, or if the links were working.
      Have a great holiday and say hello to Terri! Wish I was there for the meet up!
      Donna

  2. Your post has demonstrated what I love most about Thursday Doors – it’s all about the entrance-ways that make us pause and look twice.
    Some are over-the-top spectacular, but often they are unique in a subtle way – weathered and neglected, decorated with abandon, painted in an outlandish colour – they are all wonderful. Christmas just gives people an excuse to ramp it up several notches 🙂

    1. Being brand new to Thursday Doors, I had been a bit hesitant about this post. Thank you for your reassuring words, Joanne. They were are very much appreciated.

  3. From: Liesbet

    Those are all festive doors and quite inviting. Who wouldn’t want to have a peek inside? As for our current door… The owners of the house have a box with different wreaths and I exchanged the fall one for the Christmas one!

    1. Hi, Liesbet – This post has definitely had a mind of its own. First it prepublished the title and feature photo earlier this week. Now it has done a duplicate publication of the same post! I have cut and pasted your comment from the duplicate version. Thanks for writing. I LOVE that you have a box of different door wreaths for different seasons…I just may need to borrow that idea!

  4. I love the idea of these pictures of doors, especially at Christmas! This would be a great article for our local paper, and maybe it would even foster friendly competition among participating businesses in the Parksville/Qualicum Beach area, similar to the summer competition for “Best Small Town Floral Display”. Great PR and tourist attraction for Christmas visitors!
    Dawne. 👍

    1. Hi, Dawne – Thank you for your continued readership and support. Great idea about promoting Christmas on our part of the island. I will definitely give it some more thought.

    1. Thanks, Terri – I thought that you were on a blogging break! Thanks for stopping by and for commenting. I look forward to seeing your San Diego door photographs. Have a safe and happy holiday!

  5. Hi Donna! I’m not part of the “doors series” but have enjoyed seeing them on several blogs I follow and yours is no exception. It also highlights how different areas of the country/world are so unique and different. I live in the desert southwest and I do have a wreath but that’s about it for my outdoor decorations. Of course, even here lots of people go to extremes and really decorate. Nice to see how we each celebrate. And Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    1. Hi, Kathy – Thanks for following and for commenting. Yours is exactly the type of blog that I was looking for before I retired. Glad I finally came across it. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2017!

  6. Awesome start – welcome to #ThursdayDoors!
    These are all lovely Christmas doors.
    I think Joanne hit the nail on the head. A nice door just manages to make us stop and take a second look, and all of these ones fit that bill perfectly.
    Nicely done 🙂

    1. Thanks, Norm – I have been following Thursday Doors for awhile now. I am happy to be able to jump in. Thanks so much for hosting, and for stopping by and commenting. I greatly appreciate your encouraging words!

  7. Dear Donna,

    Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year! May this season brings you joy and peace and through the new year.

    If only I could share my home’s season’s decor as our way of celebrating Christmas, I would. This way, you can have a look at what we do in this part of the world.

    Kind regards.

    1. Hi, Sharon – I would LOVE to see your home’s season decor if you ever have a photo to share! Wishing you the warmest of holidays and a very happy New Year!

  8. It’s such a great weekly excursion, not only to find your doors but to see everyone else’s. I love the days after Thursday, finding time to look at all the doors.You found some lovely festive doors this week! Enjoy your Christmas….

  9. The 1st knock is always the most difficult and intimidating; the 2nd knock emboldens you and the 3rd knock opens the door and welcomes you in; welcome to the door community! You’ll soon find that there are almost no bad doors and the door community is quite supportive and encouraging and you’ll get addicted. Looking forward to seeing your future doors!

    1. Thanks so much, Gordon. My first attempt was intimidating…and a bit nerve-wracking! I am looking forward to my second and third knocks, and to being part of the door community.

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