Category: Victoria History

The Ghosts of the Fireside Grill

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The Fireside Grill is situated on a ley line that runs down West Saanich Road, through Wilkinson Road, toward the Four Mile House—a reputedly haunted inn—to the Portage Inlet and Esquimalt Harbour. This story is an excerpt from Sensational Victoria.

Tim Petropoulos, co-owner of the Fireside Grill since 2000, is a self-described skeptic when it comes to ghosts, but even he can’t discount all the sightings and odd things that have happened over the years and the first-hand accounts from his staff.

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The Chinese Labour Corps: One of BC’s Best Kept Secrets

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Robert Ashton kindly sent me this photo of hundreds of Chinese men standing on a hill with rows and rows of white army bell tents in the background.

He also found a 1920 copy of Pacific Marine Review with this story.

“During the last five months, almost 50,000 Chinese coolies have passed through the port of Vancouver on their way from work in the European war zone back to their homes in China.

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Top 10 Facebook Group Pages for 2016

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For my last post of the year, I’ve chosen the top 10 Facebook group pages. This list is highly subjective and based on a loose criteria—they have to deal with some aspect of the history of Greater Vancouver or Victoria, and you have to be able to see the posts without having to join (I’m intrigued by East Vancouver Selfies and Lululemon Barter Wars, but fear either rejection or disappointment).

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Jim Munro (1929-2016)

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I was so sad to hear of Jim Munro’s death last Monday. Jim was a huge promoter and lover of books, heritage buildings, art and authors, including of course, his first wife the Nobel prize winner Alice Munro.

He was also a lovely man. I had the pleasure of meeting Jim a few years back when I was researching Sensational Victoria.

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10 things I Love about Munro’s Books

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1. It’s in Victoria

2. It’s 52 years old. That means Munro’s has survived Amazon, consolidation and e-books.

3. Carole Sabiston’s tapestries. Eight large banners depict the seasons and decorate the interior of Munro’s. Carole is an incredibly accomplished textile artist. Her commissions include the giant Sunburst for the Expo ’86 opening ceremony in Vancouver and the five-panel work of mountains and oceans at Government House.

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Murder in James Bay

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The following story is an excerpt from Sensational Victoria: “Murders in the Capital.”

A few years after the Bests’ bought their James Bay home, a young woman knocked on the door and asked if she could come and take a look inside. She told them that her grandparents had lived in the cottage in the 1950s and she’d grown up believing that they were killed in a car crash.

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