Trip 224 - July 15, 2021 (Thursday)
City of Port Alberni Visit
On Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
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Port Alberni Location: On Central Vancouver
Island, along BC Highway 4, approximately 42 kilometers West of Qualicum Beach,
and 120 km East of Tofino and Ucluelet.
Liked: Natural views, aboriginal street art, wall murals, banners on light posts, artistic trash cans, wide streets.
Of Note: Very windy by the water. Port Alberni is located in a Tsunami Hazard Zone.
Vancouver Island Backroad Mapbook (9th edition) Port Alberni Coordinates: Page 17 (Port Alberni) B1-B2.
The City of Port Alberni bills itself as the fishing capital of Canada, and is located on BC Highway 4, between the East Coast of Vancouver Island (42 km away) and the seaside communities of Tofino and Ucluelet (about 120 km away). It's a cozy small city, where about 17,000 people currently reside. Today, we visited Victoria Quay, Harbour Quay, and what appeared to be downtown area centered around the intersection of 3rd Avenue and Argyle Street. We found wide streets, few people, fine natural views, and a whole lot of art, from an aboriginal Welcome Figure at Victoria Quay, to very impressive wall murals, to highly enjoyable street light banners, and even several very well-decorated garbage cans.
There is also an assortment of major stores in Port Alberni, including a Wal-Mart, and this city is your last chance to stock up on a whole lot of things not available in much smaller Tofino and Ucluelet. As Port Alberni is located in a tsunami hazard zone, head to the higher ground in case of an earthquake.
1. We start on BC Highway 4, also known as River Road in this part of Port Alberni, where a Port Alberni town sign is located on the corner of Johnston Road. Victoria Quay is right behind the sign.
2. Across from Highway 4 is this neat wall art, dedicated to the memory of Janice Carol Zanolli.
3-4. Back to the side of the highway with Port Alberni sign, this aboriginal Welcome Figure welcomes Port Alberni visitors.
5. Going further along Victoria Quay past Johnston Road, there is a Nuu-chah-nulth Whaling Canoe Sculpture, housed in this building.
6-7. The building is locked, and it's unclear if it ever gets opened for public to visit, but there are large openings for people to look inside at the exhibit.
8-10. Yet a bit further along Victoria Quay, there is a large painting right on the street, depicting a Native canoe crew.
11. We kept going further along Victoria Quay past Johnston Street. It's a pleasant area, if a bit windy.
12. This cheerful bear is standing there to commemorate Port Alberni's 100th anniversary in 2012.
13. Still pleasant, still windy.
14-15. We walked for several hundred meters past Johnston Road and ended our promenade at this gazebo.
Here is our video of the views from this location.
More ihikebc.com videos are on our YouTube Channel.
16. We then drove to the apparent downtown area of Port Alberni, centered around the corner of 3rd Avenue and Argyle Street. 3rd Avenue contains many shops, while Argyle Street is home to Port Alberni City Hall, a theatre, and a very picturesque Harbour Quay. This is 3rd Avenue, looking South between Athol Street and Strathern Street.
17-18. Another very fine mural is located on 3rd Avenue between Athol Street and Strathern Street.
19-20. A whole lot of towns in British Columbia have all sorts of banners, but Port Alberni has taken it to another level. Not only all banners are different, but they look like true art. The same street block as above. Amazing.
21-22. 3rd Avenue between Argyle Street and Angus Street. A creative way to put the name of the city on a lamp post.
23. Yet another never seen before thing. A bench made of two hands with a butterfly on top. Still 3rd Avenue between Argyle and Angus. An open air museum going on here.
24-25. Gaiga Square on the corner of 3rd Avenue and Angus Street.
26. The interesting part of 3rd Avenue lasts for several blocks, and ends at Mar Street. Here we are looking North on 3rd Avenue at Mar Street.
27. Another interesting street in Port Alberni is Argyle Street. Here we are looking East down Argyle at 3rd Avenue.
28. Capitol Theatre with a prominent design is located on Argyle Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues.
29. The next block brings us to Port Alberni City Hall.
30. Nicely decorated.
31. We then turned around and went down (West) on Argyle Street towards Harbour Quay, located about 10 minutes away. Between 3rd and 2nd Avenues here.
32-33. On Argyle Street, between 2nd and 1st Avenues, we found yet another impressive wall mural. Way to go, Port Alberni!
34. Just as impressive is The Thunderbird building on Argyle Street between 1st Avenue and Kingsway Avenue.
Our City of Port Alberni trip report Continues on Page 2.
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