Vancouver: Horseshoe Bay

“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” Pascal Mercier, Writer

My brother and his family have lived in Horseshoe Bay in Canada since the late 1980s … and I’ve landed on their doorstep on numerous occasions over the last 30 years. Sometimes I’ve arrived tired and broke – after extended travel in Africa, Europe or South America – or I’ve used Horseshoe Bay as a base to travel further afield in Alaska or the Canadian Rockies. This is my home away from home, a place where I’m always welcome, a place that I often long for, and a place that I love.

Horseshoe Bay has a small-town feel to it even though it is part of the wider West Vancouver community and there is a major BC Ferries terminal located here – transporting vehicles and passengers to Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and Bowen Island. Even the signs on the highway refer to Horseshoe Bay as a Village.

Although the Village is frequented by many tourists – who come to eat fish and chips in the park, and admire the spectacular view of the bay, the boats and the mountains – most of the locals know one another.

I remember, so many years ago, taking my two-year old nephew for a walk down to the park. People would approach us to say hi to my nephew and, I guess, find out who this stranger was, hanging out with a local kid. It didn’t take long before my nephew had me introduced to half the population. These days, my nephew works in the landmark Trolls Restaurant; which originated in 1946 as Troll’s Fish and Chips, catering to the local fishermen of the village. I remember walking past Trolls one day, only to have my nephew come rushing out to give me the biggest bear hug.

This year, I was back in Horseshoe Bay for three weeks and I decided to take lots of photographs – to capture some of the finer details of this place that will always be in my heart.

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