Witten at 10:08 PM on Sunday, February 3rd.
It’s the end of an era tonight.
When I’m wiping sleep from my eyes, workers will be barricading the Ogden Breakwater as work begins to install railings along the coastal landmark.
Just a few blocks from my home, I’ve only enjoyed it for less than a year. I’ve got a few good pictures, is about all I can tell ya. I’m devastated the City of Victoria barrelled straight ahead and didn’t bother getting input from most people on the notion of railings.
Now, after 96 years and less than a handful of incidents, the Ogden Breakwater will go from an aesthetically stunning landmark to just another touristy spot with maximized safety.
Charles Darwin weeps in the afterlife. Survival of the fittest? Natural selection? Not on Dallas Road, my friends.
There’s something amazing about the unsafe, exposed nature of the Ogden Breakwater as it stands for the next 10 hours.
It’s ludicrous such a landmark on such a sometimes-dangerous coastline should have gone nearly a century without a casualty.
But no more.
Tomorrow, railings. The end of an era.
Sure, aesthetics might be a first-world problem, but in other places where there’s homelessness and class divide on par with Victoria, most governments would never be as frivolous with city coffers on such a spot as the Breakwater, since it’s never yet had a major safety incident.
BUT MAYBE, YOU KNOW, WE MIGHT. So, like, let’s DO IT!
The cynic in me can’t help but wonder, if the Ogden Breakwater wasn’t next to a popular international cruise ship port-of-call, would they still be concerned with making it accessible to people who aren’t familiar with it, who are namby-pamby scaredy cats about crossing the intimidating entrance gate?
God knows I’ve seen more than one elderly cruise-taking tourist stand intimidated at the gate and turn back around. Would their complaints be enough to soften city minds?
But, whatever. It’s still in an incredible location. After a year or so, the sting of ugly-safety-first will settle down and we’ll make our peace with the railings.
Tonight, however, it’s time to pour a mournful glass of wine and lament the loss of the cool behind one of Victoria’s coolest old-school landmarks. Given this blog was born the morning I wrote this, that’s why I’ve got the railing-less photos of the Breakwater as my iconic images for this blog.
Tomorrow, let the bubble-wrapping begin.
So the bureaucracy spins. Onward, “progress”.
Shush you, Mr. Darwin. Naturally select this.
Some of my photos of the Breakwater from my first year here: