Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Sidney What's-Its!

A What's-It is an object placed in a public place with the obvious intent of serving as a backdrop for tourist photos. There are many well-known examples of What's It's in Canada, such as the Moose in Toronto; the Big Nickel in Sudbury; the giant Easter Egg in Vegreville; the world's largest hockey stick in Duncan, BC; the Whales in Victoria and the totem poles in Vancouver's Stanley Park.

While not nearly as well-known as these cultural icons, I was surprized to find out that the little town of Sidney is brimming with What's-It's. In fact, I would venture to state that Sidney, a quaint little town of 11,000 people near the southern tip of Vancouver Island, has as many What's-It's per capita as any place in Canada. Here is a selection of some of them.

Reading Granny in front of the bookstore. Sidney is renouned for its many bookstores; in fact, the town has 9 of them in all. So, what better place to enjoy a book than sitting on a bench on the main street. Unfortunately, this also exposes the reader to some rather rude interlopers!

The classic Canadian Mountie, who stands in front of the local Smoke Shop.

The Fisherman; who sits with his faithful dog on a quiet bench.

The Diver, who graces a flagpole at the edge of the harbour. Just beyond is an underwater dive park, which is popular with scuba divers from near and far.

The Veteran, speaking to the youth of today. The pair sit next to a reflecting pool in front of the local Arts & Culture centre.

A Killer Whale; many more from the same pod are to be found around nearby Victoria.

A selection of totem poles found in such places as the local library, a nearby marina, a local shopping mall, and near the ferry terminal to Washington State.

The Old Salt, who appears to be looking for the seagulls that are often disrespectful and do nasty thing when he isn't looking.

Some sort of Sea Surpent, which appears on the waterfront at the southern approach to the town.

A couple of Kids hanging out in front of a local bank.

The Solitary Man, who sits quietly on a bench in front of one of the piers on the waterfront. He invariably is given a flower to hold, taken from the nearby park, or from wild flowers that grow nearby.

Then, you could head down to the waterfront where, by the Fish Market at the end of the Government Pier, these creatures hang out.

And if all else fails, just head for the Legion, where there are all sorts of military hardware available as a backdrop. This includes: a naval gun, a tank, an F-86 Sabre jet, and a monument to our Peacekeepers.

So, if you are ever in the vicinity of Victora on beautiful Vancouver Island, drop by Sidney to check out some of the local sights. And, bring along your camera so you can pose in front of some of these unique backdrops.

Sidney Snaps

-More Signs of Confusion

1. OK, I think this is indicates that you are driving in circles!

2. Hamburgers are available on your left.

If you
really have to go to the washroom, step on the gas; it's straight ahead! This warning sign is posted on the side of a Gulf Islands Ferry!

That's about it for now.

Douglas A.
Out Sidney Way

Bye for Now