White Rock Perspectives Photographs of a Beach Side Town - 1986

Back in the mid 1980's I lived in a town called White Rock, BC. It was a quiet little beach side town on Semiahmoo Bay near the US border. For a time I actually lived in an old cabin tucked away in someone's back yard down by the beach. Back in 1986 I decided to photograph the place where I lived. So usually on a sunday morning I'd grab my trusty Canon AE-1 with either my 50 or 28 mm lenses and a few rolls of Plus-X film and I'd set out for a photo walk. Even back at that time I could see that the area down along the beach was beginning to change. The old beach houses were starting to give way to much larger and more modern homes and townhouses. Fast forward and three decades later there really isn't much left of the White Rock I photographed back in 1986.

Looking at these photographs today I'm not sure of many of the locations as they simply don't exist anymore. I know I often I used to walk along the lane that ran behind Marine Drive over to the East Beach. Victoria Avenue and some of the stairways down to the beach were also favourites as well. I've added a few Street View links showing the view today where possible.

These images are flatbed scans of my old contact sheets. Back in 1987 I worked at a small colour lab and got a deal printing contacts of the B&W negatives on some outdated colour paper. In the darkroom I dialed in an approximate sepia colour which varies from roll to roll depending on the film base. The scans have a soft ghostly like quality to them which seems appropriate considering most of the subject matter doesn't exist anymore!

Marine Drive just East of Vidal Street
Marine Drive just East of Vidal Street
Marine Drive near Oxford Street
This was right by The Station. Now part of the parking lot.
Parking at The Station
Cottage on Marine Drive - still there today!
Victoria Avenue near Maple Street
Most likely Victoria Avenue
Vintage Cars
I think this is Vidal Street
Marine Drive just West of Oxford Street
Buena Vista Ave at Oxford Street
Marine Drive near Parker Street
Marine Drive on the east Beach
829 Parker Street - still there today!
More shots of White Rock Mufflers
Elm Street just off Marine Drive
Marine Drive looking East towards Maple
Martin Street and Marine Drive
Beachview Avenue
Victoria Avenue
Luckily the old White Rock isn't going anywhere!

Oddly enough since leaving White Rock in 1988 I haven't been back very often. My last visit was way back in 2008. Since the 1980's the town has developed so much that to me it's pretty much unrecognizable today. Monster homes, condo's, and townhouses hold little charm compared to the quaint little beachside town I used to know so long ago.

Created By
John Allison


All photos Copyright John Allison

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