Vancouver Island: Day Two

Well I’m back in the line for the ferry at the end of a long day waiting to head back to the mainland. It’s been a long hot trip and today I stopped and probably a dozen different stores in search of treasure. But of course it all started out at the campground and after I packed everything up had a shower and checked out I headed into Nanaimo and went to the first thrift store I could find. And wouldn’t you know I actually found something completely new! 

This is a mug from BC Ferries that was used on their very short-lived Pacificat Fleet, high speed ferries that barely saw service before they were mothballed and sold off

What a fortuitous start to the day!  The next thrift store was a bit of a dud but after that I found something that looked a little bit… familiar.  Another BC Ferries mug.

An action shot of the mug as I found it.

Once again I barely got into the car before I spotted another thrift shop and found a plane creamer in the stock pattern. The finds restarting it a little bit more interesting, and a little bit older. The mugs from the BC Ferries date back to the late nineties or early 2000. The creamers made by John Maddock & Sons and the pattern is called Rosebud.

Is it starting to get repetitive!  Because at the next thrift store I found yet another BC Ferries mug, and some other stock pattern hotelware restaurant pieces. I found a stock pattern gravy boat three side plates in a pattern that was used by Canadian Railway News, and two small plates with Evergreen border.

After all this time getting in and out of thrift stores it was time it’s a real antique shops. The first two antique malls didn’t have anything but the third one I found some neat pieces.  A few were plain, but there was an oval bowl from the Tzouhalem Hotel and a tiny butter pat/ice cream shell.  Even though it is from Toronto, I didn’t want to leave it behind.  It had been in the shop for a few years (it also had a dead fly in it) and the price dropped low enough for me.

But now it was late afternoon and the whole reason for my trip to this island was approaching. It was the antique show in Duncan BC and I made arrangements to trade a mug from the Union Steamship Company for a hotel butter pat.  Before making the trade-off I did a quick Buzz around the show to see if I could find any other Treasures but I didn’t find a thing. I did have a nice time talking with vendors and meeting other collectors that have the same interest and giving my contact information.  I’m always looking to buy or trade but I also enjoy seeing other collections of hotelware so I could learn what is potentially out there to be found. I ended up buying a plain restaurant Ware mug to add to my collection as well.

The crowds! Who knows how many were bought before i got inside!

The Coldstream Hotel was near Vernon, BC

Vancouver Island: Day One

After my marathon trip to the Interior, I had half a day at home to run errands before an upcoming cruise the following Saturday.  Every year there is an antique show in Duncan, BC on Vancouver Island that I like to attend and visit some of the local antique malls and thrift shops to find more hotelware pieces.  I woke up at 5:30 AM and was on the road to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal to catch the 7:45 AM sailing to Nanaimo, a two hour journey.  While driving through Langley, I saw the digital ferry information display showing how full the sailings were.  I saw forty minutes away, and the ferry was already 80% full!  I booked it the rest of the way, and ended up just barely squeaking on to the ferry.  The sailing was uneventful, and I found myself at the Nanaimo Value Village at about 10:30 AM.


My bug encrusted car.


No hotelware at this Value Village, but I found a rather nice midcentury modern landscape painting and a pair of cufflinks.  You can’t see it in the picture but the price on the painting was $14.99.

After Nanaimo, I headed north to Parksville to a church thrift store that I’ve had really good luck at before, and found a single bowl.  This was a fortuitous find, since a red version of the same bowl brought be such good luck on the last trip!  I stopped at two other stores in Parksville before heading to Coombs, and the antique stores there.  The power of the bowl held true, and I found four pieces, and two more pairs of cufflinks!


Thrift store action shot!


Alligator head fiercely guarding a Hotel Manitoba plate.  The hotel building still stands in Gastown.

In addition to the Hotel Manitoba plate, I also picked up a creamer in a stock pattern that was used on Union Steamship Company vessels as well as two side plates from the Western Canada Steamship Company (WCSC).  WCSC operated out of Vancouver, and used surplus ships that were purchased from the Canadian government after the Second World War.


Here is one of the WCSC plates.  The store owner didn’t know what line they were from, and I said that for a discount I would reveal all!  I was just joking, but she gave me $2 off each, along with small discounts on the other dishes.

After visiting another store that sold some vintage stuff and soap (I bought three bars), I headed to Qualicum Beach, where I struck out at both the thrift and antique stores.  I’m writing this in the Parksville McDonald’s and using their terrible Wifi before I head to my campsite at Brannan Lake!  Tomorrow I will go south of Nanaimo, and visit Ladysmith, Chemainus, and end in Duncan at the antique show!


My campsite at Brannen Lake in Nanaimo.


No tent for me!  This is why I wanted a station wagon.

Summer Holiday Hunting

I finally have two weeks of summer holiday!  I vow to never wait so long during the summer to take time off again.  I was burnt out from work, and ready for some R&R, so I went to my parents’ cottage at the Shuswap for a couple of nights to relax, read, and enjoy the beach.  But after a day of that, I got bored so I decided to drive to Vernon, and visit some antique stores and thrift shops in between and see if I could find anything to add to my collection.  This is something that I do every year, and it usually turns out fruitless, but I don’t want to give up!  After all, luck was on my side because I already found a plain piece of restaurant ware at the Value Village in Chilliwack, where I stopped on my way to Anglemont, BC.

$4.99 is way more that I would like to pay for a plain piece of restaurantware, especially one that was coated in nicotine, but I was riding high from finding some jeans to resell on Ebay. But this was from the day before. The first find of my treasure hunt was a pink, floral restaurant platter that I found at a church thrift store in Salmon Arm for $0.25. It was practically free!

The other thrift stores in Salmon Arm yielded nothing, so I went non-stop down to Vernon to the Value Village there. I really lucked out because I found four more bowls. They’re plain but a great usable size.

At this point, I was getting pretty tired, and I took the extra scenic route back to the cabin, over the Chase-Falkland road. It has a portion of which that is still packed dirt and gravel, but the condition of the road was fine. I ended up going to bed early, and set my alarm for 5:30 AM to get an early start to head back home the next day.

Well I ended up waking at 4:00 AM, and finally gave up getting back to sleep and got up at 4:30, and was on the road shortly after five. By the time I got to Kamloops I was super tired, so I stopped at Tim Horton’s for breakfast and a coffee to keep me alert. The coffee didn’t help when I drove past Merritt without looking at my gas gauge and realized that an eighth of a tank wouldn’t get me to Hope, about 90 km distant, so I turned around at the Coldstream exit and went back to Merritt to fill my tank. By the time I got back to Chilliwack, it was well past ten, and that meant that thrift stores were open again! I visited about six of them, plus the Value Village once again, and I the only thing I found was an ironstone platter.

I ended up getting back to my apartment around 12:30, and right away jumped back in to the car with two parcels that I needed to mail at the US Post Office in Sumas. After the post office, I visited a friend, ran some errands in town and just before I headed home, I stopped at the Value Village about 300 meters away from home, and found the find of the trip!


This platter is from the Terminal City Club, which still operates in downtown Vancouver!