A couple weeks ago we went out on an adventure to find creepy abandoned places with our photography friend. He specializes in the obscure and dark photography and was looking for new places to shoot. We were looking for the abandoned highway and some military basey type stuff in Metchosin. Which we found pretty easily. The highway is grown over and gives you a good sense of how the planet will restore itself after we humans have killed ourselves off.
But the main prize of the trip was the Jordan River Power Plant.
The Jordan River Power Plant was built in 1911 when architecture was leaning toward monolithic in extreme concrete forms that have much more permanence than most buildings today. Standing 341 feet tall the building has giant window bays that would have once been flooded the rooms with light. Now the windows are all gone and the forest has grown up around the entire building.
The station, along with the Jordan River Dam, was completed by the Vancouver Island Power Company. The dam is now operated by BC Hydro and has been in the news the last couple years because they think it will collapse in the event of a major earthquake taking out the homes below it.
The plant operated from 1911 to 1971 when it was replaced with a new system that increased the power from 26 to 175 megwatts. The old gothic building still stands and although nothing menacing ever happened here (while in operation) it gives you that eerie feeling that wide-open structures from a forgotten age tend to supply with abundance.
Facility looks like it was three stories tall, the basement has a very questionable stairway heading down to an area full of debris and we couldn’t find a safe route to the top floor (however the graffiti shows that someone has made the journey up there), which leaves you with mostly the main floor for exploration. The main floor is huge and has a variety of ankle breaking holes in the floor. There’s very little left of the plant, but it appears someone uses it as a graffiti practicing area, which is cool, because the graffiti is actually really good.
Out side of the main building is one more smaller house type building with not much going on in it except for the much much lower grade demonic spray paint. Around the front there are large tunnels where the water would have travelled though. Yes, they totally look like tunnels for moving dead bodies in the cover of night. They aren’t, but still I didn’t travel very far into them because I didn’t want a dead girl from the 50’s to grab my hair and steal my soul, or whatever.
We went on a sunny hot afternoon, but it is the kind of place that you could scare yourself into a heart attack if it was dark or raining. So that’s fun.