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Vancouver – Britannia Mine Museum

Overdue post on a MUST VISIT museum in Vancouver – Britannia Mine Museum







When Jeff’s father Brian was out west visiting us from Ontario last month, Jeff, his brother Benj, Brian + I had an outing day – tra la la!!!!  In the morning we had a buffet breakfast at Cloud 9.  Located on the 42nd floor of The Empire Landmark Hotel on Robson street, Cloud 9 is famous for it’s 360 degree revolving restaurant.  BUT NOTE!!!!!  The restaurant DOES NOT revolve at breakfast!  Nay!  Still doesn’t matter!  The views are BAZONKERS!!!!  Here’s the three Fayle dudes at Cloud 9.Cloud9Restaurant

The food leaves much to be desired + Gordon Ramsay would’ve smashed some plates in anger.  But can’t complain – it’s a buffet + we lucked out on the perfect weather for the vistas!!!!Cloud9Restaurant

Oh yes, + I’m sure the restaurant can afford some new table + chairs.  Yo, the chairs had rips + stains on them – people, please!  But oh lord, the views!!!!Cloud9Restaurant



















Dear Vancouver, when it’s not raining by golly, you are a jewel of a city.  I would definitely return to Cloud 9 for the view.Cloud9Restaurant

Bellies filled with mediocre buffet fare, we headed north on the 99 for Brittania Beach.  It’s about a 45 minute trip from downtown Vancouver on a moderately windy road, but so gorgeous it’ll make you weep.Sea-to-SkyHwy

The Sea-to-Sky Highway they like to call it.  Rightly so.  Here, here!

Britannia Mine Museum was established in 1971 after the mine itself was shut down due to high operating costs + rising taxes.  Here is Jeff with Mine #3 looming in the background.BrittaniaMine - 05



















Of course the first thing we did when we arrived is high tail it to the underground tour!!!  We were all required to wear hard hats on the tour!  Score!  Any tour that requires me to don a hard hat is my kinda tour!!!BrittaniaMine - 06

As you can see from our attire, it was cold as the dickens!BrittaniaMine - 07

We boarded the little yellow train + headed in!  Woo woooo!!!BrittaniaMine - 09

During the 1920s-1930s, Britannia Mine was the largest producer of copper in the British Commonwealth!  “I do say!  Remarkable!!!”  says “Snobby High Society Man”.SnobbySocietyMan














Observe the copper streak within the tunnel of the mine!BrittaniaMine - 08



















Here is our extremely informative tour guide dressed as a miner (rad) demonstrating various drilling instruments that were used throughout the years when the mine was operating.  It was VERY LOUD.  I can’t imagine constantly listening to the din of drilling for 8 hours straight.BrittaniaMine - 10



















PARENTS HEED MY WARNING!!!!  If your child is six years old or younger DON’T TAKE THEM ON THE UNDERGROUND TOUR!!!!!  I BEG YOU!  There was one poor little girl the wailed + screamed + cried the entire time.  Which, to be quite honest became pretty annoying.

Our tour guide powered through the wailing + gave us more demonstrations of other assorted mining equipment + interesting factoids.  Here’s Jeff as we walked our way out of the mine.BritanniaMine - 11

And here he is after I got finished with him on CatPaint.BritanniaMine - 12

BWA HAH HA!!!!!  If you don’t have that app yet, GET IT.  Awesome times.

The mine whistle whose call symbolized so much to the people of Britannia.BritanniaMine - 13

Inside the core sample shed.BritanniaMine - 14



















Inside Mine #3 which was built in 1923 + is a designated Canadian National Historic Site.  Check out that frightening staircase with hardly any hand rails to speak of!BrittaniaMine - 15



















I loved the colors inside Mine #3.BritanniaMine - 16



















The interior was immense.  During WWII copper prices rose + demand was high.  So much so, that men employed at the mine were exempt from military service.BritanniaMine - 17

I could imagine the mine bustling + full of activity while in operation – it must have been such a sight.BritanniaMine - 18

The tour was over + we all wandered the grounds.  Here’s my “Man Car”.BrittaniaMine - 19

This is how the men rode down the length of the mine.  So tiny + cramped!BritanniaMine - 20

Here we have a staged locker room.  The baskets above are on a pulley system + contained the miners’ work wear.BritanniaMine - 21



















Jeff talking shop with the guys.  Hey!  You!  Back to work, ya bum!!!!BritanniaMine - 22



















Another building housed information about the unique insular community of Britannia Beach.  What makes the town so fascinating was the fact that this isolated town could only be accessed by boat or ferry until 1956 when the rail line was completed.  Being a close knit community, they placed a huge emphasis on a myriad of social events.  One being the annual Copper Queen Day!  Ladies + gentlemen, the crown!!!!!BritanniaMine - 23



















THE COPPER QUEEN!!!!!  I had to.BritanniaMine - 24



















There were many Japanese-Canadian families that lived + worked at Britannia.  I would like to do more research about this.BritanniaMine - 25

And of course there is panning for gold!BritanniaMine - 26


















Takes a lot of patience + shake, shake, shaking of the pan!  We found some hematite + fools’ gold!

One could spend an entire day at Britannia Mine Museum!  I would most certainly go back for another visit!  If I took a ton of pictures for this post, that means I really LOVED this place!  So full of history, stories + hardships!!!  I really loved how the museum showcased the human aspect of mining + gave a face to a very dangerous, back breaking profession.  GO VISIT!!!!

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Lizzzzz #

    My Grannie was born in Brittannia Beach so I guess she probably lived in “Jap-town”. Her father was an importer of goods to the town. There’s great doc on the town of BB – so interesting! I will try an remember the title so you can try and find/watch it…

    December 15, 2012
    • REALLY???!!!! So fascinating! Have you seen pictures of Britannia Beach back in the day? Yes, if you remember the name of the documentary please let me know! I’D LOVE TO SEE IT! Miss you!

      December 15, 2012
  2. VERY cool! I definitely want to go there! I loooove anything underground. 🙂

    December 15, 2012
    • I knew you would love it! When we were there I was telling Jeff, “Dude, Michelle would FREAK OUT about this place!!!!”. When you come out west to visit we’ll go!!!

      December 15, 2012
  3. Zhu #

    Wow, the view is amazing! From above ground to underground in one post!

    December 15, 2012
    • Gorgeous, right?! Vancouver has it’s large share of beauty, that’s for sure!!!

      December 15, 2012
  4. Whoa!! Cat paint!

    I’ve never been there! I didn’t even know that museum existed. Pretty cool!
    Your hubby is soooo Canadian-looking 😉

    Btw, I’ve never been up Cloud9 either, but I’m sure it’s a butt load cheaper than the other revolving restaurant downtown….even if the food does suck a bit, lol. ^_^

    p.s. I nominated you for a Leibster Award. 😀 Check it awwwt > >

    December 15, 2012
    • Thanks for the nomination!!! Yeah I loved the museum because it is such a huge part of BC history!!! Cat Paint rules!!!!!!!!!

      December 16, 2012

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