My Life Journey

My Hometown via Google Maps

Google Maps Street View is handy for all kinds of things, including a partner’s infidelity (as unearthed by Claudette). This post will take a meander through the small town where I grew up, Nowhereville, British Columbia, Canada.

green 2-story house

My parents built this house before I was born and lived there until I was around 30. My bedroom was the second one from the left on the top floor. The landscaping was much nicer when my parents were living there.

My elementary school

This was my elementary school. I lived across the street from it, but on the other side of the school and playing fields, so there wasn’t a good Street View shot from that angle. This side of the school was the “primary” side, with kindergarten through grade 3, and the other side was the “intermediate” side, with grades 4-7. If I recall correctly, the second classroom from the right in this picture was my grade 2 classroom. My teacher at the time was Mr. Uliana, and for some reason I took an interest in teeth and decided I wanted to be a dentist.

There’s no picture of the secondary school I went to for grad 8-12 because it burned down. Presumably it wads arson, but no one was ever charged.

local corner store

This was the corner store that was a block away from my house. This was the place to go for penny candy, freezies, and slushies. I remember in my later years in high school, the “cool kids” would drive out here during recess for slushie runs. The picnic tables and planters are new. It used to just all be parking lot, and quite a busy parking lot at that.

Back in my day, there was someone with an El Camino-style vehicle that at the time I thought it was butt ugly. Little did I realize that if you circle too far into butt ugly terrtitory, you come back to the cool pretty quickly.

"hospital hill"

This is the “hospital hill,” which was grassier back in my day. When it snowed in the winter, this was the popular spot for kids to go sledding. At the top of the hill is the dinky local hospital where I volunteered as a candystriper while I was in high school. Off to the right of this picture was the town swimming pool, which lived in a little cluster with the curling rink, arena, and community centre.

local movie theatre

This was the town movie theatre. The paint job happened at some point after my time. I most remember this theatre from when I was in elementary school, and I watched oh-so-cool films like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Batman. It seemed like such a grown-up thing to do to go to a movie in the evening with my friends.

local lake and beach

This is the lake that was a few minutes walk from where I lived. This was the public beach, and then off to the right of this was a campground, which meant lots of opportunities to meet out of town kids during the summer. I swam on this lake in the summer and sometimes skated on it in the winter. Our area of town didn’t become a part of the town proper until I was in grade 7; before that, everyone in this area was on septic tank rather than sewer systems. I can’t imagine the lake water was all that clean at that stage of the game, but I’m not sure that anyone cared about that kind of thing back then. Sometimes during the winter we’d skate on the ice, and trust that adults were reliable in telling us it was safe or not.

So, that was my hometown. Have you ever used Google Maps Street View to take a wander down memory lane?

37 thoughts on “My Hometown via Google Maps”

  1. Ashley Leia this is such a beautiful and brilliant idea to “visit” places from one’s life through Google maps. Thank you for this lovely share. Loved the movie house..charming. 😊🌼🙏👍

  2. Oh wow, this is such a good idea, Ashley! I love being nosy and seeing where other people are in the world. Google maps is magic.

    It’s amazing your folks built their home. I like how set back from the road it is. It looks impressive. Shame about your secondary school, though I imagine even 15 years ago things were very different, there wasn’t the level of technology and security as there is today to be able to hunt down the perpetrators. I love that movie theatre with its candy colours. So funky. I’m a wannabe American, I think I was just born in the wrong country. x

    1. Whereas I think it would’ve been cool to grow up on that side of the pond! Except for the Branston pickle, though – I’ll take a hard pass on that.

  3. Oh I love it! 😍😍 what a beautiful part of the world. I often wander around on Google Earth. It’s a favourite past time of mine.. generally visit places I want to go to though instead of going down memory lane xx

  4. I don’t think I’ve ever used Google Street Map at all. My secondary school moved site just after I left and the old site was, I think, sold to property developers to build flats and I’m vaguely curious to see what it looked like without going to Camden, so maybe I’ll look later. OTOH, mostly I’m happy to forget about school…

    I had never heard the term “candystriper” before!

    1. I think the term candystriper came about because some hospital volunteer uniforms had red and white stripes; I don’t think there was any particular reason behind the uniforms.

      Google Maps Street View is certainly an interesting way to see how things have changed over the years. It’s also in a remarkable large number of foreign cities.

      When I was in Jerusalem, I want for a covered up, eyes down, trying very hard not to do any gawking wander through Mea She’arim, and probably would have gotten a better view through Google Street VIew.

      1. I’ve never actually been to Mea She’arim, or particularly wanted to go. I guess that, even though I’m not anywhere near that ultra-Orthodox, conceptually it’s not as alien to me as it might be to other people to make it worth seeing.

  5. You lived in the archetypical BC-Box growing up. Fantastic. ☺️ I love that style, actually, the two-bedroom one. Most people have turned them into open concept. No shortage of them at all in the Fraser Valley, which is where I hail from.

  6. That’s a great idea! I actually still live in the area I grew up but I guess I don’t appreciate the memories much as a result.

  7. Fun to see and do. We still live in the town of our upbringing so we drive by stuff too much. We could “visit” higher education landmarks of our past if we wanted.

    Some people “bird” google streetview looking for birds caught on camera

  8. Whoops, I had to run before commenting on this yesterday! I love this blog post. Nostalgia is something I’m really into, and these images are so nostalgic. Even though I didn’t grow up with these places, I can feel their import just from the photos. Very meaningful!

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