Tofitian, a local cafe, uses the slogan: End of the Road Culture. I suspect a lot of communities “at the end of the road” — of which there are many around the world — have this sort of philosophy, real, perceived or otherwise. We all like to think our community is somehow special; that it stands apart from others. After writing Long Beach Wild, however, I do see something in the people who tend to stay on the coast. They’re self-starters, driven, stubborn, and fiercely proud of where they live. There is a bit of “wild west” here too — damn everyone; we’re doing it ourselves. Take the declaration of Tofino as the end of the Trans-Canada Highway. Here is a great article that summarizes this some of the story. And here is a photo from 1949:
The irony is that this sign was erected in 1926 — the road that connected Tofino, Ucluelet and Long Beach to Port Alberni (and thus, eventually, to the Trans-Canada Highway), didn’t come through until 1959.
The road connecting Tofino and Ucluelet happened in 1927. Almost immediately, duelling values over the fate of Long Beach emerged. Two entries from the Jackson family’s guest book illustrated the divide:
“[A] Motor Road from Alberni to Long Beach. What the West Coast needs more than anything.” September 3, 1929
“I only hope that the road never gets through to Long Beach, otherwise the place will be cluttered with a lot of millionaires, hot-dog stands and chocolate bar papers.” September 6, 1929