Posted by: Kate | November 12, 2010

From the Photo Archives


Big Rock.

The Big Rock is a landmark in our town. “Turn left after the Big Rock.” “I’ll meet you on the seawalk, at the Big Rock.” People sit on it in protest and celebration, they paint it with messages of love, accomplishment, or farewell. The messages change frequently, although so far no one has painted over the whale in our eight years here. It has been a part of this town much longer than I have, and likely will be after I’m gone. It is most likely a glacial rock, left behind when the last glaciers retreated from the coast. It is an archive of important life moments, a record of events in this west coast town.



  1. I have watched that rock and its graffiti change for about 40 years. It is amazing. I wonder what its history is – I have never thought to find out how it got there and when.

  2. Love the Big Rock! There is a first nations story / legend that it is a bear (I believe it was a Grizzly) that jumped from the mainland to here but didn’t quite make the shore and when it’s hind end touched the water it turned to stone.

    When I was a kid growing up in Ocean Grove it was always a landmark letting me know that we were half way there either home or to town. :)

  3. This is so way cool! Thx for sharing it :)

  4. definitely a town landmark. even though i don’t live there now, i have been watching the graffiti change for over 30 years. i am glad that while there is a lot of random graffiti, no one has defaced the whale (which says something in a town where idiots regularly wreck beautiful carvings – am i being too synical?).

    i have heard the first nations legend too. it is supposed to explain why there are no grizzlies on the island.

    • Yes that is what the legend is about. Did you live here when the big rock was covered with a giant orange tarp and made to look like a Jack-O-Lantern? That was really cool too! :)

      • I liked the skis and the Canada flag on top of the rock last year during the Olympics.

    • Thanks to you and Rona, I hadn’t heard this in my eight years here.

  5. What a fantastic local landmark! Love the legend of the grizzly. What a fabulous bit of colourful, local ‘history’. Ros

  6. Very cool (the rock and reading about the legends etc from the folks commenting!). I’m glad that they haven’t yet covered the whale…seems so appropriate to leave that piece on it.

  7. wonderful – what an amazing landmark for your town.
    i also enjoyed reading all the comments!

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