float homes

Chris Coleman

Float homes in BC were first built on log rafts to house coastal logging workers. In Victoria Harbour, however, they were affordable housing.

In the 1980s some wharf dwellers resented having to pay Texaco for showers. A community effort on Dock One produced a floating shower with its own hot water tank that all were welcome to use. The shower had to be discontinued when people began to receive electrical shocks during their ablutions.

There was a handful of float homes during this era, but the main occupants lived mostly on boats of all descriptions. Trimarans jostled with Chinese junks and people living in floating boat molds. Over the years, the fishing fleet began to shrink and more dock space was allocated to live-aboards. As power and sailboats moved to the west, new float homes began to take their place. In 2002, the federal Department of Transport divested the wharf and other harbour assets to the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. GVHA was faced with the difficult task of starting to run the wharf as an actual business. Unlike your average marina, the wharf is now home to an eclectic group of tenants, including the fishing fleet, live-aboards, float home dwellers and transient vessels as well as the many commercial operators.