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Road Trip Time Machine series improves video snapshot of 1966 Island Highway run

Extended, enhanced transportation ministry video offers 6-minute trip from Victoria to Duncan
Take a roadtrip from Victoria to Duncan as it was in 1966, with photos captured by the then-Highways Department and made into a video and loaded onto YouTube. (Courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

The province’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure doesn’t require you reach 88 miles-per-hour to drive the past.

On Feb. 24, the ministry uploaded the latest in its series, BC Road Trip Time Machine, featuring a video collection of photos taken every 80 feet along the Trans-Canada Highway as it looked in 1966, showing the route between McKenzie Avenue in Saanich and Duncan. Unlike a previous version of the same series of photos uploaded in 2015, this year’s iteration features more and higher quality photos, allowing viewers to take an up-Island trip in all of six minutes.

While watching, click the bottom-right gear button to toggle playback speed for a faster or slower view of the mid-century scenery. Likewise, pressing the comma or period key while watching one of these YouTube videos will move it a frame backwards or forwards, respectively.

The Ministry of TranBC YouTube channel has several similar videos showing highway routes around the province from past years, including one uploaded in 2019 that shows a 1966 road trip from Victoria to Swartz Bay. It features timestamps in its description, highlighting remarkable changes to the landscape or cities in the time since.

“Photologs” were captured by what was known then as the Highways Department to study certain stretches of road without having to be in the field. “The camera installed onto the dash of a car and driven over 9,000 km of BC highways captured some incredible glimpses of our province during the heyday that was the 60’s,” reads the transportation ministry’s YouTube page.

READ ALSO: Take a 1966 road trip on the Pat Bay from Victoria to Swartz Bay

READ ALSO: Coquihalla work going better than expected, B.C. minister says

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