Monday, 30 November 2015

The Gordon Head Wall

There are lots of famous (and infamous) walls in the world. There's the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall, The Wall and John Wall. Well I would like to introduce you to a new one: The Gordon Head Wall.

Stretching over 150 meters long and up to 3 meters high, the Gordon Head Wall separates the parking lots of University Heights and the Canadian Tire/Tim Hortons/Boston Pizza Plaza in Saanich, BC. It was installed centuries decades ago to curb the rampant pandemic of customers parking their vehicles on one property, and shopping in the other.

To end the threatening customer convenience, economies of scale (shared parking) and economic advantages of clustering similar business together, the property owners dipped into the pages of history and selected the most proven way of dealing with any problem: they built a wall.

The early backlash from the The Gordon Head Wall was intense. In one famous story, an employee from University Heights actually attempted to dig a hole under the Wall so that he could visit his girlfriend, who worked at Boston Pizza. "There isn't a wall big enough to stop my heart," he famously said. "I also can't resist Boston Pizza's wing nights," he added further.

To quell this rebel movement, a single access point was provided at the exact median of the Wall. While this new access point was a small victory for convenience, it was another nail into the coffin of accessibility.

To pass the Wall's Gate, one must step over a tall curb and then maneuver through two large orange bollards that stand tall like The Pillars of the King at Argonath. The Wall's Gate is extremely convenient for narrow people who are good at hurdling, but still a major roadblock for many others (especially for people with mobility challenges, parents with strollers and regular human beings in general).

To make matters worse, people looking to circumvent the Wall via Cedar Hill or Shelbourne have been met with even more inaccessible step-curbs and unmarked 'sidewalks'. It is clear that the decision-makers in this situation have followed the classic problem-solving strategy of 'ignoring it until it hopefully goes away'.

As a citizen of Gordon Head, and a regular user of this space, I believe that it is time to make a stand. 

I want to be able to buy a Tim Hortons' coffee then go peruse the Christmas decorations section of Home Depot without having to feel the shame of passing through an emotionless wall of cinder blocks.

It's time to break down this wall.

Please note that the historical information in this article is based purely on speculation and imagination.


  1. At the very least, we need an opening that scooters and wheelchairs can get through. This horrible wall is one of the reasons I avoid shopping at Home Depot.

  2. While a wheelchair accessible pun involving 'Where the Sidewalk Ends' is unfortunately not yet found on Prof T.B.'s blog, the remaining material is thought provoking, by definition; justifiable, and most importantly; realistic. These concepts should be graciously plagiarized by the powers that be and acted upon. Prof T.B.. has made it too easy, and has cemented his ideas in a clever and concise manner. I say bring down the wall and let the Professor rule our streets to democracy...errrr...efficiency.
    K-Mart 4 Life