The MV Kalakala sailed, mostly in Puget Sound around Seattle, from 1935 until 1967, when she was moved from harbour to salvage yard before finally being scrapped a few years ago. While she sailed, she was a glorious art deco anomaly, with high-decked streamlined curves. In 1947, she sailed into Victoria Harbour, and was photographed from the roof of the Legislature, coming into dock at the Steamship Terminal building. And when we started a project a year ago to refurbish some of the interior spaces at the Steamship Terminal, we chose this photograph as the centrepiece.
Three historical murals from the Royal British Columbia Museum anchor the new signage and wayfinding project in the building, telling part of the story of steamship traffic in the harbour over the past hundred years. The murals, and new, up-to-date signage and iconography showcase the building’s tenants, including The Robert Bateman Centre and Shop, V2V Vacations, Starbucks, and the Steamship Grill & Bar, and help visitors find their way around its historic interior. It’s part of a larger project to upgrade the signage and wayfinding across all GVHA properties – you’ll see some improvements at Fisherman’s Wharf next.