Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

The Arbutus Corridor Dispute

with 4 comments

I was back on the CBC TV suppertime news last night. CP have sent in the bulldozers again to restart the work on their long disused track from Marpole to Burrard Bridge. They are down at the south end of the line now, back where they were ripping out gardens last year before the the City tried to get an injunction to stop them. Unsurprisingly, the courts were reluctant to stop CP from trying to make their tracks capable of carrying trains again. Except, of course, there is no reason for CP to do so: not one that makes any commercial sense that is. CP are not interested in carrying people: they are freight railway. There are no customers now on the line. That is why there have not been any trains: for years. The track has simply been left to return to nature. CP is obliged to maintain the road crossings as it has not formally abandoned the track. But the only reason it is clearing away encumbrances is to try to get the City to raise its offer. The corridor is designated for transportation use in the City plan. That also was established in court. CP is not able to sell the land to developers, so the City is the only potential buyer. And they do not put the same price on that strip of land as CP does.


I have been out taking photos of the ongoing work by CP and putting the images on my flickr stream

SPEC has a very interesting history of the line on their newsletter this month

“Gardens started along the tracks as “Victory Garden’s” during WWII and were tolerated by BC Electric Railway Co until 1952 when CPR took over the line and continued to permit those gardens and, over the decades, allow others to be built. For as long as they ran trains on this line, gardens thrived along many stretches of the Arbutus Corridor – What happened to that CPR?”

Community Garden Destruction

Written by Stephen Rees

February 11, 2015 at 6:22 pm

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. A tweet from Ben Ziegler says

    “Negotiation without urgency goes nowhere.”

    “Urgency” being a nicer term than “Blackmail”. Who is Ben Ziegler? “mediator, consultant, virtual facilitator, fan of vibrant neighbourhoods…
    Victoria, BC, Canada ·”

    Stephen Rees

    February 13, 2015 at 9:28 am

  2. Last Thursday (Feb 12) I took some photos of CP Rail own “garden”. It starts at First Avenue and Fir and eventually ends on a small promontory overlooking False Creek, just east, and in the shadows of, the Burrard bridge.
    The garden is a bit run down by now, compared to last summer, but the vegetation is still thick enough to hide most of the tracks….
    I will take a look again in a few weeks…to confirm that CP has done a great job.

    Red frog

    February 14, 2015 at 8:24 pm

  3. Red Frog, that garden produces one of the best crops of urban blackberries around.


    February 16, 2015 at 8:19 am

  4. MB… my unusual family name apparently come from a version of the Latin name for a blackberries bush.. I am not sure how tasty I am, but I am definitely prickly..

    Red frog

    February 17, 2015 at 10:59 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: