In 2016, the City of Vancouver purchased a 9km stretch of land from Canadian Pacific Rail. It is now the Arbutus Greenway. Running parallel to Arbutus Street and West Boulevard, from Kitsilano to Marpole, it has been transformed to accommodate walking, cycling and future streetcar use.
But in addition to a transportation corridor, the City of Vancouver asked what else people image. Through open houses and surveys, the City engaged residents on the vision and values for the greenway. Over 3,000 residents responded and what they wanted from it was pretty clear: It had to be a safe, comfortable and inclusive public place, with plazas and art spaces for communities to stroll, meet and mingle, and to walk and cycle from one end to the other.
Here is Albert and Jane's story on their first ride along the Corridor:
Left: 41st and East Boulevard; Right: Cypress Community Gardens
On June 12th, I took my bride and we looked at our investment that the City of Vancouver had made on our behalf. We biked the six-mile long Arbutus Corridor from end to end. The corridor is all paved and split in thirds, two-thirds for bikes and one-third for walkers.
Rainbow Rocks along the Corridor
The city has flower plots in the centre of the corridor that are ready for flowers. I imagine that it will take thousands of flowers to fill these beds.
Left: An old photo of the Corridor; Right: The future of the corridor with flowers in the centre
We were surprised at how many of the Community Gardens along the path are still thriving. We had seen on the news that many of the gardens had been destroyed.
Scarecrows along the Community Gardens
What an experience for my poor bride, coming from the fields of Saskatchewan to the Crème de la Crème of Vancouver. I treated the little woman for a coffee stop, an early lunch stop, a late lunch stop and an apple stop. Nothing is too good for the little lady.
Lunch time at 5th and Fir
We biked a total of 21 miles. While biking along the corridor I remembered that I would ride on this very corridor inside a Interurban on our way to Lulu Island. We would take the Interurban from Broadway and Commercial to Hastings and Carroll where we would transfer to the Richmond Line. That was 75 years ago.
Left: Rental bikes along the Corridor; Right: End of the line near Marpole. Note: tracks across the road