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Sunday, September 24, 2023

City of Vancouver to sell part of Arbutus corridor back to CP for $1

The City of Vancouver is planning to sell seven parcels of land near Granville Island for just one dollar.

The former Arbutus rail corridor lands were purchased by the city from Canadian Pacific Railway in 2016. Since then, the city has constructed the popular Arbutus Greenway, a paved multi-use trail running from West 6th and Fir Street south to SW Marine Drive.

However, the Greenway does not run north past West 6th, missing a crucial opportunity to connect the Arbutus Greenway to Granville Island or the Seaside bike route.

This September 5, the city will hold a public hearing outlining its plans to remove the seven parcels north of West 6th from the Arbutus Corridor Official Development Plan — which will give Canadian Pacific Railway the right to buy them back for just $1.

CPR option lands West 4th and Fir
One of the parcels of land at West 4th Avenue and Fir, to be sold back to CPR for one dollar. Credit: Google Maps.

In an extremely vague report to council,┬áthe city states that the lands, located south of West 1st Avenue and north of West 5th Avenue on the east side of Fir Street, are “not required for light rail, walking, or cycling use, due to engineering and safety constraints.”

However, the report does not provide any details as what those engineering and safety constraints are.

Instead of using the lands for the Arbutus Greenway, the city plans to provide “transportation facilities” on adjacent street right-of-ways.

ProVancouver’s candidate for mayor, David Chen, is urging concerned residents to speak out at the upcoming public hearing on September 5.

The city received four letters opposed to the plan, and zero letters in support.

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner is an experienced journalist and media relations professional, based in Vancouver. As founder of urbanYVR.com, he has been reporting on urban development across the Lower Mainland since 2016, and has also served as vice-chair of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee. In October 2022, he was elected to Vancouver city council and is no longer actively reporting for urbanYVR.

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