A plea to CP Rail to spare the Pine Street Community Garden

On the way to work this morning (August 15), I visited the Pine Street Community Garden. It's still standing, but for how long?

Word spread on Thursday (August 14) that CP Rail had started demolishing gardens in the Arbutus Corridor, making good on its prior threats to "optimize" the use of its property.

I found this sign hanging from a tree in the Pine Street garden, near Burrard Street. It begs the railway company to spare the tree, at least until November, so its fruit may be harvested.

CP's latest letter to residents states:

The next step in returning the rail line along the Arbutus Corridor to operating standards has already begun. CP employees and contractors are making their way along the corridor identifying needed track improvements and removing items which still remain on our property. We are testing crossing signals, and assessing pedestrian and vehicle crossings to understand where, if any, maintenance is required. We will also be replacing tracks and ties where necessary. Heavy machines are used for some of this work and we ask you use the same caution as around a construction site.

Gardeners won't be pleased to hear that CP plans on spraying pesticides to "prevent the re-growth of more stubborn weeds". According to the letter, CP plans to continue tearing up gardens through September.

Do you support CP Rail's move to dismantle gardens in the Arbutus corridor?

Yes 39%
138 votes
No 61%
218 votes
Comments (7) Add New Comment
East Van Sucks
Move this corridor east of Ontario and the East Van activists would be up in arms and tents full of homeless people would cover the entire length of it. But NO. Just because it's on the west side there is zero support from these same people. East Van sucks!!!
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Martin Dunphy
East:

Please, do try standing up for yourself. It can even make you feel empowered.
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BD
CP, what a bunch of thugs. We gave them the land in 1886. Now the no longer use it and they want to sell it to us for $20 million. CP = Corporate Pigs!
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ACMESalesRep
Actually, BD, it was “given” to CP as payment for extending the railroad from its original terminus at Port Moody to Vancouver. Which they did. It's their property, to use as they see fit, whether people like it or not.

The lesson here is very simple: If you don't want a community garden to be torn up by a property owner, don't build it on property you don't own.
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TP
I find it sad that the gardens are being ripped up - it's a very nice walk along those tracks with all the gardens. It's certainly a far better use of the land over the last decades than rusting rail tracks and weeds.

I think CPR could have handled it better. Lots of companies invest in community projects, not destroy them (no matter who is legally correct in this battle).
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EastWest
What's with all the crappy remarks about the west side? Just because they own a nice house (btw, they're not huge houses along there!) it doesn't mean you should take joy in seeing their gardens destroyed by a corporation.

Inverse-snobby at its worst.

Re-purposing unused land has led to some great projects, all across the city. We should all be unhappy that this has happened. And at the way it has happened.
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JD
If you think the CP money train of GREED gives a crap about your gardens you are fooling yourself. Hunter Harrison is the devil incarnate and only cares about one thing....Money....I'll bet he will send a bill or charge to whoever built these gardens to boot.lol Sorry guys but it's the truth:(
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