CP Rail tears up Pine Street Community Garden in Vancouver (photos)

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      Last summer, I blogged about a sign hanging in the Pine Street Community Garden, which lies in the Arbutus corridor along West 6th Avenue between Fir and Burrard streets. The sign pleaded with CP Rail to spare a tree until November so its fruit could be harvested.

      Well, CP waited until February to start ripping up the garden. Today (February 24), a CP crew, accompanied by CP Police Service officers, was on site with an excavator, chainsaws, and shovels.

      When I arrived at the scene, the excavator was digging up a plot on the south side of the tracks, east of Pine Street. It looked like a bunch of digging had already been done north of the rails.

      The CP staffer who looked to be in charge of the operation wouldn't talk about the work and asked me to leave the "active construction site". One of the CP police officers told me to leave CP's private property, as I stood on the well-used footpath between the tracks and the garden plots.

      60 seconds of CP Rail demolishing the Pine Street Community Garden.
      Stephen Hui

      Amrit Lally, who works just around the corner, stopped to watch the garden's destruction for a moment. He hopes CP won't demolish any more gardens.

      "Even though I don't live in the area, I actually spend a lot of time in the gardens just having lunch and just relaxing," Lally said. "So for it to be not available anymore, it's a pretty terrible thing."

      A CP Rail crew at work in the Pine Street Community Garden.
      Stephen Hui

      On February 6, CP posted the following update on its website: "On January 20, 2015, a judgment of the B.C. Supreme Court dismissed the City's application to prevent CP from operating along the Arbutus corridor and continuing its work. After taking time to evaluate the court's decision, CP is resuming steps for reactivating the corridor for rail operations. "

      A CP Rail crew at work in the Pine Street Community Garden.
      Stephen Hui

      According to its website, the Pine Street garden is home to an urban orchard with apple, pear, and plum trees, as well as 40 vegetable and garden plots.

      A CP Rail crew at work in the Pine Street Community Garden.
      Stephen Hui




      Feb 24, 2015 at 2:23pm

      CP Rail hates you...


      Feb 24, 2015 at 3:01pm

      Those were nice gardens.

      Too bad...

      Feb 24, 2015 at 4:49pm

      CP had a chance to do something positive for a change. Wasted...

      Buy Your Own Land

      Feb 24, 2015 at 4:52pm

      You garden people can buy your own land, it was absolutely wrong of you to freely steal someone else's. Remember, CP does not hate you, CP and the rest of us hate land squatters and thieves, that happen to be you. The property was not yours. Looks good on you bottom feeders. As for the city using Tax Payers dollars to help with the dishonest greed , disgusting! The rest of the tax payers want their money back.

      Child of Lies and Corruption...

      Feb 24, 2015 at 6:52pm

      ...CP...Canada's Parasite.


      Feb 24, 2015 at 7:19pm

      The city should have paid the money because especially around west 4th a big part of the vibe down there has been ruined....bad for business.

      Era of entitlment

      Feb 24, 2015 at 7:48pm

      Amazing that people think they have a right to use property that does not belong to them. Look how they whine when told to move. Pity them.
      Good thing they are the minority.

      Miriam Linderman

      Feb 24, 2015 at 10:22pm

      Sad. Walked through February 23. And here I was feeling optimistic.


      Feb 24, 2015 at 10:31pm

      Unbelievably sad.

      Joanne Fisher

      Feb 24, 2015 at 11:07pm

      Congratulations Vancouver. You fell for it. Mayor Robertson conveniently started a legal action that was frankly doomed to fail in advance of his re-election. It got an important issue out of the way, being then "before the courts." So, the sheepel vite him back, he gets a raise, botches the problem even worse than before. CP's Hunter Harrison is the meanest guy around, as Robertson and Co. will find out. My take on this is that Robertson has tried to outbully a bully, and the pushback will be fierce. I will be shocked if the line is not fully put back in operation, and now that your re-elected Mayor had started yet another go-nowhere legal action against CP, I'll bet, out of spite, when CP wins again, they'll store crude oil tankers there and thumb their nose back at Robertson.

      Losing the opportunity to purchase this land years ago is one of the worst blunders yet by Vancouver City Hall.