The City of Vancouver has recently purchased the Arbutus Corridor - a 9 kilometre railway that
has not been used since 2001 - for $55 million.
Vancouver has made several attempts in the past to negotiate with CP Rail to purchase the
Arbutus Corridor, as the unused tracks became popular amongst locals utilizing the green
space. When Canadian Pacific began clearing community gardens in 2014 to prepare for the
tracks to be used again, the City of Vancouver intensified negotiations to stop the project. These
negotiations proved to be a delicate balance of keeping both CP Rail and Vancouver happy.
The agreement reached provided CP Rail a fair return on the corridor, as well as ensured them
a portion of funds garnered from selling development and land within the corridor.
Gregor Robertson believes that it will take between $25 and $30 million to transform the corridor
into a greenway, with work beginning in the next year. This unheard of opportunity to acquire
such a large parcel of land in Metro Vancouver will provide the area with pedestrian lanes and
bike paths amongst plentiful green space. Additionally, there are talks of developing a light rail
system along the stretch.
This undertaking will be monumental for the surrounding area, as the Arbutus Corridor runs
through False Creek, Kitsilano, and the Westside. These areas boast some of the most valuable
property in North America, and the development of an urban greenway will likely increase
property value further.