to preserving the natural beauty of the Cambie Street Boulevard
After watching nearly a year of RAV construction on the Cambie Heritage Boulevard the answer to the question, "Will it ever be the same" is NO. But it may well be better! In addition to members of our Society, there have become many others concerned with the historic and heritage value of this Boulevard not only for the Cambie area but the City of Vancouver as a whole.
In the summer of 2005, two "Cambie Boulevard Workshops" were organized by the Richmond-Airport-Vancouver Rapid Transit Authority. A "Statement of Significance" was presented along with various "traffic options" that were to be followed during construction by the city's planning and engineering departments. Members of the Cambie Boulevard Heritage Society had input on these topics. The "Alteration and Restoration" of the Boulevard was discussed at length and detail. The Boulevard upon completion of the "Restoration and Enhancement" phase will be returned to the care and maintenance of the Vancouver Park Board.
In addition, considerable work has been done concerning the various aspects of the on-going construction impact on the trees of the boulevard, both in the median and side boulevards next to the sidewalks. The Directors of your Society intend to hold steadfast to our mandate of protecting the Cambie Heritage Boulevard by continuing our stewardship of the Boulevard and assuring the protection of every tree. With this point in mind a "tree inventory" was developed by the highly respected Durante Kreuk Ltd, Landscape Architects.
Included with this mailing is the "Tree Inventory for King Edward to 33rd Avenue" - similar inventories were developed for the remaining sections of the Cambie corridor to Marine Drive. - Every tree was numbered starting with number one at Marine Drive to 458 at King Edward; - the name, both common and species was listed; - the condition of each tree was recorded as good, fair, or poor;. - and most important to our Society, what would happen to these trees - would they be retained, replaced, pruned, or relocated?
Through our efforts a number of significant and historical trees slated for removal have been saved and at this point in time there remains a final two trees at 64th Avenue that we hope to save.Throughout the whole process, Steve Crombie of InTransitBC, a branch of the company overseeing the project, and Chris Robertson from the city's Rapid Transit Office have been of considerable assistance. When the restoration period begins you can be assured that we will closely monitor the process to ensure that removed trees are replaced as required, and trees reported in the "Tree Inventory" as in poor condition are replaced with proper species that will thrive. The "Tree Inventory" will be our guide. We may see the beginning of the restoration on a part of the Boulevard sometime this coming Spring. …2
The Cambie Heritage Boulevard - Heritage Alteration Permit (HAP) allows project related changes to the Boulevard, provides a mechanism for managing impacts and defines obligations of the Canada Line Company. Four amendments have been required. All such requests must be reviewed by the city's Director of Planning and the city's Rapid Transit Office. While we have been satisfied with most of the alterations we were disappointed in not being able to persuade the Canada Line Company to continue the rapid transit line under Marine Drive. Our understanding was that it was technically possible to continue underground to the south side of Marine Drive, but it would have been "too costly". We appealed to our M.L.A. to make financing available since the Provincial Government is a major stake holder in the project, but to no avail.
The "portal", that is where the line comes up to the surface at about 64th Avenue and becomes a "side by side track and then elevated over S.W. Marine", has been a concern of ours. Originally the design would have wiped out the heritage median at that location. A compromise was reached and the median will be kept intact although it will be narrowed by about half at the southern portion. We also have expressed a concern over the appearance of the plain cement side walls at this location and are looking for a wall design that offers a natural, lush, serene green alternative in keeping with the concept of the neighbourhood and the Cambie Boulevard as a ceremonial gateway to Vancouver.
There are many other individuals and groups concerned with the various aspects of the Cambie Heritage Boulevard. One of these is the city's Development Permit Board, who is considering the design of the various stations and in the case of our Boulevard, the impact of location of air vents, exit stairs, the modification of central media curbs, the protection of nearby existing trees and the location of trees to be replaced. While this advice does not constitute formal conditions, it is the City's understanding that InTransitBC is participating in good faith and will include wherever possible the comments and suggestions of the Development Permit Board. We, in turn, will be looking for a full Landscape Plan for the stations at 25th Ave., 41st, 49th and Marine Drive.
Our relationship with individuals in the City's Planning Department, Engineering Department, the Canada Line Company and InTransitBC has been one of cooperation and compromise. We have not always agreed on certain issues, but overall the guiding principle is to preserve the historic and heritage aspect of Vancouver's Cambie Heritage Boulevard, and, to ensure that there will be no net loss in green space. We could not have done this without your help.
As a non-profit society we depend on membership fees and/or donations. With your continued support we will look forward to the beginning of the "restoration" and "enhancement" of our Boulevard.
Yours sincerely, Maurizio Grande President
Please send in your membership fee and donations are always welcome