WATCH: Many of the people who use the Arbutus railway corridor held one last “garden party” on Thursday evening. Catherine Urquhart reports.
Homeowners who live along Vancouver’s Arbutus corridor held a garden party this afternoon as a way to protest the Canadian Pacific Railway’s decision to ask people living along the corridor to remove structures and community gardens along the tracks.
For the past several years, the residents have used the greenspace around the unused CP rail tracks for community gardens.
However, as part of its long-running dispute with the city over the land, CP has ordered all gardens and property to be cleared away by August 1.
“I am not expecting anything to happen imminently to this strip,” says local resident Ann Kent, who has been gardening in the area for 20 years. “I think the whole thing serves to draw attention to the fact that this is a problem that needs fixing.”
Kent says she is not going to move her garden for now.
“We still have grapes to harvest. We are not going to react and panic about it,” she adds.
City mayor Gregor Robertson voiced his opposition to CP Rail’s plans in the letter sent out to the residents earlier this month.
Robertson says the city has gotten an independent appraisal on the land and is willing to pay “fair market value” for the land.
In a statement released to Global News on Wednesday, CP said it would not begin to immediately dismantle the property on the tracks after the deadline passes.