Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Point Grey Foreshore - Part Two

As I often do, I've done some homework on this shoreline, trying to find background material, interesting footnotes, and corroboration for some of my observations. One thing I found fascinating was that this was described as the last natural shoreline in Vancouver. I guess it depends on where you stand, and what direction you look. If you stand at the base of the bluff and look towards the green residential towers of downtown and the West End, the shore does indeed look natural. But if you stand on the foreshore and look landward, you see some of Vancouver's most expensive homes, some amazing seawalls, and none of the original forest.

Calling it natural makes more sense if you contrast it with much of Vancouver's other shoreline, which consists of a wonderful public promenade, built atop a spectacular seawall. You can walk or ride a bike from Canada Place on Burrard Inlet all the way to Kitsilano, following 11 km of paved trail around Coal Harbor, Stanley Park, English Bay, False Creek, and past Granville Island (Vancouver Seawall). The Seawall ends in Kitsilano and the path then follows an inland route west to Jericho Beach and UBC.

Stanley Park 2008
Yaletown 2011

There have been proposals to extend the seawall (the one with the promenade) west from Kitsilano to Jericho Beach along this northern shore of Point Grey, but these have been opposed by folks who want to see this shoreline remain as it is (Georgia Strait: July 2012).

For another perspective on the natural shoreline, and for those who like to mix interpretive dance with their coastal geology, Rewilding Vancouver is a reminder that nature is defined by humans, and we may all define it a little differently.

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