Daily Scot took me to the 1400-block Laburnum Street on Kits Point to see if I noticed anything odd.
I did not. Until he pointed out that there’s a big hump in the street for no apparent reason, and that the hydro poles are curiously spaced on either side. (Scot loves this kind of thing.)
The reason: Possibly the least known streetcar line in Vancouver – the Kits spur:
You can see on the Dial Map of Vancouver that one streetcar line, the 12, departs from Granville, crosses the False Creek swing-span bridge (removed in the 1985) and cuts right through the Point mid-block. The right-of way is still evident in the hump where the tracks used to be and in this aerial from 1945:
Kits Beach (previously known as Greer’s) was kind of a summer resort for the early settlers of the city, and the streetcar provided the access. There was even camping:
Until by 1908, when it had been renamed ‘Kitsilano,’ an Anglicization of August Jack Khatsahlano, a chief of the Squamish (whose land it originally was), and looked like this:And today like this:
You can also see the relatively new housing that was built when the CPR was able to abandon the line. Note the placement of the two hydro poles that mark the right-of-way:
Ann McAfee notes: “Yep, the bumps in the road on Kits Point were the old spur which was abandoned. I believe CPR thought when they abandoned the Arbutus Corridor that they would have the same redevelopment opportunities along the line. Not to be, said City Council!”
So that’s what the Arbutus Greenway would look like now if the CPR had prevailed as they did on Kits Point.