June 8, 2021

Secret Easements, Rights-of-Way, What3Words & the Westside Shuffle

Last week I posted on a series of easements and rights-of-way that run along the geologic ridge of the city near 33rd Avenue and Quesnel Drive. The term “easement” describes the right to use someone else’s property for a specific purpose, like hydro lines or sanitary sewers.  The term “rights-of-way” describe easements that give the right to travel across someone else’s property.

Vancouver Viewpoint reader Ron Usher liked the post on the secret and sometimes completely overgrown City of Vancouver rights-of-way that exist on the city’s westside.

I walk in the Quilchena area around Puget Drive  and the back lanes with “Dr. Bourgelat”, a  friend with a lengthy scientific background, who responded to Mr. Usher’s request for a more exact locationing of some of the overgrown and secretive rights-of-way  we have visited. You can see the original post here.

“Dr. Bourgelat” went through the Province’s assessment site data to come up with addresses. Mr. Usher had also suggested we use the “What3Words” geolocational tool (which I have previously written about here) to exactly pinpoint where these secret rights-of-way exist.

You can access the What3Words app here. This application divides the world into a grid pattern of three meters square blocks, with each  block identified by three words. Vancouver City Hall’s three words  identifier is “putty.averages.closets“. By putting those words into the geolocator app, you can find out EXACTLY where that location is.

Here’s the descriptor of where the  rights-of-way are in the photographs below,  as well as a few new locations that “Dr. Bourgelat” discovered.

If you find other rights-of-way, please feel free to add onto this list in the comments.

Photo One below with the clipped hedges is between 4796 and 4806 Narvaez  with the path heading northeast, crossing the lane and continuing  to  4789 and 4807 Paton Street.

The 3words geolocator for that easement  is deduced.crop.onwards to masked.surf.dusts.



Location Two  and Three in the photos below are the pedestrian rights-of-way  between  4376 and 4366 Quesnel, which crosses a lane and continues. The 3words geolocation for the entrance off Quesnel is sweeten.kick.palaces. The end of the lane with the stairs can be geolocated as rich.blocking.stoops.


The  location along the ridge of the city seems to be a reason that  the Puget/Quesnel Drive area has other rights-of-way to billy goat up and down the elevation. There’s one easement  between 2293 West 33rd and 4890 Narvaez that starts at geolocation soaks.clots.evolving.

A set of narrow stairs between 4508 and 4522 Puget are actually the continuation of Trafalgar Street. You can access them at geolocation eyeful.charm.degree.

There is another set of stairs between 4589 and 4607 Puget,crossing a back lane and ending at Triangle Park. You can find those stairs at balanced.trading.bowhead. Surprisingly there is also a lookout half way down this right-of-way labelled “Arbutus Lookout”. That’s at village.armchair.trousers which seems entirely apropos.

And lastly, further west  between 3477 and 3503 Blenheim street there’s a set of  stairs going east to Quadra which can be accessed by geolocation little.range.shuffle.

And surprise! There’s a little park nestled in that space, perfect for a picnic picked up at one of the shops at Mackenzie and 33rd Avenue, at the geolocation “elbow.playful.tender”.

Of course, we figure we could do a Viewpoint Vancouver walk and bike tour at a future time through these rights-of-way that will be vital as the city densifies. Until then, here’s a link to the  Butter Bakery and Cafe on Mackenzie Street which makes a good halfway stop for exploring these easements on your own.


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  1. Cool stuff Sandy. I believe there are several more ROWs leading from Point Grey Road down to the beach.

  2. Love the secret paths! I use one when I walk towards QE Park/ Hillcrest Community Centre. It runs from Peveril to Talisman, where Columbia intersects Perveril and West 26th Avenue. Be sure to look up as you can see the top of the Bloedel Conservatory peaking through.