18 Loopers assembled near Nobel Park in Westbrook Village at UBC, sorted ourselves into 4 cars and departed for our starting point, the Marpole Midden, a National Historic Site located in Marpole Park. After a shady starting selfie by the midden monument the group headed out. At the western corner of the park was a Little Free Pantry (a minor disappointment to Michael who was expecting a Little Free Library).
We crossed the foot of Granville Street and descended to the river, walking behind a light industrial area to reach Fraser River Park. Ideally one would just continue west through the park and along the river. Sadly, Marine Drive Golf Course has steadfastly refused to allow a public trail between the course and the river, necessitating a long detour around the course before returning to the river.
We proceeded up Angus Drive and cut across Riverview Park to join up with the Arbutus Greenway. (I am not sure how Riverview Park got its name since you cannot actually see the river from it. I suppose perhaps if you climbed a tree…) We walked up the Greenway past community garden plots as far as 54th Avenue, where we turned west to Maple Grove Park. The park has a very popular wading/swimming pool. From there we headed west on 49th Avenue. After crossing Marine Drive we descended to Southlands and took Balaclava Street back down to the river. Walking through Southlands is like a stroll in the country with its mix of older homes, horse stables, and some rather grandiose estates.
At the foot of Blenheim there used to exist a Japanese Canadian community called Celtic Cannery Located on two islands; Celtic Island (now no longer an island) and Middle Island (now called Deering Island). The cannery was started in the late 1800’s and was subsequently bought by BC Packers and converted into a shipyard. The Japanese were employed as fishermen by BC Packers and the community continued until the Second World War, when they were forcibly removed. A commemorative plaque marks the location. A few of the Celtic Shipyard buildings continue to exist, and are currently used as workshops and artist studios. There have been proposals to redevelop the area, with considerable resistance from some locals, and none have materialized. Deering Island, on the other hand, was bought and redeveloped in the early 1990’s and now contains luxury homes, many with their own boat docks. A small park at the west end of Deering Island proved to be a good spot for a snack break.
We then continued west along the river, following a trail to the south of the Point Grey Golf Club and turned back north at the west end, just to the east of the Musqueam Reserve.
Crossing Marine Drive for the final time, we entered Pacific Spirit Park. Following several trails, we made our way back to Nobel Park, where we had parked in the morning.
Post-walk refreshments were enjoyed at BierCraft in Westbrook Village.
Photos care of Jon, Michael, Angela, Diane, Larrie
One thought on “2022 August 7: Marpole to UBC”
LOVE the captions! Great summary. Thx