Massive clear cut along Great Northern Way

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Magnificent evergreens have just been clear cut along Great Northern Way. The photos here are for the record. It is ironic that these mature trees came down despite Vancouver City Hall’s “Urban Forest Strategy” and its appeals to “Help us grow our urban forest and reach our goal of planting 150,000 trees by 2020,” and just before the much-advertised “Vancouver Tree Week.” One step forward, two steps back? Some people may wish to ask Mayor and Council to investigate the rationale and process that led to permission to cut these trees.
Great Northern Way clear cut
Before the clear cut:
Great Northern Way
Compare before and after:
Great Northern Way

4 thoughts on “Massive clear cut along Great Northern Way

    • Some additional thoughts… First, there is no development permit for an office building here (yet). Could a good portion of these trees been kept? (There’s an escarpment on the other side of the street, so perhaps a few limited places for pedestrian access would have sufficed, with no need for full access through the site.) So was there any justification to do the full clearcut?

  1. The entire Great Northern Way Campus is a disaster for Mount Pleasant North.

    Of course we have to roll back the clock to when the City of Vancouver pushed for the Northern alignment of the Millennium Line despite massive opposition to the destruction of the Grandview Cut combined with no proper plan or funding in place for rapid transit West of Commercial Drive and over a decade later it’s still the case.

    To no surprise much of the wildlife diversity ordered destroyed by the COV in the Grandview clearcut has not returned.

    To pay for the skytrain right of way West of the Clark Drive station the COV rezoned the Finning lands to ‘high-tech’ a year after the high-tech bubble had busted allowing Finning as part of their getting out of town deal to ‘gift’ the land to the GNWC and reap the tax credit from the artificially inflated price. Since then the COV has repeatedly dumbed down all the zoned parcels (just like the Broadway high-tech zone) driving out private local businesses only to be replaced with taxpayer subsidized jobs with few new permanent jobs created. Many of the decisions made on the GNWC are made outside of the COV, for example at UBC, yet the Citizens of Vancouver have no say at what UBC does regarding land development at their Point Grey campus.
    It was the COV that unanimously supported the realignment of Scotia St at GNW to build condos and just to the East the taxpayer funded Thornton Street extension/overpass still hangs in mid-air. The GNWC did not contribute 1 dollar towards the bloated construction cost.

    For their part the GNWC has yet to return 1 dollar in CAC’s to Mount Pleasant North part of the sweetheart deal they negotiated with the COV/VPB behind closed doors. The COV has encouraged the GNWC to act as it’s own developer with zero regard for current and future negative impacts on Mount Pleasant North. Mountain and city views from the residential nbhd have been destroyed while the majority of GNWC employees drive to the GNWC just like those who work at QLT, MEC, RR Donnelly, Shaw Cable and the Vancouver Community College King Edward Campus. Despite the multiple bike-routes and transit/rapid transit connections adjacent to their worksites the COV has yet to take a single measure to encourage transit use by those City-Hall insiders. The GNWC’s own parking/traffic analysis relies on increased vehicle traffic volumes to ensure future student population levels.
    The same report revealed that the GNWC does not know or care what the negative impacts their traffic or parking volumes have on the Mount Pleasant North residential nbhd or local Resident’s access to their parks or transit.

    Repeated requests for Handicapped parking at the Clark/ # 84 bus station or any transit stop along Great Northern Way have been ignored yet the COV established a no-parking zone outside of Mountain Equipment Co-op at 1077 Great Northern Way (at MEC’s request) to encourage fossil-fuel burning food trucks to set up outside their front doors, how is that Green.
    According to an FOI reply MEC staff had nowhere to eat.

    For area residents living South the siting and massing of buildings along GNW have doubled the noise levels from Great Northern Way traffic volumes.
    Tree removal along Great Northern Way has always been supported by all at the COV and VPB including so called Green Party members and this latest destruction is just par for the course. Just 2 blocks East over at VCC KEC the COV and VPB supported cutting down mature trees to expand vehicle parking lots. Both supported paving over and fencing off greenspace next to the Clark skytrain station thus enabling the COV to lease the land to Shaw Cable so they could expand the numbers of large fossil-fuel powered company trucks.

    This new slash and dash at the GNWC will bring more visual eyesores, architectural disasters and zero in nbhd amenties.
    The original plan forced on Mount Pleasant North came with assurances of no residential housing on the GNWC site which is no longer the case.
    To no surprise this area was off-limits during the community planning process of the latest Mount Pleasant Community Plan. Suffice it to say it’s far from a conclusive community plan when large areas are excluded by design.

    Cutting down these trees goes right to the root of all municipal party greed plus UBC and Emily Carr University who all trade off the environment for their own selfish gains.

    So why does the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Park Board, UBC and Emily Carr University continue to encourage the obliteration of mature trees
    Because they interfere with progress, City hall style.

  2. ‘Green Irony’:

    The Great Northern Way Inline Skate / Bicyle Path / Multi-Purpose Pathway was originally proposed & designed by the International Inline Skate Association as a true Greenway (as it was lined by hundreds of beautiful mature trees from 887 Great Northern Way to 377 East 2nd Ave.

    Ironically the tree stand:

    – was one of the few examples in Vancouver (eg. Cambie Corridor to name the famous other example). The Conifers were beloved by the adjoining Mt. Pleasant East & Brewery Creek community!
    – (where Onni’s Condo’s now stand) were cut down before 8:30 am (without a permit) before residents could get city hall to answer the phone.
    – The East Vancouver Brewery Creek community was lobbying the city to maintain the City-Owned green Triangle @ Great Northern Way/East 2nd &Thornton has a green micro park (while the city turned around & sold the property to Onni Development)
    – along Great Northern Way were cut down at the same time the City purchased the Arbutus Corridor (dwarfing media coverage of the Great Northern Way dilemna).
    – the trees are not being replaced by a piece of man-made art (even though it’s Emily Carr University behind this clear cut). In fact their architectural plans are amazingly drab & show no artistic talent!
    -loss is an example East Van resident being treated as 3rd class while the ‘Creme de la Creme’ win their Arbutus Corridor maintenance

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