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Photos: The remains of this destroyed Vancouver bridge are over 135 years old

Here's what it used to look like.

The Kitsilano Trestle bridge was torn down four years shy of its 100th anniversary but its remains can still be found in Vancouver - for now.

Built in 1886 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, the bridge spanned False Creek until 1982 and for 50 years existed side-by-side with the current Burrard Street Bridge.

It started out as a link for CPR trains to other lines on the south shore of Vancouver, including the Arbutus Corridor to Richmond but it didn't see much use until 1905 when the B.C. Electric Railway leased the line connecting passengers in Downtown Vancouver as far as Carall Street to farms on the south side of False Creek back when railyards filled the land between Yaletown and False Creek.

It was ultimately scrapped because it proved a navigational hazard for boats and outlived its usefulness as the downtown connector for streetcars once they had several other crossings to choose from.

Evidence of the original line can be seen throughout the Arbutus corridor and the curved line of buildings around Harbour Cove and Mariner Point follow the rail line laid out by the CPR.

Until recently, no one would have known that the bridge was buried under a massive bramble bush. Before 2011 (right) and after 2023 (left). Allie Turner/V.I.A./GoogleMaps

Until recently, what was left of the trestle was completely hidden by overgrown brambles and shrubs but now pedestrians and cyclists travelling along the path under the Burrard Street bridge at the Civic Marina will notice what appears to be a fenced-off pile of debris, the only physical remains of the century-old bridge.

The Kitsilano Trestle Bridge remains were unearthed as part of site preparation for the upcoming Sen̓áḵw development. The Indigenous-led project will introduce 6,000 units of housing on either side of the Burrard Street Bridge in partnership with Westbank. A spokesperson from Nch’ḵay̓ West, the site's developer, tells V.I.A. over email, "unfortunately, the remains of the bridge are unsalvageable and will eventually be removed from the site."

There is no final date for the historic debris, as of yet.

With files from The Vancouver Courier and Cameron Thomson.