Vancouver Councillor Michael Wiebe is leading an effort to put more pressure on the private Marine Drive Golf Club to cooperate in creating a trail along the Fraser River that will run from the University of B.C. to the border of Burnaby, B.C.
A pedestrian and cyclist trail currently exists along the historic river, but there are still a few gaps in the route. Following a vote from Vancouver city council, a number of local major player plan to work together to make the Fraser River Trail more accessible to riders and walkers—but the Marine Drive Golf Club is not currently cooperating.
700 disputed metres
The campaign to allow cyclists and pedestrians along a small portion of the bottom of the golf club has been ongoing for several decades. Many advocates for the trail argue that the shore of the river is Crown land, and does not belong to the Marine Drive Golf Club.
The voices opposing the gold club are diverse and unified. Various government officials, professional planners, local residents, Musqueam First Nation members and the great-grandson of the pioneer who originally gave his land to create the Marine Drive Golf Club are all calling for an end to the trail blockages.
Photo: Lower Fraser River Corridor Project
The gap in the Fraser River Trail (orange)
Currently, the Fraser River Trail goes through Fraser River Park, where it ends abruptly at the Marine Drive Golf Club’s fences. 700 meters later the trail restarts in the Southlands neighborhood, but trail users are forced to make a 3-km detour along busy streets to reconnect with the trail.
The McCleery Golf Club and the Point Grey Golf Club both allow the Fraser River Trail to run along their southern perimeters.
Although connecting the existing trail is currently a major focus, the Lower Fraser River Corridor Project plans to expand the trail significantly, eventually to allowing trail users to travel along the river all the way to Hope, B.C.