Blogathon 2009: Brewery Creek & Tea Swamp

Posted by & filed under Blogathon 2009, Catherine, Cycling, History, Vancouver.

So when I’m not trying to rattle off 50 blog posts a day from Gastown, I live at the bottom of two hills on an avenue I will describe for hipster-credibility purposes as “just off Main Street.” I’m cool now, right guys?

My house is situated directly on top of Tea Swamp, an offshoot of Brewery Creek. Consequently, the ground is not what engineers generally consider to be “solid”, as they say.

16th Avenue. That's... different.

16th Avenue. That’s… different.

As previously mentioned, my neighbourhood is composed almost completely of two-storey, basementless, concrete-slab-foundationed Vancouver Specials sinking into the muck. There’s also one impressively-designed house that’s not going anywhere. On the other hand, the roads and sidewalks around it are shifting most entertainingly. (This doesn’t make cycling nearly as awesome as it sounds, believe me.)

FalseCreek_Map

From False Creek: Then and Now

Today, aside from a good thousand houses listing to one side, the only other sign of the underground rivers that once dotted East Vancouver are the now stagnant Trout Lake, where tonight I hope someone will be Blogathonning the Illuminares lantern festival, the myriad orange manhole covers, identifying their contents as a culverted stream rather than storm sewer or wastewater, and the Tea Swamp Park community garden located at Main and 16th.

So really, that’s a lot.

There are ongoing plans to rehabilitate many of the culverted streams beneath Vancouver, the most prominent example of which is located next to Superstore on Grandview Highway. Impressively, it’s actually home to beavers… who promptly cut down all the trees in the parking lot. But you know, that’s what happens.

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