Proud. Pride with a capital P! Simply stated, as I cycled along the Arbutus Greenway, Vancouver’s newest shared recreational path, I felt a deep sense of pride. After only a few spins of the wheel, it became crystal clear to me; this route is more than a paved, car-free shared access Greenway; it is a vibrant, community space. Connecting our beloved Kitsilano neighbourhood to Marpole, the trail is several kilometres of terrific and I felt extremely proud of the community effort involved to bring this vision to reality!
I found myself cycling the Arbutus Greenway on a beautiful, sunny, idyllic Vancouver weekend. Beginning my ride near Fir Street, I was curious to explore our newest north-south active transportation corridor. Welcomed by a blaze of colour, I cycled past the gorgeous Pine Street Community Garden. Delighted, I observed weekend warriors out tending to their crops, happily digging in the dirt, seemingly content in their urban garden oasis.
Immediately I was struck by the high level of activity along the pathway. Folks of all ages, shapes and sizes were enjoying a day out on the Greenway. Leaving the bustling Kitsilano section of the trail, I began the gradual climb towards Marpole enjoying peekaboo views of the ocean and the North Shore Mountains. Up ahead I heard a group of cyclists squeal in delight as they encountered a series of brightly coloured rocks. Curious, I joined them, and together we read the positive messages carefully inscribed on the Rainbow Rocks. Part of the Vancouver Biennale Big Ideas education program, York House School Grade 2 students painted over 800 rocks to create this fabulous public art installation.
Inspired by the creativity and positivity of these young Vancouverites, I marvelled at how one simple pathway and several passionate Vancouverites brought colour and a sense of community to our town. Although fully paved, the Greenway is still under construction as the City of Vancouver moves toward a permanent design that will include more public art installations, improved road crossings and the installation of additional benches as the city strives to connect People, Parks and Places. Dare I say; the future looks as bright as the Rainbow Rocks!
The Greenway runs parallel to Arbutus and can be accessed almost anywhere along the pathway. With connections to the Seawall and Canada Line, it is paved and suitable for all types of bicycles. Walkers, strollers and joggers will enjoy the separation of cyclists and pedestrians and may even venture along the bark mulch path. Need wheels? No problem! Mobi, Vancouver’s community bike share initiative has you covered with docking stations along the route.
Remember to use caution at road crossings, as many are uncontrolled. Download this printable map and plan your next outing. Walk, bike or roll – and take time to smell the roses and read a rock or two!