July 15, 2014

Dear Vancouver resident,

I am writing to update you on the latest developments between the
City and Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) over the Arbutus Corridor.

City Council is on record as opposing a reactivation of cargo trains
along the Corridor, and I wrote on behalf of the City in June to the CEO of CPR to express
our opposition, and asked them to respect the wishes of the local neighbours along the
route. To date, we have not received a response from CPR.

As Mayor, I strongly believe that the Arbutus Corridor should remain as it is today - an
enjoyable route for people to walk, run and bike along, as well as a home to the many
community gardens that contribute to our neighbourhoods. We do not believe there is any
business case for CPR to reactivate trains along the Corridor.

Recently, Canadian Pacific Railway informed residents and business owners near the
Arbutus Corridor of its intention to upgrade the Arbutus Rail Line to meet the regulated
safety requirements needed for a possible re-commencement of operations. CPR has also
advised that all encroachments, including garden plots, must be removed from its
property by July 31, 2014.

As stated previously, as Mayor I do not support these actions by CPR. Many of you have
contacted the City with questions about the recent actions taken by CPR as well as what
steps we are taking. I want to share some background on the Arbutus Corridor and to let
you know what we are doing with respect to CPR’s plans.

History of the Arbutus Corridor
Over a century ago, in 1886, the Provincial Crown granted the Canadian Pacific Railway
Company a corridor of land (the “Arbutus Corridor”) for the construction of a railway line
from False Creek south to Steveston. In 1999, CPR formally began the process of
discontinuing rail operations on the corridor under the Canada Transportation Act.

In July 2000, the City enacted the Arbutus Corridor Official Development Plan By-Law (ODP)
that designated the corridor as a public thoroughfare for transportation and “greenways” like

heritage walks, nature trails and cyclist paths. A copy of this plan is available on our website
at Vancouver.ca.

There has been no rail activity on the Arbutus Corridor for nearly 14 years. In 2001, CPR
began a planning exercise to redevelop the lands along the Arbutus Corridor.

CPR then went to court to challenge the City’s ability to determine land use through the
ODP. In 2005, the case went to the Supreme Court of Canada, which upheld the City’s
right to determine how land within Vancouver can be used. Since then, the Arbutus
Corridor has been used informally by the public as a greenway, walking and cycling route
and home of multiple community gardens.

In 2013, the City included the Arbutus Corridor as a green transportation corridor in the
City’s Regional Context Statement, approved by Council and the Metro Vancouver Board,
and is now integrated into the provincially-approved Regional Growth Strategy.

CPR has offered to sell the Arbutus Corridor lands to the City. The City had an
independent appraisal done of the Arbutus Corridor lands, and is prepared to pay fair
market value for the land. Unfortunately, to date CPR has not been receptive to our
offers. The City will continue to work towards reaching a reasonable, fair agreement with
CPR that is reflective of the Arbutus Corridor ODP.

We are clear in our vision for the Corridor. The City does not support the reactivation of
cargo trains and we have expressed this directly to CPR.

We also know that some of you have garden plots which CPR asked you to remove. As
part of the City’s Community Garden Program, there are approximately 350 permitted
garden plots on City-owned land near the rail line. Unfortunately, some of the permitted
gardens have expanded onto land outside of the City’s jurisdiction, and may encroach on
property owned by CPR. CPR, as landowner, is seeking their removal by July 31st. I
encourage you to visit CPR’s website cpr.ca for information and a map of these areas.

City staff are examining the option of relocating mature fruit trees that may be
encroaching on CPR’s property and we will keep you informed on this matter moving

If you have any questions or concerns for CPR you can contact CPR through their website
at cpr.ca or via phone at 1 (800) 766-7912.

If you have any questions for us at the City of Vancouver, contact us by phone at 3-1-1 or
online at vancouver.ca.

I want to thank the many residents who wrote to City Council supporting our position
and expressing opposition to CPR's reactivation of trains. I encourage you to also write to
CPR to express your opinion to them as well. It is important that they hear directly from
local residents.

The City is committed to seeking a fair deal with CPR for the Arbutus Corridor lands, so
that we can maintain and enhance the Corridor for local residents. We have had
discussions for many years and we continue to seek a reasonable agreement. Again, we
are hopeful that CPR will accept an offer of fair market value for the land.

Thank you for your continued understanding and patience on this matter, which has
raised a lot of concerns among many Vancouver residents and businesses. I assure you
that we will continue to engage with CPR, and you as community members, to ensure we
achieve a workable long-term solution, and keep you informed in the process.


Gregor Robertson