It has been said that Vancouver has been built on the fruits of the land. Whether chopped down, dug up or pumped out it’s a stark fact that without natural resources and the geography which makes it easy to export them, Vancouver would not be the shiny glass city that it is today.
Nowhere is this more obvious than a place I rode my bike through this week. Tucked underneath the North Shore side of the Lions Gate Bridge are railway lines. Lots of them. It is not until you are down right beside them that their importance becomes clear. Stacked with cars filled with grain, sulphur, timber, oil and whatever else they are within a stone’s throw of downtown yet are the vital link between Canada’s interior and Vancouver’s ports.
On a warmish spring evening it’s a beautiful place, but serves as a constant reminder of BC’s fragility. Both the economy and the beautiful environment which makes BC so unique are inextricably tied to these in-demand resources.