BC Electric Railway
Central Park Line
Cedar Cottage Community Garden lies on the very bed of the abandoned Central Park Line of the British Columbia Electric Railway, explaining the need to garden mostly in raised boxes: as an old railway bed does not readily lend itself to the pursuit of gardening.
The Central Park Line began regular service on October 28th, 1891, originally as the Vancouver & Westminster Tramway Company. In 1895 they were amalgamated into the Consolidated Railway Company, which was in turn reorganized into the British Columbia Electric Railway (BCER). In 1945 the BCER introduced its "Rails-to-Rubber" program, which saw the gradual removal of streetcar rails and the streetcar service replaced with buses. The Central Park Line made its final run on July 16th, 1954.
In 1961, the provincial government took over BC Electric, now the parent company of BCER, becoming a division of Crown corporation BC Hydro.
In 1975 the Greater Vancouver Regional District (now Metro Vancouver) proposed linking Vancouver and New Westminster by light rail, using the old Central Park Line's right-of-way. The provincial government eventually took over the project, which evolved into the SkyTrain's Expo Line.
The garden is situated close to the site of Lakeview Station, which was a stop on the Central Park Line from ~1900 to 1935. The garden's shed was designed and built by volunteers to reflect the design of the earlier station, at a three-quarter scale. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on October 25th, 2009. Click here to see some photos of the shed construction.
The plaque mounted to the garden's shed commemorates the Lakeview disaster. Further details on the accident can be found at the Vancouver Heritage Foundation.