6. Beatty Street Escarpment; Viaduct Park; CPR Tunnel Portal

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2003 Top10 Watch List

6. Beatty Street Escarpment; Viaduct Park; CPR Tunnel Portal
CPR tunnel portal

The escarpment below Beatty Street is among Downtown’s few remaining natural features and provides a commanding site for the historic Beatty Street Drill Hall.

Set into the base of the cliff is a concrete Art Deco portal marking the eastern entrance of the old CPR Dunsmuir Tunnel. The portal, now sealed, is an important monument to Vancouver’s early railway history.

South of the Drill Hall, marking the western approach to the original 1915 Georgia Viaduct, is a commemorative plaza called Viaduct Park. The park, created in 1970 after the old viaduct was demolished, incorporates the original concrete railings and street lamps.

Under the proposed rezoning (to permit a Costco store and residential towers), the Beatty Street grade would be extended outward in a plaza structure, burying the escarpment and marooning the Drill Hall on a flat surface. The escarpment would become a concrete retaining wall for a parkade, the tunnel portal would be demolished and Viaduct Park would be obliterated.