Jane's Walk to tour Burnaby Heights Saturday

North Burnaby resident Debbie Reid of the Heights Neighbourhood Association will lead a Jane
North Burnaby resident Debbie Reid of the Heights Neighbourhood Association will lead a Jane's Walk on Saturday, May 3 at 10:30 a.m. The tour of the Heights will include stops outside four heritage homes and at the Trans-Canada Trail which was once home to historic Crabtown.
— image credit: Wanda Chow/NewsLeader

The Burnaby Heights Jane's Walk on Saturday, May 3 will take a look back at the area's history with the help of heritage houses and the Trans-Canada Trail.

Jane's Walks are held around the world on the first weekend in May in celebration of the birthday of the late Jane Jacobs, an American-Canadian journalist, author and activist who had a significant impact on urban planning.

The events are free neighbourhood walks led by volunteers. In Burnaby, it will be led by Debbie Reid on behalf of the Heights Neighbourhood Association.

The theme of the tour will be the North Burnaby area in the early 1900s and will include stops outside three houses built around 1910, said Reid.

She'll also take participants along a stretch of the Trans-Canada Trail which was home to Crabtown from 1910 to the 1950s. The squatter community, now long gone, was comprised of wooden houses built on stilts along the Burrard Inlet waterfront from Boundary Road all the way along to Capitol Hill. Many of its residents were men who worked in local sawmills.

The trail was also proposed to be a "scenic drive" roadway as early as the 1920s and '30s. The concept died after loud opposition from area residents in the 1970s, when other road projects, such as the proposed freeway through Vancouver's Chinatown, were cancelled due to public protests.

Reid will also take people through the area once referred to as Vancouver Heights. "It was going to be like a Shaughnessy, it was going to be quite a tony area."

The walk will end with juice and cookies at Burnaby Heights Park. It will go ahead rain or shine.

The neighbourhood association hopes the walk will help its efforts to build a sense of community, said Reid. It's a chance for people of all ages to meet neighbours for the first time and catch up with people they haven't seen in a while.

• The Heights Jane's Walk will be held Saturday, May 3 at 10:30 a.m. Participants are to meet at the northeast corner of North Boundary and Trinity Street. Wear comfortable walking shoes. The walk is expected to take an hour.

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