Monday, April 6, 2020

A Walk Through History in Langley City

Practicing physical distancing is one of the critical measures that we must all take to help slow down the spread of COVID-19. According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, we should “stay home as much as possible.”

If you go outside, “keep about two meters (six feet) or the length of a queen-sized bed apart when possible.”

One of the many good things about Langley City is that we have a high density of trails, parks, and sidewalks that can be useful to get to the grocery store, or for a walk to get exercise, while maintaining physical distancing.

I took an indirect route from my apartment to the grocery store this weekend which also revealed some interesting facts about the history of the area.

If you travel along 51b Avenue or 208th Street, you might notice they were designed like highways. You might also find it odd that 208th Street does not align north and south of Fraser Highway.

208th Street Causeway and Nicomekl Park. Select image to enlarge.

These two sections of 208th Street used to connect with each other. If you go through Nicomekl Park, you will notice that its parking lot is actually an old section of 208th Street. This section of road would have been subject to flooding.

208th Street Causeway Bridge plaque. Select image to enlarge.

The 208th Street Causeway was opened in 1985 making this section of 208th Street no longer subject to flooding. You will notice that 51b Avenue was built in the same era. Both these roads were meant to be bypasses around Langley City’s urban area; they did not end up that way.

Just east of the intersection of 208th Street, Fraser Highway, and the Langley Bypass is the Old Yale Road Bridge. This was an original part of the Trans-Canada Highway, and is only open for walking and cycling.

Old Yale Road Bridge/Old Trans-Canada Highway Bridge. Select image to enlarge.

If you continue walking northeast along Old Yale Road, you will see the Derek Doubleday Arboretum.

Derek Doubleday Arboretum. Select image to enlarge.

One of the facts about this Township of Langley park is that a section of it is in Langley City.

It was interesting to see the history and quirks of our community literally right under my feet.

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