Skwácháy̓s [Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim] is Squamish name for False Creek Flats describing “water coming up from ground beneath.”

Skwácháy̓s [Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim] also known as “False Creek Flats” and
before the inlet and tidal flats were filled with garbage in 1917-21, “False Creek East”

Skwácháy̓s [Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim] is the correct name for False Creek Flats describing “water coming up from ground beneath.” The thick line was roughly the high tide line prior to 1917 and the thinner line represents the low tide line with the areas below being marine and part of the inlet.

“water coming up from ground beneath.”
A resurgent edge of the marine inlet, False Creek south-east of Prior and Station Streets, at
the pre-1917 low tide line of the north-western corner of Skwácháy̓s 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9876
north-western Skwácháy̓s near the pre-1917 low tide line looking south from
Prior and National Street with a view of the train station constructed a century
ago 2021 March 11 * P3A9885

Reimagining Skwácháy̓s: Restoration strategizing & experimentation for the vestigial and resurgent wetlands of central Vancouver as contemporary culture

download guide and map for the 2022 October 19 SFU-BCIT Ecosystem Restoration MSc field trip

October 11, 2022

PDF copy:

Reimagining Skwácháy̓s:

Restoration strategizing & experimentation for the vestigial and resurgent wetlands of

central Vancouver as contemporary culture

For much of the last 10,000 years, what is today central Vancouver was a maze of saltwater inlets, mud flats, estuaries, and streams emptying into what today is called False Creek — and largely shared and jointly stewarded by txʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) communities. in 1932 the City of Vancouver recognized the area ‘Skwachice’ supposedly meaning ‘deep hole in water’ in Squamish. In 2019, Squamish activist and language guardian, Khelsilem stated that the mudflats that once existed around False Creek were called Skwácháy̓s, meaning “water coming up from ground beneath.”

This exceptionally productive set of ecosystems extended hundreds of hectares and is bounded by today’s Main, Union, Clark, Great North, and 2nd At the end of World War I, a new transcontinental train station was built on the northern of two points on either side of the narrow channel of sea, called KIWAHUSKS (roughly beneath today’s Main Street / Science World Skytrain station), that fed Skwácháy̓s. Elevated train tracks began to criss-cross Skwácháy̓s, the marine and tidal areas were soon filled with garbage and soil, the area became of limited interest for railway speculation, and within a decade the marine ecosystems were erased and the wetlands largely covered.

The loss of Skwácháy̓s, especially important for its food resources and cultural significance, represents one of the most egregious government assaults on the txʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples and reparations are inevitable — as is the re-establishment of most of the ecosystems of Skwácháy̓s through sea level rise and freshwater flooding from extreme rain events. Because of the poor quality of the fill that was used to fill the sea and the many channels, many areas are sinking and have been effectively unbuildable. But because of accelerating land values and shortages for building sites in central Vancouver, vestigial marshes are seeing massive, boat-like architectures that will supposedly float above the resurgent wetlands. Even in this optimistic trajectory, Venetian-type canals would be inevitable. So far, there are few parks and areas of native habitat. Most problematic has been the new building without consultations with and reparations to the txʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations.

The still underwater project was begun in 2017 to observe the centennial of the erasure of Skwácháy̓s. Over the last five years, losses and new opportunities have been sketched and mapped. And underlying these studies has been an investigation of how postcolonial recombinations of traditional Salish knowledge and stewardship practices, the expanding and decolonizing field of ecosystem restoration, and contemporary culture spanning environmental design and site-based art extending to decolonial forms of land art, could provide a creative space to re-imagine a resurgent Skwácháy̓s. This video is an introduction to a past and future world that will transform the roles of knowledge keeping, ecological science, environmental design, and contemporary art just as the land again becomes wet, tidal, and even marine. After a review of the destruction of Skwácháy̓s, I will be exploring the relevance of baseline areas, with similar conditions to what was destroyed in Skwácháy̓s. Finally, I will be asking both ecological restorationists and site-based artists and designers to begin to think about locations for some channels to be dug, for where surface freshwater and sea can meet, and to select three native species, formerly common in Skwácháy̓s, with which to initiate an ecosystem restoration process that could well take a century. And underneath these questions are larger ones about the roles of science, design, and art in hastening ecosystem restoration processes that are taking place without direct or planned human intervention.

Skwácháy̓s is also a laboratory for intercultural and intergovernmental cooperation (and lack of cooperation) Skwácháy̓s formed as a space of Salish intercultural dialogue (involving three languages) and shared harvesting and stewardship. Today many of those ancient practices could be re-established with consultation and with the leadership of the txʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations. But how do ecological restoration scientists and land artists, from a range of backgrounds associated with many different migrations including Indigenous people from other parts of the region and country, how can we intervene in spaces and processes co-owned by Indigenous, municipal, regional, and national governments?

Today, sea levels are rising, drainage pipes around Skwácháy̓s are overflowing from extreme rainfall events, and people in central Vancouver are demanding more open space, green space, re-establishment of Indigenous food resources, and natural habitat. But without some careful and coordinated work over the next century involving txʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) leadership along with ecosystem restoration scientists, land artists, environmental technicians skilled in a wide array of practices especially propagation and protection, landscape architects, and community activists, the neighbourhood could remain an ecological desert.

For the ecological restoration science students who join me on field studies in October 2022 and after, I have two suggestions on how to organize your own investigations as part of these massive and indefinite restoration projects spanning neighbourhoods and cities — where key ecological infrastructure will take decades to rebuild. Given that much of the restoration interventions coming years for this area will be small-scaled, site-specific, community-based, and often only partially coordinated regionally, what are the locations of three channels that could be re-dug and re-established — especially in relationship to the areas most vulnerable to both seawater and freshwater flooding? And based on your functional goals for these passages, that re-establish the merging of freshwater and tidal ecosystems, what could be three species, terrestrial, estuarine or marine — plant or animal, to begin re-establish and defend?

One kind of place to look for possible candidate species for some initial restoration interventions are partial baselines. A natural baseline is some kind of protected ecosystem that is relatively natural and well-defended aside for global change especially related to climate. But natural baselines rarely capture and maintain cultural landscapes such as food gathering sites that were major parts of Skwácháy̓s. And there are so few intact and not degraded estuaries and wetlands around the Salish Sea. But even partially intact tidal flats, estuaries, and wetlands can tell us a great deal about what to begin to begin to re-establish.

The most important Salish fruit and flowering tree (crucial for a number of pollinators and frugivores) in Skwácháy̓s was Pacific crabapple, Malus fusca. Ripe fruit can be propagated from seed, typically by planting in October, but growing out is a difficult art. This species probably reproduces more vegetatively from twigs.

Underlying all of this recent work around Skwácháy̓s, in the still underwater project, are the questions of where does the art-making in land art and other site-based environmental art end, and the science and traditional knowledge begin? The second, coupled question is that of when in the process of research, strategizing and planning for an ecological restoration project also become art and very creative contemporary culture. Surveying, invasive species eradication, choice of species to re-establish, propagation, management, and protection all involve human values, cultural practices and aesthetics that are rapidly being decolonized as increasing parts of Skwácháy̓s are flooded, and after a century of active erasure, still underwater.

ripe fruit of ḴÁ,EW̱ IL̵Ć [SENĆOŦEN], Qwa’up-ulp [HUL’Q’UMI’NUM’], Pacific crabapple, Malus fusca,
above W̱EN,NÁ,NEĆ, ĆUÁN [SENĆOŦEN] (Salt Spring Island, Canada) 2022 September 28 P9280004

Skwácháy̓s: guidance, support & funding

Skwácháy̓s aka False Creek East in 1917, during the first of several years when that inlet and the salt marshes were erased, viewed from Pleasant Hill to the south-west from roughly what is today Main and Broadway. My father who told me about and brought me to what was left of Skwácháy̓s enjoyed this view at that time when he was twelve years old.

These investigations began sixty years on a father-son field trip where my father, Ross Sheldon Ingram (1905 – 1971), took me to and told me the story of the destruction of Skwácháy̓s a process of erasure of the sea and marshes that he witnessed when he was in his teens. He had vivid memories of the of Skwácháy̓s and the beachside neighbourhoods that had been built to the north and south. Growing up in the Kitsilano neighbourhood of Vancouver and being fluent in xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Ross knew the heartbreak that the loss of Skwácháy̓s both as a source of food and as an intercultural space.

My father holding older sister, Fay, with my father’s brother circa 1930 most likely in northern British Columbia near the mouth of the Skeena with the photograph probably taken by my mother, Wilma Valeda Brochu Ingram

A decade and a half later, after Ross’s untimely passing, I studied with Salish theorist and early pioneer of Native American Studies, Mary Nelson. She taught deep time when few young people had much interest in hearing about it. Mary was born and raised near the mouth of the Skagit River with family connections to the upper part of that basin in and near Canada. As a Canadian university student in studying in a United States portion of the territories of the Salish nations, often hitchhiking home to Vancouver Island on weekends, Mary initiated a pedagogical space around Skwácháy̓s. She brought it up and instilled in me a curious kind of responsibility (even as a non-Salish indigenous person) about its continued presence. Mary knew Skwácháy̓s well as hole-in-the-bottom and as an important place in pan-Salish cosmology where the underworld met both the modern world of colonial logic in the marshes as well as the vastness of the skies. Mary taught me ways to explore the interface of a multitude of indigenous aesthetics and modern site-based sculpture — the work from those studies mostly lost over the decades.

More recently, this recent work was inspired by decades of bicycling around, conducting research and theorizing, and trying to make art in gentrifying False Creek. Eventually, there was too much information to not make something out it — at a time when the unresolved legacies of this problematic heart of Vancouver are increasingly collide between rising seas, real estate speculation, and pressures for ecological and indigenous repair. New York-based, environmental artist, Oliver Kellhammer, has been very generous in sharing the perspectives that went into his three, enduring (and evolving) site-based works and activism along Skwácháy̓s. In 2019, Catherine de Montreuil of Access Gallery, on the northern shore of Skwácháy̓s, kindly arranged a meeting space and some modest funding in cooperation with her colleague, Katie Belcher. Vancouver-based Alex Grünenfelder contributed performances and his own works in 2019 and Sharon Kallis, Rose Spahan and Debra Sparrow kindly offered to be part of a collaborative team that was postponed and then disrupted by the 2020-21 COVID pandemic. The recent work and collaborations has been possible because of the generous support of the Canada Canada for the Arts Inter-Arts Program through consecutive project grants.

In transforming the drawings, photographs, and notes from recent work on land art, found, conceived, and performed, two indigenous visual arts residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity were crucial for self-reflection and expanding my digital skills. Just before the COVID-19 lockdown, Nikki Little and Meaghan Byrne of imagineNATIVE (the Toronto-headquartered Centre for Aboriginal Media) lead Mixed Media 101 bringing together a score of artists, interactivity designers and teachers in the winter snows of the Rockies. As well as being deeply grateful to Nikki and Meaghan (and to administrators Reneltta Arluk, Janine Windolph, Allison Yearwood, and Howard Lee), the following members of the Banff media team (having no idea that most would soon be laid off in the pandemic), were superb and compassionate teachers: Aubrey Fernandez, Jennifer Chiasson, Tyler Jordan, Rylaan Gimby, Bojan Cosic, and Court Brinsmead. Roughly a year later, I returned to a very different Banff via Zoom for the at-a-distance phase of, Akunumusǂitis: Ecological Engagement Through the Seasons. Along with the leadership of Janine and Reneltta and Tyler’s technical acumen, Lillian Rose, a Ktunaxa leader and land artist rooted at Columbia Lake, Regina-based Nakoda buffalo artist, Joely BigEagle-Kequahtooway, and Toronto-based Cree multimedia performance artist, Cheryl L’Hirondelle took us to places where participants lived, along the North American Cordillera, in profoundly new (and old) ways. I remain in awe of this team of teachers! Thanks to the Slaight Family Foundation for funding my participation in the Banff Centre residencies.

HÍSW̱ḴE / Huy ch q / máh-sie / Marsee
SENĆOŦEN / Hul’q’umi’num’] / Chinook / Michif

Delving into the deep south-east of Skwácháy̓s

Originally a confluence of gullies and streams with miles of estuary channels, the twentieth century saw garbage, fill, culverts, sewers and increasing amounts of asphalt. Future decisions best centre on re-establishment of native wetlands and woodland along with more urban food production, recreation, and socializing.

Some view points just above the eastern south-eastern shore of Skwácháy̓s: the Columbus Monument (with a statue stolen on stolen land) & the East Van Cross

Both the Columbus Monument and the East Van Cross steal a panorama across Skwácháy̓s and the city. The 1986 Monument is dire: more evocative of a place for ceremonial sacrifice than the ethnic propagandizing of the Italian-Canadian organizations that built it. A generation later, Ken Lum’s ‘East Van Cross’ is another imposition already out of place and redundant: increasingly irrelevant. For inferring conquests and erasures of Skwácháy̓s, the sword and the cross today fall flat, are almost tacky. The heaviness of the Columbia Monument without the statue suggests failed kinds of domination. Whereas the Van East Cross has the odour of marketing of both real estate and stale religion. These cluttering anachronisms lean west towards a series of estuaries where creeks once met and flowed slowly into the sea.

A fitting view, looking south, of the East Van Cross through the ruin that is the Columbus Monument * 2021 June 16 Columbus Monument * 1P3A0122
The vacant plinth that held the 1986 statue of Columbus from the adjacent parking lot of KAL Tires looking south * 2021 June 16 Columbus Monument 1P3A0116
The vacant plinth that held the 1986 statue of Columbus from inside the monument ruin with the elevated railway, the Skytrain, above and the adjacent billboard * 2021 June 16 Columbus Monument 1P3A0124
“No pipelines without consent” scrawled on the vacant plinth that held the 1986 statue of Columbus repurposed for new messages * 2021 June 16 * 1P3A0120
“Unceded territory” scrawled on the vacant plinth with the 1986 date that the Columbus Monument was opened * 2021 June 16 Columbus Monument * 1P3A0123

Thanks to artist Oliver Kellhammer who showed me this place during some of our urban field studies on May 26, 2018. That day, Oliver Kellhammer stated that sees the side as the most important public art piece in False Creek especially as the actual statue was stolen and never replaced. He referred to the site as “the perfect non-space.”

The last beach house on the south-eastern shore of Skwácháy̓s

2021 June 18 reimagining the original beach house west of the mouth of China Creek now at 1016 East Seventh Avenue * 1P3A0172

The beach house 1016 East 7th Avenue is one of the last architectural remnants, this far east and south in central Vancouver, of a young city and the sea. East Seventh at this point merged with the beach and the tidal flat. The current architecture reflects the shift in function from shack to fortress. For example, there were no sky-lights originally, nor a gate to the verandah, and no Gingko trees [a post-Holocene flourish] or much landscape at all. On of the few remnants of the local landscape is sword fern, Polystichum munitum.

Now for sale with a price that precludes all but the affluent, the building was a simple second home, at best a tasteful shack with a verandah for reviewing the sea, that drifted into abjection as Skwácháy̓s was filled with garbage. To reimagine this building’s original life is to recall the city’s lost options and ongoing follies.

2021 June 17 South-eastern Skwácháy̓s looking east from Means of Production Garden * 1P3A0128 For this far east in central Vancouver, China Creek Park (below) remains at or below sea level. The beach house at 1016 East 7th Avenue would have looked out on to this site as sea and tidal flat.
2021 June 17 South-eastern Skwácháy̓s looking east from Means of Production Garden * 1P3A0128 For this far east in central Vancouver, China Creek Park (below) remains at or below sea level. The beach house at 1016 East 7th Avenue would have looked out on to this site as sea and tidal flat.
Recently landscaped, this part of China Creek Park is just above the shore of south-eastern Skwácháy̓s with the high tide line below these asphalt walkways and poppies. * 2021 June 18 * 1P3A0167
2021 June 18 * The Beach House at 1016 East Seventh Avenue at Windsor is one of the last of the beach houses, still standing, that were built for people to enjoy the waters of Skwácháy̓s. This simple shack architecture, embellished with a shallow verandah, is now being used to market expensive strata homes. * 1P3A0169
The Beach House at 1016 East Seventh Avenue at Windsor is one of the last of the beach houses, still standing, that were built for people to enjoy the waters of Skwácháy̓s. This simple shack architecture, embellished with a shallow verandah, is now being used to market unaffordable housing on the edge of unstable strata. * 2021 June 18 * 1P3A0174
The Beach House at 1016 East Seventh Avenue at Windsor is one of the last of the beach houses, still standing, that were built for people to enjoy the waters of Skwácháy̓s. This simple shack architecture, embellished with a shallow verandah, is now being used to market unaffordable housing on the edge of unconsolidated landforms. * 2021 June 18 * 1P3A0171

On the south-eastern shores of Skwácháy̓s: The Means of Production Garden

Rising from the former tidal flats, the Means of Production Garden (MOP) is on the bluff to the west of China Creek basin (in this image, seen from the beach house at 1016 East 7th Avenue) and part of China Creek Park. The slope directly above the playing field, and to the south-east and below MOP is a new field planted for pollinators. * 2021 June 18 * 1P3A0175

In contrast to the Columbus Monument that looks rapaciously west, the view from the heights of Means of Production Garden look north and east. Another poetic viewpoint, “MOP” is a more hopeful centre of The Terminal City. Initiated over a quarter of a century, originally design and guided by environmental artist, Oliver Kellhammer, the garden was originally for growing organic materials for making art.

Revisiting a forested spot in the lower central area of Means of Production Garden with this image of seminal artist and convenor for this art space, Oliver Kellhammer * 2018 May 26 * P5260098

Given the destruction of much of the biodiversity of Skwácháy̓s, over the twentieth century, MOP is an ecological and cultural oasis and laboratory for central Vancouver.

This Naturalized Area within China Creek Park is adjacent to and south-east and below the Means of Production Garden. 2021 June 17 * 1P3A0127

This furbished playing field, seen from the Means of Production Garden, was tidal flats a century ago and was adjacent to the beach house at 1016 East 7th Avenue. * 2021 June 17 * 1P3A0128
There are several cherry trees planted in the Means of Production Garden * 2021 June 17 * 1P3A0134
Hops with a woven willow arch at Means of Production Garden * 2021 June 17 * 1P3A0136
A small work left on the shed of the Means of Production Garden * 2021 June 17 * 1P3A0133
Poppy with a bee buzz pollinating at Means of Production Garden * 2021 June 17 * 1P3A0154

Early spring in two of the community gardens of Skwácháy̓s: Strathcona & Cottonwood

orchard looking north, Strathcona Community Garden, north central Skwácháy̓s,
formerly marine and well below the 1917 low-tide line * 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9912
“BEEAWARE” sign, Strathcona Community Garden, north central Skwácháy̓s,
formerly marine and well below the 1917 low-tide line * 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9915
orchard looking west with Vancouver Fire Department tower in distance,
Strathcona Community Garden, north central Skwácháy̓s, formerly marine
and well below the 1917 low-tide line * 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9916
discarded sleeping bag, Strathcona Community Garden, north central Skwácháy̓s,
formerly marine and well below the 1917 low-tide line * 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9918
pond, Strathcona Community Garden, north central Skwácháy̓s, formerly
marine and well below the 1917 low-tide line * 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9920
pond, Strathcona Community Garden, north central Skwácháy̓s, formerly
marine and well below the 1917 low-tide line * 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9932
mulch-making, Strathcona Community Garden, north central Skwácháy̓s,
formerly marine and well below the 1917 low-tide line * 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9930
blooming cherry tea looking west with Vancouver Fire Department tower in background, Strathcona Community Garden, north central Skwácháy̓s, formerly tidal (on the east side of Crabapple Point) and well below the 1917 high-tide line * 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9954
The southern half of Strathcona Park looking east from near Malkin and
Hawks Avenues with homeless encampment in distance,
Cottonwood Community Garden, north central Skwácháy̓s, formerly
marine and well below the 1917 low-tide line * 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9922

homeless encampment in Strathcona Park viewed from near Hawks and
Malkin Avenues, north central Skwácháy̓s, formerly marine and well
below the 1917 low-tide line * 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9935
homeless encampment in Strathcona Park viewed from Cottonwood
Community Garden, north central Skwácháy̓s, formerly marine and
well below the 1917 low-tide line * 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9937
homeless encampment in Strathcona Park viewed from Cottonwood
Community Garden, north central Skwácháy̓s, formerly marine and
well below the 1917 low-tide line * 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9940
homeless encampment in Strathcona Park viewed from Cottonwood
Community Garden, north central Skwácháy̓s, formerly marine and well
below the 1917 low-tide line * 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9950
‘NO CAMPING WILDLIFE PARK’ sign, Cottonwood Community
Garden, north central Skwácháy̓s, formerly marine and well below
the 1917 low-tide line * 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9952
“This hill…” sign, Cottonwood Community Garden, north central Skwácháy̓s, formerly
marine and well below the 1917 low-tide line * 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9953

‘hole in bottom’ sculptural remnants, soon to be obliterated, at Prior and Station Streets below the shores of north-western Skwácháy̓s

Looking south from Prior Street just east of Station Street, we can see the depths of once
was the north-west of historic Skwácháy̓s. Until recently the site of an early twentieth-
century warehouse, this expanse is part of the construction site for the north-western portion of the new St. Paul’s Hospital that broke ground this week. The sites on the
other side of the fence were part of the historic tidal flats with much of the area
portrayed across the horizon, largely marine inlet. Where this image was taken was
roughly along the east shore of the point that connected north to Chinatown and
that extended south to Thornton Park and the location of the 1916-17 national train
station that still operates today. South of this point was a passage of water called
KIWAHUSKS (‘two points opposite’). Much of this area is below sea level or will be
in the coming decades as marine intrusion intensifies. 2021 March 11 * P3A9885
Looking east from Station Street just south of Prior Street, we can see the low-tide line of what was once was the north-west shore of historic Skwácháy̓s. Until recently the site of an early twentieth-century warehouse, This expanse is part of the construction site for the north-western portion of the new St. Paul’s Hospital that broke ground this week. Where
this image was taken was roughly along the east shore of the point that connected north
to Chinatown and that extended south to Thornton Park and the location of the 1916-17 national train station that still operates today. South of this point was a passage of water called KIWAHUSKS (‘two points opposite’). Much of this area is below sea level or will be
in the coming decades as marine intrusion intensifies. 2021 March 11 * E 1P3A9873
Looking east from Station Street just south of Prior Street, we can see signs of ongoing
saltwater intrusion near the low-tide line of what was once was the north-west shore
of historic Skwácháy̓s. Until recently the site of an early twentieth-century warehouse,
this expanse is part of the construction site for the north-western portion of the new
St. Paul’s Hospital that broke ground this week. Where this image was taken was
roughly along the east shore of the point that connected north to Chinatown and that extended south to Thornton Park and the location of the 1916-17 national train
station that still operates today. South of this point was a passage of water called
KIWAHUSKS (‘two points opposite’). Much of this area is below sea level or will be
in the coming decades as marine intrusion intensifies. 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9876
Looking south from Prior Street just east of Station Street, we can see the depths of
once was the north-west of historic Skwácháy̓s. Until recently the site of an
early twentieth-century warehouse, this expanse is part of the construction site
for the north-western portion of the new St. Paul’s Hospital that broke ground this
week. The sites on the other side of the fence were part of the historic tidal
flats with much of the area portrayed across the horizon, largely marine
inlet. Where this image was taken was roughly along the east shore of the
point that connected north to Chinatown and that extended south to
Thornton Park and the location of the 1916-17 national train station that
still operates today. South of this point was a passage of water called
KIWAHUSKS (‘two points opposite’). Much of this area is below sea level or will be
in the coming decades as marine intrusion intensifies. 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9890
Looking east from Station Street just south of Prior Street, we can see a marker that
is roughly on the site of the low-tide mark below the north-western shore of historic Skwácháy̓s. Until recently the site of an early twentieth-century warehouse, this
expanse is part of the construction site for the north-western portion of the new St.
Paul’s Hospital that broke ground this week. The sites on the other side of the fence
were part of the historic tidal flats with much of the area portrayed across the horizon,
largely marine inlet. Where this image was taken was roughly along the east shore of
the point that connected north to Chinatown and that extended south to Thornton
Park and the location of the 1916-17 national train station that still operates today.
South of this point was a passage of water called KIWAHUSKS (‘two points opposite’).
Much of this area is below sea level or will be in the coming decades as marine
intrusion intensifies. 2021 March 11 * 1P3A9900