History of the Garden
Work began on the site in 1985. The present garden contains approximately one acre each of orchard and herb garden, wild area, and plots. In 1993, the garden was granted a 10-year lease with the City of Vancouver.
The area is tidal flats, coastal rainforest, and a stream estuary.
Once the Canadian Pacific Railway reaches the coast, the land around false creek begins to be developed. Industrial and domestic wastes are released into False Creek Flats.
Great Northern Railway and Canadian National Railway are given title to all land below the high tide mark. The inlet is dammed at Main Street, and the flats are drained during the following decades.
Both garden sites still contain open water but are isolated from tidal flow. Strathcona develops into a working class residential neighbourhood. The area is used for pasture, swimming and city dumps.
A hobo shack town develops on the Strathcona Garden site during the Depression. After it is destroyed by the City, an initiative to establish a recreational park begins.
Work on False Creek Park 9renamed Strathcona Park) gets underway with filling of the remaining wet areas. Before the park is completed, Canada enters W.W.II and the area is used as a military training field.
More filling is done as the water has returned. The Cottonwood Garden is filled with alternating layers of garbage and soil. The area south of the gardens, part of the original park area, is developed into a vegetable wholesaling area. The parkland is split when Hawks Ave. is continued through to Malkin Ave.
The area is used as a city works yard.
A new freeway route is proposed through the southern areas of the two garden sites. The construction of the fire station at the west side of the Strathcona garden reduced the park area further.