A Japanese-style bridge on the historic rail grade trail between Cumberland Chinatown and No. 1 Japanese Town will be officially unveiled this Saturday at 10 a.m.
This project was made possible by financial support from many generous individuals and organizations, as well as in-kind donations, the Village of Cumberland and the Coal Creek Historic Park Advisory Committee (CCHPAC) announced in a joint press release.
The bridge was designed and built by Island TimberFrame and features carvings of a chrysanthemum and “tranquility” in Kanji (Japanese characters) by local craftsman Rick Olson. Much consultation between a working group of CCHPAC and Island TimberFrame led to the project design.
Cumberland Credit Union (First Credit Union); McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd., Kate Greening; Trilogy Properties VI Corporation; Sun Coast Waste Services; Cumberland and Royston Lions Club; Comox Valley Economic Development Society; Vancouver Island Real Estate Board; Vancouver Island Insurance Centres; Island TimberFrame; Rick Olson; CCHPAC working group (Ray Iwaasa; David Kydd; Tats Aoki; Bernice Takahashi; Mas Aida; Tako Kiyono); the Toronto-based No.1 Town Former Residents Group; Perseverance Creek Streamkeepers Society and Village staff made the bridge possible.
The bridge crosses a low point on the trail that is used by fish and other aquatic creatures to move between the ponds on either side of the raised railway bed.
The bridge literally and symbolically connects the two former town sites: Chinatown (1888-1968) and No. 1 Mine Japanese Town (1893-1942). The railway line was completed in 1889 and transported coal from Cumberland (then Union) mines to the deep- sea port at Union Bay until 1935. The tracks were removed in 1953.
This well-used trail along ponds, wetlands and forest is part of the route for major mountain bike races, attracts bird-watchers, and is a favourite recreational walking and cycling path for locals and visitors alike.
— Village of Cumberland