Public domain image courtesy of the New Westminster Archives.

1867 photograph shows Columbia Street between 4th street and Church street. The building on the left is the 1860-61 Hicks building and stone building next to it is Captain Millard’s block which was built at a cost of $40,000 in 1863. Across the street, the building with the cupola is the 1862 firehall.

As the townsite developed in the early to mid 1860’s, roads were layed out based on Col. Moody’s plan. In some places, such as Columbia Street and Carnarvon Street substantial bridges were built to cross fairly wide and deep ravines. The ravines are not apparent on maps until the first Goad’s Fire Atlas, published in 1897. This map shows the presence of several ravines. A particularly large, deep ravine running south from Clarkson between Fourth Street and Church Street, across Victoria. The “Lofty Wooden Bridge” (as noted on the map) crosses the ravine along Carnarvon Street. A note on the map shows the ravine to be 30 feet deep.

Courtesy of the New Westminster Public Library

Credited to the Chas. E. Goad Company.

The Department of Works in the 1900 city Annual Report describes  a tunnel under Lytton Square, which was installed to drain a ravine in the government reserve.

Present Day

Carnarvon street, where a bridge was present running perpendicular to the ravine.

Current construction where the former ravine was located in the downtown area.

Remnants of former ravine in downtown, easily identified by growing vegetation and steep sides.

Clarkson street, where a former bridge ran perpendicular to the ravine. Located behind Columbia Skytrain Station.