After many years of many people putting in a lot of effort towards constructing Leeside Tunnel into a concrete skate park, the rights to use the space were suddenly jeopardized. On the night of January 21st 2014, 2 men walked into the tunnel and lit fire to an area that was set up with forms and fill to build the next big piece to the park. This fire got hot fast and actually burnt through the concrete of the wall causing it to crumble and leave bare re-bar showing. All of a sudden the city of Vancouver had cause to worry, and this has happened before in the past. At that time the city actually did try to shut down this place by filling it with gravel and steam rolling it down. Every day since the skaters started to build concrete obstacles down there there was always the concern that the city would just come down one day and bulldoze it all down, but we kept on building. And it got to a point where the city accepted it and knew it was happening. Now an issue like this makes for scary moments.
According to Anti Social Skate Shop, the Vancouver Parks Board has responded in the best way they could. The Engineers who showed up to inspect reported that the structural damage is not a s serious as we feared. The city will take initiative to pressure wash the smoke damage and do whatever repairs necessary right away and hopefully the Leeside Memorial Tunnel will reopen in the next week or 2 which means the construction can continue.
This is a great lesson to everyone in many ways and it always comes down to one main lesson – never take things for granted. We work so hard as a group to build something amazing, and then 1 or 2 people ruin it for everyone just like that. The tunnel will reopen luckily, but there are still 2 guilty people out there who need to be caught…
Watch for random fundraisers coming up to help bring this place back to life.<b