Delta is an important community that badly needed a bridge and tram.
That was the agreement among delegates at a joint boards of trade meeting involving Delta, Vancouver, South Vancouver and New Westminster 107 years ago.
A story in the March 23, 1912 edition of The Delta Times reported on the meeting which included a presentation by Thomas E. Ladner, who spoke of the desire of the people of Delta to secure the cooperation of surrounding boards of trade for a bridge to connect with the cities of Vancouver and New Westminster.
“At the present time, although Ladner was a bare 15 miles from the heart of Vancouver, it was an all-day trip to get in and out. There was no doubt that another bridge would have to be built across the Fraser River as the present bridge in New Westminster had about all it could handle, according to reports. The Delta country was well worth tapping, as it held possibilities for the raising of an almost unlimited quantity of vegetables and cereals for the supply of the rapidly-growing coast markets. He considered it too bad that Vancouver dealers should send so much of their money across the line when they could keep that money within the province by simply cultivating the trade at their own doors. Delta boasted a population of some 4,000 people and the land could easily provide a livelihood for forty thousand,” the article read.
Also highlighting what Delta had to offer, according to the article, Ladner said, “The district needed tram connection with the cities and needed them badly.”
The Fraser River Bridge at New Westminster in 1908 - Delta Archives photo
The article also read, “Mr. D. Burgess, of South Vancouver, was heartily in accord with all Mr. Ladner had said and believed that Delta was entitled to a bridge and its constituency stated that they were prepared to do all within their power to secure for Delta the facilities required. The city was fast stretching out and it would be but a short time before the Delta would be within ten miles of Vancouver. Fraser Road had now been renamed Fraser Street and a tramline was pushing along in that direction and would soon be available to provide the described land connection for bridging purposes.”
The article noted the delegates agreed to set up a pair of committees to look into the proposals.
The article later read that Delta Reeve John Oliver agreed that there needed to be a direct connection with Vancouver but a Delta bridge project would be an expensive one, double the cost of the bridge at New Westminster.
The Ladner-Richmond ferry service began 1913 but a new crossing in the form of a tunnel wouldn’t come until 1959.