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Delta throwback: Only community's foundations remain

The buildings were all moved away, leaving the foundations and streets as remnants

Let’s head back to the July 1972 pages of the Optimist to see the buildings of a once bustling community in East Ladner coming down.

Preparations got underway for moving the 120 housing units from the former Canadian Armed Forces Base, also was known as the Vancouver Wireless Station, to four B.C. First Nation settlements.

The houses were moved under a contract with Apex Building Movers Ltd in the early morning hours to avoid congesting traffic in the area.

The station once gathered Soviet communications during the Cold War. It closed in 1971, due to the installation of nearby power lines in Ladner that made gathering signals difficult.

The wireless station's operations relocated to Masset, B.C.

In 1971, Isabel Dawson, provincial minister without portfolio, toured the base and outlined a proposal to use the site for low-income and seniors housing, expressing enthusiasm about the potential of the residential community in the area.

“It’s a shame to see all these homes vacant when everywhere people are crying out for more housing,” she said.

She outlined the government’s policy of low-income housing which included low-cost housing units, much like cottages, grouped together, preferably near a personal care facility.

The Crown Assets Disposal Corporation, into whose hands the future of the base rested, had planned to dispose the site, but the housing idea never got off the ground.

The site is now known as the North 40 Park Reserve, a popular off-leash dog area for Delta.