The E&N Railway and Its "Ties" to Comox Valley Real Estate

The E&N Railway line is an important piece of Comox Valley’s history and it is also a surprising part of Comox Valley real estate. Originally called the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway, the line was built in 1884. The name is apt, as the original line was intended to go between Esquimalt and Nanaimo.  A couple of years later, in 1886, Sir John A. MacDonald drove the last spike at Cliffside, near Shawnigan Lake. One of the most notable things about this particular line though, is that it was an integral part of the agreement that brought BC into Canada. Intercolonial railways were already part of the Constitution Act of 1867. When Canada was looking to bring British Columbia into the country, BC was promised a part of this railway in exchange for joining the rest of Canada. In this particular time, that meant significant growth potential, since railways represented import and export of important resources.


On the Island, the original line wasn’t extended as far north as the Comox Valley until 1914, when Courtenay was added. With railways still providing a boost to trade, this allowed the Comox Valley to bring its vast array of natural resources into the global marketplace. While the line is no longer active ,it still lives on as a multi-use path called the Rotary Trail. Instead of train cars, the path hosts a variety of pedestrians, from bikers and runners to pups and families.


“Tying” It In To Comox Valley Real Estate


What does this have to do with Comox Valley real estate? Land titles for many homes in Comox Valley real estate still hold the E&N notation on them, all the way from the year 1899! Historically, this notation on the title allowed E&N to come into the land and further develop the railway as they needed to. This notation gave them access to lumber and other resources on land, as well as affording them the opportunity to build on the land in other ways, such as workshops. Now, with the land being developed for residential use, this notation doesn’t have the same relevance in Comox Valley real estate as it once did. However, it does make a good case for reviewing your title.

Notations like these are just one of several things you can find on your land title. It’s important to read and review your title so you know what’s going on with your property. Aside from notations, land titles give a clear picture of who owns the land and has the rights to it. In the event of any questions of ownership, this document is legal proof of the owner, so it’s especially important to make sure it’s up to date. Making sure your title is registered and current also allows for an easier transfer of ownership when you’re selling your property to someone else or buying another person’s property. This is important to consider if you’re planning on getting into the Comox Valley real estate market, as this will save you time!


Railways do have ties to Comox Valley real estate and the E&N railway is a special piece of history for our beautiful region. Looking to sell your property or thinking of buying in the Comox Valley real estate market? Have a question about land titles or the transfer of ownership during a sale of real estate? We can help and we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today!