B.C. land needed for Trans Mountain pipeline owned by man who died in 1922

Trans Mountain is looking for heirs so it can gain access to 500 square feet of land

Trans Mountain Pipeline is having trouble finding the owner of a small piece of Langley property it needs to build its oil pipeline expansion, because the registered owner of the land has been dead for almost a century.

James C. Kavanagh, who was born around 1850 and died in 1922, is the registered owner of two lots that are bisected by the Canadian National Railway tracks north of Walnut Grove.

The two lots – assessed at $9,000 for the larger and just $200 for the smaller by B.C. Assessment – include land needed for the right of way and for work sites for the pipeline expansion. Trans Mountain needs just 10 metres of land on the smaller lot for the actual right of way.

But before construction can begin, they have to notify landowners and gain their permission to cross their land. That’s proved difficult for a man who lived in the Vancouver area briefly and has been dead for 97 years.

To try to locate first Kavanagh, and later his descendents who might have inherited the land, Trans Mountain has embarked on a search through legal archives, and from Langley to California and Connecticut.

Born in Niagara Falls in 1850, Kavanagh was a businessman and financier who started out as a postmaster in Brandon, Manitoba, according to a report created for Trans Mountain.

He eventually became a hotelier in Winnipeg, moved to Vancouver by the 1910s, and in 1911 he acquired the land in Langley, just as the Canadian National Railway tracks were being laid.

Kavanagh moved to California a few years later, where one of his daughters had settled with her husband. He died in Los Angeles.

Trans Mountain filed documents with the National Energy Board documenting the search for the true owner of the land.

Kavanagh’s will showed he left all his property to his wife Helen (Nellie) Irene Kavanagh, who is also now long since deceased.

But no will could be found for Nellie Kavanagh.

Trans Mountain then commissioned a genealogy search and found multiple descendents, including two elderly granddaughters of the Kavanaghs, both living in the United States. One is living in Norwalk, Connecticut, and the other in La Jolla, California. The pipeline company has tried to contact both women.

To attempt to find the real owner of the land, Trans Mountain has bought ads in multiple newspapers, including the Langley Advance Times, and papers in La Jolla and Norwalk, trying to notify Kavanagh’s descendents of their interest in the property.

Trans Mountain is required to reach agreements for access with each landowner along the route of the expanded pipeline. If no agreement can be reached, the Canadian Energy Regulatory may ultimately grant Trans Mountain right to enter the property in any case.

READ MORE: Thousands of landowners on Trans Mountain pipeline route have yet to grant access

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Provincial success stands out at Cowichan Secondary awards

Wrestling, basketball and field hockey teams earn recognition in shortened year

One piper piping during the pandemic

Tribute to health care workers reaches the 100th performance

Don’t feed the bears, BCCOS warns, after incidents in Cowichan

People have been spotted trying to feed bear near Youbou

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Most Read