Lions Gate Bridge
The Lions Gate Bridge stands as one of the most photographed and sought-after landmarks, not just in Vancouver but in Canada. This uniquely designed bridge comes with 3 lanes.
Lions Gate Bridge is located on the Northside of Stanley Park, just east of Prospect Point. The twin tower bridge bisects Stanley Park and leads straight into West Vancouver.
Believe it or not, the Lions Gate Bridge was at some point the longest suspension bridge in the British Empire.
Why Is It Called The Lions Gate Bridge?
As at when it was being created, the Lions Gate Bridge was one of the biggest construction projects. There could be a correlation between the size of the project and the Lion part of its name.
More importantly, the bridge was named after 2 pointed peaks of the North Shore Mountain Range. The name of the three peaks happens to be The Lions.
Also, to commemorate this name, the entrance of this bridge has 2 Art Deco lion figures. Interestingly, they were renditions from one of the finest sculptors from Vancouver: Charles Marega.
What Is The History Behind The Lions Gate Bridge?
The Lions Gate Bridge is an embodiment of history. Let’s go back to the year 1938 when this bridge came to life.
Guinness provided the funding for this project. The brewing company wanted to provide access to its British properties in West Vancouver. The locales were at first opposed to the idea of having such a large bridge go through the neighbourhood.
But when they realized the number of jobs to be provided, they changed their mind. The Lions Gate Bridge was officially opened on May 29, 1939.
This was during a time when King George VI and Queen Elizabeth had a royal visit to Canada. At that time, the toll charge was 25 cents per horse/carriage. The charge was then reduced to 5 cents per pedestrian or bicycle.
Early 1955, the Guinness family sold the bridge to the province of British Columbia for over 5 million dollars. This paved the way for so many changes that took place.
This suspension bridge has a total length of 1,823m. It records daily traffic between 60,000 and 70,000.
Later on, a third lane was created to accommodate the increasing traffic volume on the bridge. It remained a toll gate until 1963. The bridge went through a couple of refurbishments between 2000 and 2001.
This process saw the 47 deck sections being replaced.
Relevance of The Lions Gate Bridge
- It is common to see this bridge on television. Lions Gate Bridge usually symbolizes Vancouver. If you are a hockey fan, you would have seen the bridge during the NHL telecast.
- This bridge appeared on the set of the 2011 blockbuster movie Final Destination 5.
- The Lions Gate Bridge makes for beautiful photographs. If you want to take pictures, one of the best spots is on the north side of the Stanley Park Seawall. You can stand at the Prospect Point Lookout at Stanley Park for the best shots.
Points to Note
- So, the bridge comes with three lanes. Two of these lanes head to Downtown Vancouver during the morning rush hour. Also, during rush hour at the end of the day, two lanes are heading to the North Shore. During this time, avoid traveling at peak times so that you don’t get stuck in traffic. You don’t want to be headed in a congested direction.
- One of the most thrilling ways to cross the Lions Gate Bridge is via bicycle. You can take a beautiful bike ride to downtown Vancouver. The path goes through Coal Harbour, to Stanley Park, and then over the bridge.