Vancouver Lions Gate Bridge Old and New

75th Anniversary of the Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver

75th Anniversary of the Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver 1938-2013.

We’ll be celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Lions Gate Bridge which opened on November 12, 1938.

The 75-year-old span officially took its place as No. 63 on the Vancouver Heritage Foundation‘s list of Places That Matter in July 2013. The Lions Gate Bridge, officially opened in 1938 and was known as the First Narrows Bridge. It is a suspension bridge that crosses the first narrows of Burrard Inlet and connects the City of Vancouver, British Columbia, to the North Shore municipalities of the District of North Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver, and West Vancouver.

Some of the most magnificent views of the Lions Gate Bridge can be found from Stanley Park and the Sea Wall. The ‘Lions’ in Lions Gate refers to the connection between Vancouver to North Vancouver and a pair of mountain peaks in north Vancouver that resemble a pair of cat or cougar ears. (Perhaps we should be Cougar Town?!)

[Lions Gate Bridge under construction] 1938
City of Vancouver Archives – Flickr AM640-: CVA 260-881
Lions Gate Bridge - from Stanley Park
Lions Gate Bridge – from Stanley Park
[Cars and pedestrians on the Lions Gate Bridge] 1939
City of Vancouver Archives – Flickr AM640-: CVA 260-983
Miniature Lions in Stanley Park
Miniature Lions in Stanley Park
Lions Gate Bridge - from Stanley Park
Lions Gate Bridge – from Stanley Park

Lions Gate Bridge - from Stanley Park Sea Wall
Lions Gate Bridge – from Stanley Park Sea Wall
Lions Gate Bridge - from Stanley Park Sea Wall
Lions Gate Bridge – from Stanley Park Sea Wall
[The Lions Gate Bridge under construction] 1938
City of Vancouver Archives AM640-S1-: CVA 260-805
Lions Gate Bridge - from Stanley Park Sea Wall
Lions Gate Bridge – from Stanley Park Sea Wall
[Union steam ship passing under the Lions Gate Bridge under construction] City of Vancouver Archives AM640-S1-: CVA 260-863
Lions Gate Bridge - from Stanley Park Sea Wall
Lions Gate Bridge – from Stanley Park Sea Wall
[View of] Lions Gate Bridge [looking north]1940 (Creation)
City of Vancouver Archives AM1545-S3-: CVA 586-462
The total length of the bridge including the north viaduct is 1,823 metres (5,890 feet). The length including approach spans is 1,517.3 m (4,978 ft), the main span alone is 473 m (1,550 ft), the tower height is 111 m (364 ft), and it has a ship’s clearance of 61 m (200 ft). Prospect Point in Stanley Park offered a good high south end to the bridge, but the low flat delta land to the north required construction of the extensive North Viaduct.

The bridge has three reversible lanes, the use of which is indicated by signals. The centre lane changes direction to accommodate for traffic patterns. The traffic volume on the bridge is 60,000 – 70,000 vehicles per day. Trucks exceeding 13 tonnes (14.3 tons) are prohibited, as are vehicles using studded tires. The bridge forms part of Highways 99 and 1A.

Visit the City of Vancouver Archives
Discover your home’s history. There are so many great historic photographs of the construction of the Lions Gate Bridge on the City of Vancouver Archives website.
Vancouver, BC Canada

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