1772 | Construction of Lions Gate Bridge

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Construction of Lions Gate Bridge
David Loughnan
March 1938, 20th century
13 x 9 cm
This artefact belongs to : © North Vancouver Museum and Archives
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Keys to History

The bridge's 364-foot (111-m) steel towers were built on top of cross-shaped, steel-slab tower shoes bolted to the foundation piers. The 22-ton (20-t) tower sections, which had been fabricated at the Dominion Bridge plant nearby in Burnaby, were moved into position using a contraption called the creeper traveller. This was a stiff-leg derrick with a 30-foot (9-m) mast and a 50-foot (15-m) boom, capable of travelling up and down. It moved upward as the tower rose. Erection of the south tower began first. As it neared completion, workers placed the Union Jack -- still the official flag of Canada at the time- on top as a celebratory symbol. Zoom in to see it in this picture. The south tower was finished on March 10, 1938, and the creeper was dismantled and transferred to the north side.

  • What

    "Flying the Union Jack, a steelworker's tradition when the top is reached. The south tower nears completion," wrote photographer David Loughnan as a caption for this picture.

  • Where

    This snapshot of the south tower would have been taken near the northern end of the new causeway through Stanley Park.

  • When

    This photograph was taken on March 9, 1938, almost a year after construction began.

  • Who

    The federal government formally replaced the Union Jack as Canada's official flag with the Red Ensign in 1945. The current maple leaf flag took over in 1965.