1801 | Construction of Lions Gate Bridge

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

Vancouverites would go and see the best free show in town: watching the bridge come together and marking its progress. Its highly visible location meant that construction became a great public event. Newspapers commented daily on the developments. Here people watch from a gazebo near the frame house of waterworks caretaker Frank Harris, a well-known character who brought up 10 children there with his wife, Lily. Both structures have since been demolished. On that day, someone showed up in a 1920s roadster to watch the creeper being taken down on the finished north tower. Building a bridge was and is a unique construction puzzle. It is a far trickier undertaking than building a house, as each portion must support itself until the entire structure hangs together as a unit. One can only wonder at the complexity of the calculations, made at that time with nothing more technologically advanced than a slide rule.

  • What

    Photographer David Loughnan's caption for this picture reads, "North Shore tower now finished and creeper being taken down from top."

  • Where

    This view is from the seawall walk in Stanley Park, which still offers citizens and visitors the most dramatic views of the bridge.

  • When

    This photograph was taken on April 24, 1938.

  • Who

    Frank Harris, the "merry sage of Stanley Park," maintained water pipes that carried Capilano River water to Vancouver across the bottom of the First Narrows.