Photos: Masoud


Countries: America / Canada


Capilano Suspension Bridge

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British Columbia, North Vancouver
 
 

3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver, BC, V7R 4J1
Phone: (604) 985 7474
Open daily 9:30-17

http://www.CapBridge.com

It was about 1890 that George Mackay discovered the spot, where Capliano Suspension Bridge now stands. Impressed by the beauty of the land, he built a cabin for himself and his wife. Then, with the help of local natives and a team of horses, he pulled taut the first cedar plank and hemp rope bridge 450 feet across and 230 feet above Capilano River.

Mackay's friends began their journey to the bridge by crossing Burrard Inlet abroad the S.S. Senator. A long trek up the rough trail that is new Capilano Road led to their being dubbed, Capilano Tramps. The encumbrances of their dress did little to deter the spirited adventurers, who steadily visited the bridge. It was such a popular attraction that a second, and more secure, wire bridge was built in 1903. Another wire bridge, with both cable ends firmly encased in concrete, was built in 1914.

In 1911, the Tea House (now the Trading Post) was built on the edge of Capilano Canyon. Later, during 1930s, bridge owner, Mac MacEachran, initiated the tradition of inviting local natives to place their totem poles on the grounds. The totems, you see here today, are maintained in the exact condition, in which they were received about 1940. This is unlike many of the poles, you may see elsewhere, which have been allowed to deteriorate with the passage of time.

During this 1930's Depression, two Danish carvers, Aage Madsen and Karl Hansen, arrived at the Bridge to sell their craft. In return for provisions and shelter in a small shack, on the far side of the Canyon, they carved the life sized native Indian statues that are scattered throughout the Park. The European perception of natives is apparent in the Plains Indian attire of the figures.

The only exception is the carving of Mary Capilano, who is dressed in typical West Coast fashion with papoose Mathias Joe Capilano on her back. Mary was the only local native the two carvers had actually met.

In 1956, the present bridge was built. This time the pre-stressed wire cables were encased in 13 tons of concrete at either end.

Several attractions have been added to the Park in 1990s, including The Story Center and Living Forest Exhibits, the cantilevered deck along the Canyon edge, The big house native carving center, the Pioneer Garden and the Loggers' Grill...

 

 

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