The Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver

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It was more than 100 years ago that George Grant Mackay discovered the spot where Capilano 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 the local Indians, August Jack and Willie Khahtsahlano and a team of horses, he pulled taut the first hemp rope and cedar plank bridge 450 feet across the Capilano River.

Mackay’s friends began their journey to the bridge by crossing Burrard Inlet aboard the S.S.


A long trek up the rough trail that is now Capilano Road led to their being dubbed The 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 cable ends firmly encased in concrete, was built in 1914.

It is the ultimate tourist attraction: wilderness a few minutes from downtown, a hair-raising sense of danger when you walk 70 meters (more than 200 feet) above the yawning chasm of the Capilano River on a 450-foot bridge that seems to respond to every step you make, photo stops, a souvenir shop, teahouse, native carving displays, etc.

The sheer granite cliffs of the Capilano Canyon were carved out more than a hundred centuries ago by natural water courses left behind by glacial action.

Visitors from all over the world now flock to Capilano Suspension Bridge.

In 1911, the Tea House (now the trading post) was built on the edge of Capilano Canyon.

Later, during the 1930s, bridge owner Mac MacEachran initiated the tradition of inviting local Indians to place their totem poles on the grounds.

The totems now present are those originals poles, maintained in the exact condition in which they were received more than 60 years ago.

In 1956 the present suspension bridge was built.

This time the pre-stressed wire cables were encased in 13 tons of concrete at either end.

Capilano Suspension Bridge is conveniently located 10 minutes from downtown Vancouver through Stanley Park over Lions Gate Bridge and north 1 mile on Capilano Road.

From the Trans-Canada Highway take the Capilano Road exit and travel north half a mile.

The Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park is open every day except Christmas Day.

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