Capilano Suspension Bridge
In 1888, George Grant Mackay, a Scottish civil engineer and land developer, arrived in the young city of Vancouver in Canada. Mackay purchased 6,000 acres of dense forest, which spanned both sides of the Capilano River. He built a cabin on the very edge of the canyon wall. Not quite knowing what he was going to do with the land at the time, George bought it stating tourism, mining and logging purposes.
In order to cross the 230-foot deep Capilano Canyon and access the west side of his property, George decided to build a suspension bridge. Assisted by two First Nations persons, George built the first Capilano Suspension Bridge out of cedar planks and hemp rope. It was secured at both ends to two-cedar stumps buried underground. The bridge was 450 feet (137 meters) long and 230 feet (70 meters) high, making it to this day, the world's longest/largest combined suspension footbridge! To get to Capilano Suspension Bridge in the early 1900s you had to: 1) take the trolley to the Vancouver ferry dock, 2) take the ferry to North Vancouver, 3) take another trolley to the last stop on Capilano Road and 4) walk 1 mile to the bridge! This is why the courageous souls who braved the expedition to visit the suspension bridge were called “Tramps” - they had to tramp through bushes all the way up the mountainside to reach the bridge! The hemp rope bridge was replaced by a wire cable bridge in 1903. In 1910 Edward Mahon purchased the Capilano Suspension Bridge. "Mac" MacEachran purchased the Bridge from Mahon in 1935 and invited local natives to place their totem poles in the park, adding a native theme. In 1945, he sold the bridge to Henri Aubeneau.
The bridge was completely rebuilt in 1956.
Capilano Suspension Bridge crosses towering evergreens, cedar-scented rainforest air and Treetops Adventure, 7 suspended footbridges offering views 100 feet above the forest floor. The new Cliffwalk follows a granite precipice along Capilano River with a labyrinth-like series of narrow cantilevered bridges, stairs and platforms and only 16 anchor points in the cliff supporting the structure! For additional information, please go to the Historical Overview of Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. (June 12, 2014) [B]