Unlocking North Vancouver History

Building a Vancouver Icon: The Lions Gate Bridge


Some of the bridge’s original, elegant architectural details have been removed over time, including this finial from an original lamp standard. The architects and designers took great care with the aesthetics of the bridge. The towers and its components taper gracefully and feature rhythmic cross-bracing as well as perforated curve braces above the roadway and at the [object=5303]top[/object]. The design of the south plaza, north anchor and administration building shows the streamlined detailing of late Art Deco or Art Moderne stylings then popular across the continent. The project turned out so well that three copycat bridges were built including one across Halifax harbour, Nova Scotia. Even the Dominion Bridge Company stated, in its corporate history, that the Lions Gate Bridge “in the opinion of many people is among the continent’s most beautiful pieces of bridge engineering.”

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This finial once topped one of the bridge’s original lamp. The sodium-vapour lamps cast a yellowish light that was more effective in foggy conditions.

The light fixtures were staggered along the length of the bridge to illuminate the roadway.

This finial was likely removed during the 1970s renovations by Buckland & Taylor Ltd. An unknown donor brought it to the North Vancouver Museum and Archives.

Partners C. N. Monsarrat and P. L. Pratley designed the architectural details in conjunction with Montreal architect John W. Wood. The administration building and toll booths were by Vancouver architects Palmer & Bow.

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