Unlocking North Vancouver History

Wilderness on the Doorstep: Vancouver’s Mountain Playground

Mushroom Shelter

Many people recall the old mushroom shelter with affection. It stood in a parking lot at the end of the first road up Mount Seymour, a 1920s logging road that led to a 500-m elevation. Visitors could drive there or take the Neville Bus Line, which operated through the ’30s. The mushroom was the start of the long trek to cabins built on the upper slopes of Mount Seymour. The cosy, rustic atmosphere changed with the opening of a highway to the top of the mountain on December 9, 1950, which began a new era focussed on skiing. Now people could drive up, ski and return home the same day; the mushroom shelter and parking lot fell into disuse. Most of the original cabins stood in the area of today’s ski slopes and few remain. The provincial government bought out Harold Enquist’s early ski lodge and installed the first permanent rope tow in 1951, followed by the Mystery Peak chairlift a decade later.

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The mushroom shelter played an important role as a bulletin board to the outdoors enthusiasts participating in cabin culture.

The shelter stood in the parking lot at the end of the first road that went partway up Mount Seymour. Its remains can still be seen off the Baden-Powell Trail.

The mushroom was fashioned in the ’20s from a red-cedar stump topped with a shingled roof and served as a notice board throughout the ’30s.

Early hikers used the mushroom shelter to post notices or learn about meetings and dances, including Sadie Hawkins Days, when the girls would ask the boys to a dance.

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