Eve Lazarus photo
In one of those utterly cool moments The Richmond News reports that the historian of the North Vancouver Museum and Archives received a call that there was something that might be of interest in the Burnaby Hospice Thrift Store on Kingsway. That store had received a scale model of the Lions Gate Bridge which was six feet long. The model which was about 24 years old was for sale in the 200 dollar range, and had a unique feature~it was a twinned model of the bridge. 
And it also had the initials of a great Canadian architect~Moshe Safdie. While the original bridge was opened in 1938, the 1990’s had brought discussions about how to repair the bridge. There was also discussion of a complete bridge replacement.  It was the Squamish nation on lands on the north side of the bridge who advocated the twinning of the bridge and produced the model with Moshe Safdie of Habitat 67 and the downtown Vancouver library fame. Mr. Safdie had partnered with the engineering firm of SNC~Lavalin to produce schematics and a model.

The intent was to build an identical bridge to the east of the original bridge structure that would carry traffic in one direction, while the older bridge would carry vehicles in the other direction. The new bridge was to be tolled but unfortunately would have also required a wide swath of Stanley Park for pilings and footings.
The Province in the 1990’s chose the cheapest option to bridge renewal, widening the existing three lane bridge, and redoing the main bridge deck. Designated a National Historic Site in 2005, the bridge still remains one of the main ways to access North and West Vancouver. The Province chose the cheapest and least controversial option, electing to widen the three-lane existing bridge and replace the main bridge deck.
In 2005, the Lions Gate Bridge was designated a National Historic Site of Canada. Eve Lazarus’ blog contains a further description and photos of the proposed bridge twinning.
lions-gate-bridge-1940-cva-586-462Don Coltman photo 


  1. Some of the proposals from the time proposed to double deck the causeway (adding an underground level, by trenching then decking over).
    This proposal may have included such an option, although not shown on the model.
    (Also note that other proposals at the time included double decking the bridge itself, but that would have required height extensions to the towers to take the additional load).

  2. Maybe the second bridge could accommodate a SkyTrain line to the North Shore, running under the Stanley Park causeway. Call it the Mountain Line.

  3. In the 1990s the Lions Gate Bridge had three lanes of traffic, as it had for decades and after renovations in 2000 and 2001 it too had, and has, three lanes of traffic.

  4. Eve Lazurus may have provided the photograph from 1940 but the photographer and the correct attribution should go to the creator – Don Coltman.

  5. Perhaps we should be thinking about the agreement to remove traffic from the Causeway surface by 2029 (1999 agreement between Park Board and BC), part of recognition that Stanley Park is really a park.

    1. That agreement was contingent upon government building a new third crossing. Since there aren’t currently plans to do so, the idea of removing vehicle traffic from the causeway is moot.

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