Lions Gate Bridge a National Historic Site

Posted by Daniel on May 21, 2010 - 7 comments

Parks Canada declared the Lions Gate Bridge a national historic site in 2004 but I guess no one got around to writing the plaque until recently. This Sunday afternoon (May 23) Environment Minister Jim Prentice will be at Ambleside unveiling the shiny new plaque commemorating the bridge's historic significance.

The bridge was built during the Depression by a financial consortium organized by engineer A.J.T. Taylor (after whom Taylor Way is named) and backed by the Guinness brewing family. The developers wanted to provide access to the residential lots in the British Properties that they had on the market.

Lions Gate is modelled on another suspension bridge, the Golden Gate in San Francisco. It opened to pedestrians on Nov. 12, 1938 and to vehicles two days later. The province purchased the bridge in 1955 and continued to collect tolls until 1963. The history and construction of the span is detailed in an excellent book, Lions Gate, by Lilia D'Acres and Don Luxton.

There is an online slideshow about the bridge at the website of Montreal's McCord Museum (here).