The Capilano Suspension Bridge Was Made for Adventurers
What is now the popular tourist attraction, the Capilano Suspension Bridge began as a footbridge connecting a remote cabin on the very edge of a canyon wall to land on the other side of Capilano River. The cabin-owner, a Scottish civil engineer and land developer named George Grant Mackay, constructed the bridge with hemp rope and cedar planks, and used horses to pull it across the river in 1888. Friends began arriving by steamship to traverse the bridge and seek adventure in Mackay’s 6,000 acres of dense forest.
At 450 feet (137m) long and 230 feet (70m) high, the bridge would have been an adventure all on its own ‒ not for the faint of heart. It is no wonder that after Mackay’s death, the bridge was replaced by a wire cable bridge in 1903.
The subsequent owners of the land continued to develop the property surrounding the bridge, adding a Tea House in 1911, and reinforcing the bridge with additional wires. The Tea House was later converted to the Trading Post Gift Store. In 1935, local First Nations were invited to place their totem poles in the park.
The biggest transformations to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and surrounding park we know today were made by owner Rae Mitchell and his daughter Nancy Stibbard. In 1956, Mitchell rebuilt the bridge in five days, using cables and 13 tons of concrete. He then developed the trails on the west side. In the 80’s and early 90’s, Stibbard successfully turned Capilano Suspension Bridge Park into the popular tourist destination visited by millions to date.
From the Capilano Suspension Bridge visitors have breathtaking view of nature and a thrilling experience on the wobbly walkway through the sky. The Park is also home to two other attractions ‒ Treetops Adventure and the exciting new Cliffwalk. Staff in period costumes conduct guided tours through the rainforest and provide entertainment. There are also special events throughout the year, as well as a gift shop on-site.
###Capilano Suspension Bridge
3735 Capilano Road
North Vancouver, BC