Wednesday Wander – Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, Canada

This is the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, Canada. Suspended over the Capilano River, it’s a well known tourist attraction, drawing over 800,000 visitors per year.The word ‘Capilano’ derives from a First Nations term, Kia’polano, which means beautiful river. Looking down into the gorge at the tumbling waters, it’s easy to see how the place got its name. The first bridge on the site was built in 1888 by George Grant MacKay, who purchased 6,000 acres in the area and built himself a log cabin on the side of the gorge. His bridge was made of hemp rope and cedar, and lasted until his death in 1903, when it was replaced by a wire cable version.

The bridge passed through the hands of several families until the 1930s, when owner ‘Mac’ MacEachren encouraged local First Nations tribes to place their totem poles on the land. Subsequent owners expanded on this idea, and the modern cable bridge was built in the 1950’s.

Now, I’m not that great with heights. I’m especially not great with heights when the thing I’m standing on bounces and moves around, like the bridge does. I don’t care how many elephants or Mounties or whatever the bridge is supposed to be able to hold up – it just doesn’t feel right to me. However, I made it from one side to the other without (too much) incident – I won’t talk about the bit when my now-husband tried to ‘bounce’ us in the centre of the bridge – and here’s the photo taken from the other side to prove it.

When I visited, several years ago, the totem poles were there, as well as the log cabin gift shop with a few touristy photo opportunities ;-D Apparently, there is now also a system of suspended tree-top walkways, and a focus on the First Nations heritage of the area – I’ll have to go back for another visit next time I’m in Vancouver!

However, the forest remains deep and dark – I remember being amazed at the height and girth of some of the trees as we walked the trails, the river rushing white below us, just glimpsed between the branches. It was hard to believe we were only a few minutes from a busy residential area – rather, it was as though we had strayed into a piece of the old time, before Vancouver was Vancouver, when the land was wilder.

Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time!


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17 thoughts on “Wednesday Wander – Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, Canada

  1. Yay! I did a walk around there as well last month and LOVED it! 🙂 ❤
    I'd quite like to go back and see it at different times of year. It looked stunning in summer with the sun shining through the green leaves, but I'd love to see it as the snow, or in the fall.

    1. Well, my photos were taken in December, if you can believe it 😀 I guess the evergreens just don’t change, and it wasn’t a very snowy winter that year. But I would love to see it in the fall too, my favourite time of year. Hope Vancouver is still going really well! x

      1. Thanks Helen! It is amazing so far. 🙂

        I know what you mean about the evergreens looking the same all year round…but the intensity of the sun and the time of golden hours is different. It’s all pretty though. 😀

      2. Yes, the light does change with the seasons and the way it bounces off the water – and Stanley Park is a riot for the senses… The evergreens stay dark and deep though, they always evoke the West Coast for me when I see them. Well, I’m rambling a bit but I did love living in that part of the world – glad you’re enjoying it too 🙂

  2. I lived in Vancouver – scarily, almost twenty years ago! – and LOVED the Capilano Bridge. I’m so pleased to see it hasn’t really changed, thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    1. Well, I think it’s changed a little bit since I visited, with the tree top walks being added, but yes, it still holds the same character. It’s nice it hasn’t changed much in the hundred or so years it’s been there 🙂

    2. And yes, I lived there just over twenty years ago! Time flies… we went back a couple of years ago and the city has really changed. Still gorgeous, though 🙂

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