The Capilano Suspension Bridge sways 70 metres above the Capilano River. This 137-metre-long suspension bridge draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and is one of Vancouver’s most popular attractions. Due to its height, people with vertigo may want to skip the opportunity to walk over this narrow bridge.
In 1888, Scottish engineer George Grant Mackay bought 6,000 acres of land on each side of the Capilano River. To connect the two sides, he built a suspension bridge with hemp rope and wooden planks. The materials were transported to the other side by horses that swam across the river. After his death in 1903, the ropes were replaced with steel cables. In 1956, the bridge was completely rebuilt in 5 days by Rae Mitchell, who was the owner at the time. Through his enthusiastic promotion of the renovated bridge, it was soon transformed into a tourist attraction.
Although the bridge was the origin of the park and still attracts the most visitors, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park offers lots of other activities. The latest addition to the park is the Cliffwalk, a series of suspended walkways that cling to the cliffs. In some places the bridges are made from glass so you can look straight down. The Treetops Adventure is another fantastic fun walk at a great height. This attraction offers visitors a glimpse into the ancient rainforest, seen from the perspective of a squirrel. The bridges connect one Douglas fir tree to the next. Some of these trees are 1300 years old. The bridges and viewing platforms have been cleverly attached to the trees without the use of damaging pins or bolts.
During the holiday season, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park offers the ultimate Christmas experience: Canyon Lights. The bridge is decorated with hundreds of lights and sways like a beacon of light in the dark valley. The rest of the park is also beautifully illuminated. The park also lays claim to having the largest live Christmas tree in the world: a 250-year-old Douglas fir measuring 46.4 metres in height.
Capilano Suspension Bridge, 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver