Lions Gate Bridge: Dangerous Construction Conditions

Pamela Chan/

For 3 1/2 years I lived by Capilano River and drove over the Lion’s Gate bridge almost every day of the week.  The dramatic view of the water from the bridge made an impression every time – especially during a sunset.  Other than clips of the royal visit in 1939, I haven’t seen historical information about the construction of the bridge.  I didn’t know about the circumstances surrounding its financing, architectural and engineering design.  Most importantly I didn’t know about the dangerous work conditions that workers endured while it was built.

This week the Knowledge Network will screen Lions Gate Bridge: Spanning Time, a special documentary about the history of Lion’s Gate Bridge.  For residents of the Lower Mainland and people who use the bridge going to the ferry, it is “must see” television.

The most notable portion of the documentary is the footage of workers climbing precariously high sections of the bridge without safety wires or safety nets.  Tragically a construction worker died during the construction of the bridge.  (British Columbians will remember that 18 men died in an accident during the construction of the Second Narrows bridge.)  While watching the documentary, I had an opportunity to see these men working and appreciate the dangers that they undertook to be able to have a regular job during the economic depression of the 1930s.

Show times:

Tuesday, December 31 at 7 PM

Wednesday, January 1st at 6 PM

If you missed these screenings, it looks like Knowledge Network has screened the documentary in previous months. Watch their schedule to see if they will screen it again in the future.

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The Secret History of the Lions Gate Bridge

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