Friday, August 6, 2010

Views from Stanley Park

It was back on the Vancouver Trolley Company's "hop-on, hop-off" trolley to continue our tour of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Still in Stanley Park, we came upon a stop that provided this view of the Vancouver skyline. Shown here is Canada Place with its dramatic five sails.

Canada Place was used as the Canadian Pavilion at the Expo ’86 World Fair. It was acknowledged as one of the best-ever host nation pavilions at a world exposition. The Canada Pavilion was converted into the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre in 1987.

Looking from the southeast (in Photo #2) to the south (#3 and #4) gives a panoramic view of the Vancouver harbor.

Along with hotels and businesses are a number of high rise apartments, lofts, and condo-miniums. As we have travelled one of the Skytrain lines into the city, we have seen a very large number of such residences. It is a very vertical city.

Stanley Park is home to a par 3 golf course, tennis courts, rugby and cricket fields, the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, the Vancouver Rowing Club, and the Stanley Park Lawn Bowling Club (shown in competi-tion, right).

Our next stop was Prospect Point, the highest point in the Park--210 feet above the seawall. Looking north across First Narrows presents views of North Vancouver, the North Shore Mountains, the Lions Gate Bridge, and Burrard Inlet.

Our observation point was called "Lowden's Lookout" in honor of Jim Lowden, who for 25years managed the acquisition negotia-tions, design, and develop-ment of the downtown waterfront seawall and park system, creating 33 new parks in the city.

Although there is frequent traffic of cargo freighters and cruise liners in the Narrows, small working boats can also be found in the area.

From this same lookout, we could see the Lions Gate Bridge, which carried traffic between Stanley Park and North Vancouver.

Also known as the First Narrows Bridge, the Lions Gate Bridge was built by the Guinness family (yes, the Irish beer barons) to provide access to the 4,000 acres they had purchased in 1932 in what is now West Vancouver for $18.75 an acre.

Bridge construction started in 1937 and was completed the following year for just under $6 million--paid by the Guinness family.

To recover their construction costs the Guinness family had toll booths installed at the north end of the bridge. When the tolls were instituted, a weekly auto ticket cost $1.25, pedestrians paid 7.5 cents per crossing and cars were 25 cents (plus 5 cents per extra passenger).

1952 was the year toll revenues had finally covered cost of construc-tion, and the Guinness family sold the bridge to the provincial government in 1955--for $6 million.

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