Vancouver History: Granville Street Bridge

Comments 5 by Rebecca Bollwitt

The first Granville Street Bridge opened on this day in 1889. Spanning False Creek, it was but a low-rising timber trestle designed mainly by the CPR.

1890 – View from 2nd Ave at Birch. Photographer: W Chapman. Vancouver Archives Item# Van Sc P58.

In 1909 the Granville Bridge would be rebuilt in steel with a through truss swing span.

1908 – Second Granville Street Bridge under construction. Vancouver Archives Item# SGN 936.

The first civilian to drive over it would be the first again 45 years later when the third iteration of the bridge (which we use today) opened up on February 4th, 1954. The woman cruised over in a brand new Cadillac each time. [source]

1925 – Looking North. Photographer: Stuart Thomsom. Vancouver Archives Item# CVA 99-2234.
2009 – Photo credit: DennisTsang on Flickr

While the Granville Street Bridge itself lacks ornament or era-specific aesthetic like the Burrard Bridge, it offers one of the most stunning views of our city, placing the bright neon of our entertainment district against a majestic mountainous backdrop when heading North.

Granville Island Bridge
2010 – Photo credit: achow on Flickr

121 years after the first Granville Street Bridge was built, the eight-lane thoroughfare we know today is crossed by thousands daily on foot or by bike, bus, and car between downtown and South Granville.

5 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. KandesTuesday, January 4th, 2011 — 1:57pm PST

    Thats interesting stuff!! Thanks!

  2. CurtisTuesday, January 4th, 2011 — 2:04pm PST

    It’s neat to see the vast changes Vancouver has seen over the last one hundred years

  3. Julie K.Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 — 6:42pm PST

    Cool comparison, thanks for posting. I love going through old images of the places I know and imagining myself living back then. Sometimes I wonder whether the pictures would seem so different to us if the were in colour – maybe being black and white makes them look so distant to the present.

  4. DonnaWednesday, January 5th, 2011 — 8:27pm PST

    Wow! It’s amazing to see the bare skyline of Vancouver of the late 1800’s and how it’s transformed into today’s metropolis. They probably thought it was a metropolis back in 1925 too ;o)

  5. WayneThursday, April 28th, 2011 — 12:31pm PDT

    The bridge was completed in 1888, then opened in Jan. 1889. It connects the downtown area with “Fairview”. NOT South Granville! South Granville district runs between 41st and 57th, then between West Blvd and Cambie. In 1907 the business people in the area applied to the city for recognition as a business association, called “The South Granville Business association” Then things got out of hand, people started to refer to Fairview as “South Granville”. I study Vancouver’s History, and it bugs me when things get changed. This problem came about because of the lust for money.

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