Capilano Suspension Bridge

Coordinates: 49°20′34″N 123°06′44″W / 49.34278°N 123.11222°W / 49.34278; -123.11222 (Capilano Suspension Bridge)
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Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Capilano Suspension Bridge in July 2016.
Coordinates49°20′34″N 123°06′44″W / 49.34278°N 123.11222°W / 49.34278; -123.11222 (Capilano Suspension Bridge)
CrossesCapilano River
Locale3735 Capilano Road,
North Vancouver, British Columbia V7R 4J1
DesignSimple Suspension
Total length140 metres (460 ft)[1]
Height70 metres (230 ft)
Daily traffic1.2 million visitors annually

The Capilano Suspension Bridge is a simple suspension bridge crossing the Capilano River in Upper Capilano, British Columbia, Canada, in the District of North Vancouver.[2] The current bridge is 140 metres (460 ft)[1] long and 70 metres (230 ft) above the river. It is part of a private facility with an admission fee and draws over 1.2 million visitors per year.


The bridge was originally built in 1889[3] by George Grant Mackay, a Scottish civil engineer and park commissioner for Vancouver. It was originally made of hemp ropes with a deck of cedar planks and was replaced with a wire cable bridge in 1903. In 1910 Edward Mahon purchased the Capilano Suspension Bridge. "Mac" MacEachran purchased the Bridge from Mahon in 1935 and invited local natives to place their totem poles in the park, adding a native theme. In 1945, he sold the bridge to Henri Aubeneau.

The bridge was completely rebuilt in 1956.[4]

The park was sold to Nancy Stibbard, the current owner, in 1983. Annual attendance increased, and in May 2004, Treetops Adventures was opened, consisting of seven footbridges suspended between old-growth Douglas fir trees on the west side of the canyon, forming a walkway up to 30 metres (98 ft) above the forest floor.

Cliff Walk
Capilano Suspension Bridge

In June 2011, a new attraction called Cliffwalk was added to the park.[5]


In September 1999, a woman dropped her 18-month-old child with Down syndrome off the bridge. She claimed she stumbled accidentally and the child slipped from her grasp. The child was not seriously injured.[6][7] The woman lost legal custody of her child to the child's father as a result of the incident.[8] The woman took legal action against the owner of the bridge, her ex-husband, and the Federal Department of Justice.[9] The case against the owner of the bridge was settled in 2004.[7]

In 2006, a 300-year-old, 46-tonne Douglas fir tree toppled during a heavy snowstorm,[10] falling across the western end of the bridge. Park officials closed the bridge temporarily while repairs were performed.

On June 6, 2010, a teenage tourist on a class trip from California climbed over a railing and fell more than 30 metres (98 ft) from a fenced-off viewing platform near the bridge. By the time rescue workers came to his aid, the victim was dead.[11] The official RCMP finding was that the teen was under the influence of LSD at the time of the incident.[12]

On June 2, 2012, a 30-year-old tourist from Ontario died after falling near the bridge. Police say the victim was hiking through trails near the popular attraction when he climbed over a railing and fell to the riverbed below.[13]

Popular culture[edit]

The bridge has been featured as a setting in episodes of several television series, including MacGyver, Sliders, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, and Psych.

In 1974, social psychologists Donald Dutton and Arthur Aron conducted a well-known experiment on the bridge. Men approached by a female researcher on the bridge were more likely to call her later than men approached on a more solid bridge across the river. Dutton and Aron argued that this supported the theory that the men were mis-attributing the arousal caused by fear to sexual attraction toward the woman.[14] This research supported Stanley Schachter's two-factor theory of emotion.

In June 2019, Korean Pop group NCT 127 created a video of their visit to the Capilano Suspension Bridge as part of the social media documenting their world tour NCT 127: The Origin.[15]

The bridge has appeared in the racing games Mario Kart Tour and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as a part of the first lap in the "Vancouver Velocity" race track.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Capilano Suspension Bridge (1903) at Structurae
  2. ^ "Upper Capilano". District of North Vancouver. Retrieved 2024-02-26.
  3. ^ "Capilano Suspension Bridge (North Vancouver, 1889)". Structurae. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  4. ^ n-link (2008). ASCE (ed.). Bridges 2009. Reston, Virginia, USA: American Society of Civil Engineers. p. August 2009 featured bridge. ISBN 978-0-7844-1001-1. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
  5. ^ Berner, Alan (June 24, 2011). "Tourists reach new heights on Capilano River Park's Cliffwalk". The Seattle Times. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  6. ^ "RCMP suspect mother threw baby off bridge". CBC News. September 30, 1999. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Woman settles suspension bridge settles suit". The Globe and Mail. 2004-11-02. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  8. ^ "Vancouver mother hands over daughter she dropped off bridge | CBC News". CBC News. 2001-06-18. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  9. ^ "Mom sues after baby falls from bridge". CBS News. 2000-04-12. Archived from the original on 2001-07-11. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  10. ^ Habdank, Joanna; Weldon, James (2006-12-01). "More snow adds to woes and record". North Shore News.
  11. ^ "Teen dies after fall at Capilano suspension bridge - The Globe and Mail". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. June 7, 2010.
  12. ^ "LSD ruled a factor in Capilano bridge death". CBC News. October 24, 2010.
  13. ^ "Ontario hiker dies in fall at B.C.'s Capilano bridge". CBC News. June 3, 2012.
  14. ^ Dutton, Donald G.; Aron, Arthur P. (October 1974). "Some evidence for heightened sexual attraction under conditions of high anxiety". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 30 (4): 510–517. CiteSeerX doi:10.1037/h0037031. PMID 4455773. S2CID 31921849.
  15. ^ MARK X VANCOUVER: Capilano Suspension Bridge! (Feat. NCT 127 Bros) | NCT 127 HIT THE STATES, retrieved 2019-09-06
  • North Shore News September 27, 1999
  • Gut Rumbles August 26, 2004
  • Woman who dropped baby on bridge ends lawsuit - By: N.A.. Record, The (Kitchener/Cambridge/Waterloo, ON), 11/03/2004; (AN Q4K036229702804)

External links[edit]