Located to the north of Burrard Inlet, the North Shore is a suburb of Vancouver with a population of more than 178,000. It includes three municipalities: the District of West Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver and the District of North Vancouver.
Getting to Vancouver's North Shore is simple, quick, and scenic. If you're not driving, sit back and enjoy the sights. The North Shore is linked to Vancouver by two historic bridges: the landmark Lions Gate Bridge and the Ironworker's Memorial Bridge.
One of the most popular and scenic ways to cross Burrard Inlet is by SeaBus, a short 12-minute harbour-hop that zips you from downtown Vancouver to Lonsdale Quay, amidst freighters, tugs, float planes, helicopters and occasional cruise ships and kayaks that ply the bustling harbour.
Other approaches to Vancouver's North Shore-along Highway 1 from the east or Highway 99 from Pemberton and Whistler-are equally scenic.
The Lions Gate Bridge
Also known as the First Narrows Bridge, the Lions Gate Bridge is a landmark similar in style to San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. It was built in 1937 in large part to help develop land owned by the Guinness family (of beer fame) in West Vancouver. A toll bridge for many years, it cost a princely 25 cents. Tolls were removed in 1955 when the Guinnesses sold the bridge to the Province of British Columbia. The family purchased decorative lights for the bridge in 1986, which still make the span a distinctive sight against the nighttime skyline.
The bridge was named for the Lions, two visually striking North Shore mountains, and the most recognizable Vancouver landmarks. Film director Robert Altman, who founded Lions Gate Films, named the company after the bridge.
The Ironworker's Memorial Bridge
The Ironworkers' Memorial Bridge, originally called the Second Narrows Bridge, was renamed in 1994 to honour the workers who lost their lives during its construction. On June 17, 1958, several spans of the new bridge collapsed, and 79 workers were injured and 18 died.
In 2009, the SeaBus passenger ferry service will add a third 400-passenger catamaran ferry to make the 12-minute, 3.2 kilometre trip between downtown Vancouver and North Vancouver. The North Shore terminal is located at Lonsdale Quay.