Imagine this, a bridge with a 25¢ toll!!! Oh, and on top of that, the bridge is built and owned by a beer company. As the Golden Ears Bridge continues to fail on epic proportions and the twinning of the Portman Bridge will soon send toll escaping drivers to the already clogged and dilapidated Pattullo Bridge, a 25¢ toll beer bridge would sound pretty good right about now. Well it turns out the idea is pretty old and has already been done. Yup, that green Golden Gate look-a-like spanning the Burrard first narrows, the Lions Gate bridge, was constructed by the famous Irish beer Guinness family way back in 1939. Earlier in 1932 the tipsy Guinness family purchased 4,ooo acres in West Vancouver through one of their syndicate companies called British Pacific Properties Ltd. At the time, the second narrows bridge (preceding the current Iron Workers Memorial Bridge) was extremely rickety and unreliable, the Guinness family felt a more reliable and closer bridge was necessary. So, for just over five million dollars the Guinness family built the Lions Gate bridge; its main span measuring 473 metres in length and stands 111 metres tall.
The bridge was later sold to the provincial government in 1963. In 1986 the Guinness family, probably past tipsy at the time, as a gift to the city of Vancouver had decorative lights installed on the crossing making it a distinct night time land mark. These massive 100-watt mercury vapour bulbs were replaced in 2009 with LED lights, reducing the bridges’ power consumption by 90%.