First Narrows

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prior to the dredging shallow sandbanks extended far from the north shore.
First Narrows forms the western mouth of Vancouver's inner harbour.

First Narrows is one of the names given to the mouth of Vancouver, British Columbia's inner harbour.[1] In 1909 the DGS Mastodon was ordered from a shipyard in Scotland. She was commissioned in 1911. Her crew worked 24 hours a day, six days a week, from 1912 to 1917, to dredge the channel. They removed 5 million tons of material.

The excavated material was a mixture of blue clay with embedded rocks and boulders.[1] Some of the boulders were too large to be scooped up by the dredge's buckets, and had to be smashed first.

A suspension bridge, the Lion's Gate Bridge, was constructed across the narrows in the 1940s.[2][3] It is tall enough to permit ocean going vessels to transit underneath.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Fred Thirkell (2000). Vancouver & Beyond: Pictures and Stories from the Postcard Era, 1900-1914. Heritage House Publishing Company. ISBN 9781894384155. Retrieved on 2020-12-08. 
  2. Jaclyn McLeod. The First and Second Narrows Crossings of Burrard Inlet, Vancouver Traces. Retrieved on 2020-12-08.
  3. Maria Rantanen. 80 years ago people walked across the Lions Gate Bridge for the first time, North Shore News, 2018-11-12. Retrieved on 2020-12-08. “West Vancouver archives show articles going back to 1926 that describe the construction of the bridge, initially called the “First Narrows Bridge.” The West Van News, in a front-page article on May 14, 1926, declared that “Lions' Gate” was a better name as the entrance to Greater Vancouver.”