Unlocking North Vancouver History

Building a Vancouver Icon: The Lions Gate Bridge

Monumental Sculpture

The lions flanking the bridge are 12 feet (4 m) long and just over 6 feet (2 m) high. Bridge entrepreneur A. J. T. Taylor was clearly attached to them as symbols of the massive undertaking. As they were being assembled, he sealed personal items into one of them, including the story of his struggle to get the bridge built and his baby shoes. They remain there today. Taylor also asked sculptor Charles Marega for a smaller pair of the lions to place on his property. They stood on plinths flanking the entrance to his West Vancouver home, Kew House. Later owners of the property moved, taking the lions with them to the veranda of their North Vancouver home and eventually donating them to the North Vancouver Museum and Archives in 1993. The smaller pair of lions is the same size as the preliminary maquettes made by Marega, which are in the collection of the Vancouver Museum.

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WHAT
By request, sculptor Charles Marega made these small copies of the bridge lions for bridge entrepreneur A. J. T. Taylor.

WHERE
These small copies initially flanked the driveway entrance of Taylor’s estate in West Vancouver.

WHEN
The copies were made to celebrate Taylor’s achievement, the highlight of his career.

WHO
Eileen Ainslie donated the lions in memory of her husband John, who bought and lived in Taylor’s Kew House in West Vancouver.

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