Unlocking North Vancouver History

Wilderness on the Doorstep: Vancouver’s Mountain Playground

Grouse Mountain by Bus and Chairlift

Grouse Mountain’s double chairlift became a major attraction and revitalized skiing at Grouse Mountain during the postwar period. As this ’50s illustration shows, it seems to have pleased sightseers as well. Throughout that decade, clubs such as the Tyee Ski Runners championed skiing, and the Vancouver Sun newspaper sponsored races and free Saturday morning lessons. With the addition of more lifts in the ’60s and ’70s, Grouse became a major ski centre, hosting national and international events. On December 15, 1966, the first of the Grouse Mountain skyrides opened, carrying visitors up the cliff from the parking lot at the end of the Capilano Road. The newer aerial tramway, which opened in 1976, holds up to 100 people. Grouse Mountain remains popular with Vancouver skiers and snowboarders, especially for illuminated night skiing. Crowds of local fitness buffs also enjoy charging up the near-vertical Grouse Grind trail that parallels the tramway.

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WHAT
This 1955 promotional illustration shows Grouse Mountain’s double chairlift, the first two-seater operating in the world.

WHERE
The lift carried sightseers and skiers from the top of Skyline Road to the ski village on Grouse Mountain (near Vancouver).

WHEN
The chairlift opened on December 1, 1949. It made Grouse Mountain the Lower Mainland’s most popular winter sports destination during the ’50s.

WHO
Lifts Ltd. built and managed the double chairlift, which was designed by Peter Vajda, a University of British Columbia mechanical engineering instructor and avid Grouse Mountain skier.

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