5. The Lagoon Causeway

5. The Lagoon Causeway

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The Lagoon (5) is an estuary where salmon spawn and ducks nest – and people used to swim. Several bridges preceded the cement causeway we see today. To the east were Sandy Beach and the lower dance hall, picnic grounds and cottages in what is now Crippen Park. Based on 1937 map.

A winding whitewater stream and above it a bridge with three distinctive humps.

Lagoon Trail to Bridal Veil Falls

Proceed to the beginning of the causeway and look carefully by the weeping willow tree and you might see the beginning of the old trail.

The Lagoon Trail was a scenic walk to Bridal Veil Falls. At one time, rustic cedar rails lined the walkway. It was built in a Japanese garden style by skilled workers employed by Captain Cates.

The Old Powerhouse

On the right hand side of the lower creek the concrete footings of the old powerhouse can be seen. Killarney Creek was dammed above picturesque Bridal Veil Falls in Captain Cates’ time to supply water for a hydroelectric generator. Its supply, however, was limited. During the Union Steamships era, each evening an employee turned a wheel that allowed water to flow into the generator. For a few hours, cottagers had a light in the living room and could listen to evening Causeway provided pleasant evening strolling. At 11:00 p.m. the process was reversed and the power was turned off for the night.

The Causeway

The causeway we see today was built by the Union Steamship Company in 1925 to link the hotel grounds with Snug Cove. The first settlers crossed by boat or a huge log which spanned the water. Before the concrete causeway was built, camping along the foreshore of what became the lagoon was very popular.

In the early 20th century this wooden bridge replaced the bundled logs that were the first crossing.

This wooden bridge replaced the bundled logs that formed the first crossing of the Lagoon. It was destroyed by a storm in 1924, and replaced with the current concrete causeway in 1925.
The bridge from the side, with a logged mountain with staggered lone trees.
Notice the fishway on the ocean side; it assists salmon entering or returning to the sea. Looking east from this location you can see all of Mannion Bay with the location of the picnic grounds and Lower Dance Hall on the right, with Sandy Beach beyond it and after that the pier. To the left, a large resort once stood – now it is now a neighborhood of houses.
An old steamship wtih tall smokestack belching smoke pulling up to a wooden pier in Mannion Bay circa 1899

The Brickyards

In the 1890’s, Joseph Mannion operated a brickyard on this site which supplied bricks for a growing Vancouver. His bricks were described as “an excellent article” in the Vancouver Daily News, November 11, 1890. At first, horses were used to run the machinery and later a steam plant was installed.

Following the closure of the brick clay operation, the site was converted to what became playing field #1 and then site of the popular bandshell.