April 26th, 2011

Thanks to an interesting project by Josh Hite and Scott Billings I had the opportunity to visit the secret stairway under the Burrard Bridge last week. It’s been abandoned since the 1930s, and when I visited I could understand why. I imagine it would be a creepy place at night because it certainly was during the day.

Secret Stairway under Burrard Bridge

The guy in this photo turned out to be an upstairs neighbour from my building who I never see. It was hilarious to run into him in such a random place. He and his girlfriend were helping out as actors during the filming.

Secret Stairway under Burrard Bridge-3
Secret Stairway under Burrard Bridge - old graffiti

The metal column going down the centre of the staircase was set temporarily for their project of filming the interior of the stairway in a helical movement. I didn’t see much of the filming because they were still setting up but I was really impressed by how much equipment they brought all the way to the bottom of the stairs. The only way in is from the top of the bridge because the city bricked up the bottom entrance ages ago.

Secret Stairway under Burrard Bridge, window

Secret Stairway under Burrard Bridge - looking up from the bottom
Secret Stairway under Burrard Bridge - looking up from the bottom

There was plenty of ancient graffiti covering the stairs and walls, which indicates people have been able to sneak in there in the past. I wonder if the Department of Eternal Art is still around….?

Secret Stairway under Burrard Bridge - old graffiti
Secret Stairway under Burrard Bridge

The whole experience gave me a killer case of vertigo but it was an amazing opportunity to get into this space which is normally restricted from public access.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 at 5:30 pm and is filed under Good things, Vancouver, Vancouver art. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Secret Stairway Under the Burrard Bridge”

Sam Says:

Oh my god, I can’t believe you ran into your neighbours! That is SO weird.

What an interesting place. I find the whole idea of places being abandoned extremely bizarre. Imagine just getting up and leaving a place one day and never coming back.

There’s a whole abandoned town in Namibia that is about a day’s drive from where we live. We’re going to make a trip over there while we’re in SA this time around http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolmanskop

Rachael Says:

There is something fascinating about abandoned places. They have this sense of being lost in time or left behind, and I’m often amazed (like with the town you mention) at what gets abandoned.

B and I watched the movie Hannah earlier this week and one of the locations they used is an abandoned theme park in Berlin. It’s called Spreepark and it looks like an amazing location to take photos.