British Columbia

How many Volkswagen Beetles can you spot? Archival footage of 1966 highways captures Vancouver of old

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure's archives are full of old images and video, like this one that takes viewers back to 1966 for a glimpse of Vancouver's past.
Kingsway is now classified as Highway 1A. In the 1960s, it was part of Highway 1, the Trans Canada route. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure )

The B.C. Ministry of Transportation opened a time capsule this week, releasing a collection of vintage Highway 1 and Highway 99 images taken between Horseshoe Bay and Burnaby.

The archived shots are strung together in a film that takes its viewers on a journey through 1966 Vancouver, 20 years before Expo '86 and decades ahead of the 2010 Winter Olympics, which would see a near complete rebuild of the Sea to Sky Highway.

Not unlike the modern approach to documenting streets for Google Maps, the series of photo logs were captured on a 16-mm camera mounted to a vehicle that drove the length of the highway.

The film takes viewers on a southbound trip over a three-laned Lions Gate Bridge before heading through Stanley Park just a year before it would become the site of the famous "Love In" of 1967.

The short video is part of the B.C. Road Trip Time Machine series by Transportation B.C. which has released similar videos featuring highways on Vancouver Island.

It was originally created to help engineers study the roads without having to actually travel them.

Highway expansion

Vancouver's multi-lane Kingsway was a part of what's now the Trans-Canada Highway for a brief time, until construction of the Port Mann Bridge was completed in 1964. Kingsway remained under provincial jurisdiction until the early 1970s.

The 1960s was an era that saw a lot of development in British Columbia, including the expansion of the highway system.

Ski resort developers had just given Vancouverites one more reason to head north on the Highway 99 to Whistler, the ski hill's first ever lift opened in Creekside in February that year.

Then premier W.A.C. Bennett had just opened the Sky Ride at Grouse Mountain in January that year. It carried 50 passengers up the mountain.


  • A previous version of this story stated that Kingsway was a part of the Trans-Canada Highway until the 1970s. In fact, it was only part of the route now called the Trans-Canada Highway until 1964.
    Nov 06, 2017 11:17 AM PT