Vancouver Proposes Special Love-Lock Sculpture to Keep Locks off Burrard Bridge

Photo credit: Poulpy | Wikipedia

Photo credit: Poulpy | Wikipedia

Paris may be the most best-known city when it comes to love locks. So many couples have professed their love by securing locks to the city’s Pont des Arts that one of the bridge’s railings collapsed under the weight. In total, an estimated 1 million locks weighing 45 tonnes have been affixed to the bridge, threatening its structural integrity.

It turns out, however, that Vancouver has a bit of a love-lock problem of its own. While the practice is not nearly as common here as in European cities, couples have gotten into the habit of affixing locks to city landmarks.

Right now, the Burrard Bridge is the favoured spot, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun. While there’s no official lock count, the tally on the bridge may easily be in the hundreds. Evidently, some lovers even throw keys from the deck of the bridge into the water below. (I just hope there’s not an Aquabus under there at the time.)

In fact, it’s gotten so bad that the city prepared an official report. The conclusion: “While the weight of a single lock is insignificant, the accumulation of thousands of locks creates a substantive weight that can damage infrastructure.”

Pont des Arts in Paris. Photo credit: Disdero | Wikipedia

Pont des Arts in Paris. Photo credit: Disdero | Wikipedia

Not wanting a repeat of what happened in Paris, city officials are proposing an alternative. Park board commissioners vote this week on whether to approve construction of a specially designed sculpture that’s strong enough to bear the weight of thousands of locks. The same approach has already been taken with some success in Toronto, as well as Seoul and Moscow.

Love locks in Seoul. Photo credit: Optx | Wikipedia

Love locks in Seoul. Photo credit: Optx | Wikipedia

If the plan to install a special lock sculpture is approved, an online survey will give city residents a chance to choose the ultimate location. Sites currently under consideration include Queen Elizabeth Park, English Bay Beach and Kitsilano Beach. The challenge planners face is finding a spot that’s picturesque and accessible enough so couples will think twice before locking their love symbols to the Burrard Bridge.

There’s no official word yet on what the sculpture would actually look like.

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