Love Locks

Photo: Rob Weiss

This past summer I travelled to Ucluelet and had the great, good fortune to find myself hiking the Wild Pacific Trail.  Over 9 km long, the trail winds along the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island.  Waves crashing on the rocks below, giant cedars towering overhead, it is unquestionably an authentic west coast experience. Inspired by the breathtaking vista, I stopped for a few minutes to savour the view. As I gazed out across the mighty ocean swell, my eyes came to rest on a single, solitary padlock chained to the protective guard rail. A symbol of commitment and everlasting love, this little lock hung precariously over the angry ocean below, bravely battling the elements.

Photo: Rob Weiss

I paused, lost in thought and tried to image the couple, who hiked out here, stood alone on the cliff and declared their love for each other. How romantic! It was then my thoughts turned to Vancouver, and the stunning, creative public art installation situated in Queen Elizabeth Park. Created with lovers in mind and proudly perched high above the city in one of our most famous parks, the Love Lock installation is fittingly entitled “Love in the Rain.”

Photo: Rob Weiss

Dedicated to eternal love, the sculpture designed by Bruce Voyce celebrates the “shelter that love brings and the union that it forms.” Standing directly in front of the steel couples, I was amazed by the number of locks attached to the piece. They came in all shapes, sizes and colours. Some engraved, some incognito, yet all symbolic of romance and commitment.

Photo: Rob Weiss

As I strolled around the impressive steel sculpture, I was tickled to see a sturdy, key dispenser container. Lovers are instructed to declare their love, and once content with their shared vows; they are politely directed to deposit their keys in the receptacle. How Vancouver, I thought. Recycling our love lock keys. I then noticed that there wasn’t a single hacksaw in sight. These locks are there to stay. Love rules eternal. Happy Valentine’s day.

Getting There:

The Love Lock installation is located in Queen Elizabeth Park, the geographic centre of Vancouver. Entrances to the Park are found at Ontario Street and West 33rd Ave., or along West 37th Avenue between Columbia and Mackie streets.

Arriving by transit? The Park is a short walk from King Edward and Oakridge – 41st stations on Canada Line.

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