Siwash Rock, Stanley Park

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Siwash Rock, Stanley Park

by | Mar 22, 2020

Siwash Rock is a sea stack on Burrard Inlet, along the western shoreline of Stanley Park, between English Bay and Vancouver Harbour, within the City of Vancouver, British Columbia. The legendary rock outcrop is about 50 feet (15 m) tall and is also known by its Squamish name Skalsh or Slhx̱í7lsh. The rock formed about 32 million years ago as a volcanic dike that intruded the sedimentary rock underlying most of this area. The softer sedimentary rock gradually eroded away leaving the basalt column.

The Squamish name for the rock refers to the story of a man transformed by X̱aays, the complete story is related in the Legends of Vancouver. Siwash Rock stands as a monument to “clean fatherhood”, one who kept his own life clean so that cleanliness might be the heritage of the generations to come. A plaque near the rock states that it is “Skalsh the unselfish” who was transformed by “Q’uas the transformer” as a reward for unselfishness.

Siwash Rock Battery was established in 1914 as a temporary defense installation. The battery included two 4″ naval guns to protect the entrance to Vancouver Harbor. During World War II a concrete searchlight shelter was built into the cliff face behind Siwash Rock. The shelter was one of ten built to illuminate enemy ships in Vancouver harbor. These shelters were each fitted with a remotely operated 60 inch (152 cm) searchlight of 800 million candle power along with a generator. The concrete searchlight shelter still remains, and the top of the shelter now serves as the base of an observation deck overlooking Siwash Rock. Read more here and here. Explore more of Siwash Rock here:

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