Canada is famous for it’s big open country and in order to reach it’s vast interior thousands of bridges had to be constructed in order to cross the many rivers and creeks contained within it.
At the close of the 19th century, there were approximately 1,400 covered bridges in remote regions across Canada.
Only about 140 remain in existence, and you’ll find the vast majority of them in the Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Quebec.
Famous Bridges in Canada
1. Capilano Suspension Bridge
Built across the Capilano River in North Vancouver, the Capilano Suspension Bridge is a rather straightforward suspension bridge.
The existing bridge spans a distance of 140 meters and rises 70 meters above the river below. Over 1.2 million people go to this section of a private institution each year and pay an admission price.
Vancouver’s former park commissioner and Scottish civil engineer, George Grant Mackay, constructed the bridge back in 1889. After being built out of hemp ropes and cedar boards, the bridge was eventually rebuilt by a wire cable bridge in 1903.
Capilano Suspension Bridge was first owned by Edward Mahon in 1910. In 1935, “Mac” MacEachran bought the Bridge from Mahon and added a native touch by inviting local Indians to put totem poles in the park. The bridge was sold to Henri Aubeneau in 1945.
The park was purchased by its current owner, Nancy Stibbard, in 1983, after the bridge had been completely restored the previous year.
Because of the growing number of visitors, in May 2004, Treetops Adventures was launched; it is a series of seven footbridges strung between towering Douglas Fir trees on the west side of the canyon, rising to a height of 30 meters above the forest floor.
2. Hartland Covered Bridge
Located in Hartland, New Brunswick, the Hartland Covered Bridge holds the record for the longest covered bridge at 391 meters. After weathering catastrophes like an ice collapse and a fire, its popularity has only grown. The St. John River Bridge connects New Brunswick to Maine.
from Hartland to Somerville. The structure is made up of seven individual Howe Truss bridges that are supported by a total of six piers.
The Hartland Bridge Company began making plans and specifications in 1898, and the bridge opened to traffic in 1901. In May 1901, due to an urgent situation, Dr. Estey became the first individual to use the bridge before it officially opened to the public.
So that he could travel over the bridge, the workers had to put planks down. On July 4, 1901, Justice McKeown dedicated it in front of an estimated 2,000 onlookers.
It was toll-financed until the provincial government bought it on May 1, 1906. It was not always the case that the bridge would have a roof over it. The bridge is currently a historical Canadian landmark with a footpath running across it.
3. Confederation Bridge
The Confederation Bridge connects New Brunswick with Prince Edward Island in eastern Canada, streamlining access to the rest of the Maritime Provinces.
One of Canada’s greatest engineering feats of the 20th century, this bent bridge spans an ice-covered lake for a total of 12.9 kilometers or about 8 miles.
When polled regarding the bridge, approximately 60% of respondents said they were in favor of a fixed link bridge, settling a dispute that had been rife with strongly divergent viewpoints.
Prince Edward Island’s Premier, Joseph Ghiz, put the matter to a popular vote on January 18, 1988, asking Islanders to choose between two bridge designs that had been submitted by private companies.
The Confederation Bridge opened to traffic on May 31, 1997, after four years of construction by crews of more than five thousand local employees.
Strait Crossing Bridge Limited, whose headquarters are located in Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island, now manages the Confederation Bridge.
4. Alexandra Bridge
To connect Gatineau, Quebec, and Ottawa, Ontario, the two provinces built the Royal Alexandra Interprovincial Bridge, a steel truss cantilever structure that spans the Ottawa River.
The National Capital Commission is responsible for the bridge’s upkeep, which includes a shared use pathway for pedestrians and cyclists.
During the years 1898 and 1900, the Canadian Pacific Railway built the bridge. The steel beams were transferred to their final destination on four specially constructed barges.
The harsh winter weather significantly slowed down work. The four spans with permanent pillars were finished by September of 1900. As of its completion, the bridge’s primary cantilever center length ranked as the fourth longest in the world.
The Quebec Bridge now holds the records for both. The bridge was rechristened “Royal Alexandra Bridge” in September 1901, after the new monarch. After that, in 1995, it received official recognition as a National Historic Civil Engineering Site.
5. West Montrose Covered Bridge
The West Montrose Covered Bridge, located in West Montrose, Ontario, Kissing Bridge, is of the most famous covered bridges in the country. Under 200 Canadian-covered bridges were still standing in 2015.
In 1880-1881, John Bear, who had experience building barns, constructed the bridge out of oak as well as white pine. During construction, it was anticipated that the building would serve its purpose for 70 to 80 years.
More recent repairs have improved that. The principal changes made during the restoration included the addition of concrete and steel components to bolster the aging framework. Yet the bridge’s current outward appearance is unaltered from the original blueprints.
6. Peace Bridge (Calgary)
Over the Bow River in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, there is a pedestrian and bicycle bridge known as Peace Bridge. Spanish designer Santiago Calatrava was responsible for the bridge’s layout, which was inaugurated in March 2012.
The city of Calgary constructed the bridge to link the northern Bow River walkway with the Sunnyside neighborhood and the southern Bow River route with Downtown Calgary.
The height is limited because of the proximity to the City/Bow River Heliport, and there are no waterside piers to reduce the building’s environmental impact.
This link was built to serve the ever-growing number of individuals using Calgary’s paths and traveling to work each day. There are estimates that as many as 6,000 people cross the bridge every day, making it one of the most popular public locations in the country.
7. Alex Fraser Bridge
Over the Fraser River, between Great Vancouver and New Westminster and Richmond, is the Alex Fraser Bridge (commonly called Annacis Bridge). British Columbia’s former Minister of Transportation, Alex Fraser (1916-1989), is honored with the naming of this bridge.
Before the opening of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in South Carolina, USA, on September 22, 2005, this bridge held the record for the longest cable-stayed span in the world.
The main span of the Alex Fraser Bridge is 465 meters long and the bridge itself is 2,525 meters long. Those buildings are 154 meters in height. There are three lanes in each, with the center lane serving as a counterflow highway for traffic going in the opposite direction.
The posted limit was reduced from 90 km/h to 70 km/h on July 24, 2019, so that the new counterflow lane could be built. When it first opened to the public in 1986, only four of its six lanes were usable. There are only two narrow sidewalks for walkers and bicyclists to use.
In 1987, after traffic levels had reached a point where they warranted it, all six lanes opened to the public.
8. Broadway Bridge (Saskatoon)
To cross the South Saskatchewan River, there is a bridge called the Broadway Bridge, which is an arch bridge.
During the Great Depression, the bridge was built as a “make-work” project. Chalmers Jack Mackenzie, a university president, was responsible for its creation. Because of this, the bridge was formerly referred to as
For a while, the Dean’s Bridge was known as the Broadway Bridge. After the street, it crosses to link the east side with the downtown area at 4th Avenue and 19th Street. One thousand five hundred and ninety-three workers worked in three shifts 24/7 to build the bridge.
It towers 24 meters over the river and has a 4% slope, making it Saskatoon’s steepest and highest bridge. When completed, it would have cost a total of CAD 850.000. Saskatoon’s streetcar lines moved from the Traffic Bridge to the Broadway Bridge in 1933.
9. Humber Bay Arch Bridge
The bridge, which was built in the mid-1990s and now serves as a section of the Martin Goodman Trail, measures 139 meters in length and provides a clear span of 100 meters across the Humber River’s mouth, ensuring the river’s continued ecological health.
The bridge’s twin arches, each made from a 1,200-millimeter-diameter high-strength steel pipe, rise 21.3 meters above ground level.
Meanwhile, 44 hangers, each made from a 50-millimeter-diameter stainless steel pipe, hold up the deck. The bedrock is 30 meters below ground, and the foundation is concrete caissons.
It was built by Sonterlan Construction in 1994 after being designed by Toronto’s Montgomery Sisam Architects and Delcan Corporation.
The project has since won several honors for architecture, design, and engineering in the area. The Waterfront Trail, a multi-use walkway that will eventually run parallel to the whole north coast of Lake Ontario, crosses under the bridge, making it an important connection for pedestrians, recreational cyclists, and commuting cyclists.
10. Yukon Suspension Bridge
At mile 46.5 on Northern British Columbia’s South Klondike Highway, is the Yukon Suspension Bridge, a pedestrian cable suspension bridge. It spans the Tutshi River Canyon by 17.36 meters and has a total length of 60.96 meters. The Surespan Construction Group finished it in 2006.
The bridge was purchased by private individuals in 2011 and is currently managed by the community. It was difficult to build the Yukon Suspension Bridge because of the remote area it occupies.
To suspend the bridge across the river, they used a helicopter to set up the towers on the far side of the structure, which was made of galvanized steel cables.
The other side of the canyon was inaccessible, thus this expensive procedure was the only option to carry the cables across.
Since concrete is unavailable in such a distant location where winter temperatures can drop to -38 °C, the interpretive areas and main structure are designed entirely out of wood.