Lost Bridges over the Queensway

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This picture circa 1960 shows the NRCan complex under construction. That’s Commissioner’s Park in the foreground, Carling Avenue runs through the caption. ┬áRunning parallel to Carling across the top of the picture is the old railway tracks, the Queensway being not yet built.

What is sorta fun, if you are inclined that way, are the number of bridges over the railway tracks. From left to right, you can see Rochester, then Booth. The next one beyond Booth is LeBreton (running immediately behind the new office towers), and a bit further east, up above the escarpment is Bell Street. If you squint hard enough where Bell goes over the railway, on the north side, you can see Bell Street United Church, which is still there.

Cambridge also had a bridge over the railway tracks. In the photo, it looks like it was a hump back arched bridge, although that may be a trick of the shadow. I’d love to see some photos of those bridges.

Also quite visible to the far top right is the distinctive curve in Imperial/Chamberlain Avenue where it leaves Bronson and wiggles around behind the school board warehouse that still stands at the corner of Bronson and Queensway, although it will shortly be demolished to make way for more Queensway ramps.

This air photo from 1958 shows roughly the same area:

air photo qway bridges 1958



3 thoughts on “Lost Bridges over the Queensway

  1. Remember playing along the tracks and climbing the wooden bridges on Cambridge and Bell St.in the 50s. Coca Cola plant which is now the School board bldg had tours,

  2. According to the wonderful book “Streetcars of Ottawa”, Bronson was originally a level crossing with the train tracks, and since it’s not ideal to have streetcars crossing a freight line the local streetcar turned south on Bell instead because it had a bridge. But said bridge was also rather narrow, so the streetcar tracks had to be run rather close together. So the cars could not pass each other, and each ‘car driver had to watch for the roof of an oncoming streetcar and wait (with, I think, the southbound having priority).

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