Skip to main content

Caledonia Bridge - Caledonia, Ontario


The Caledonia Bridge, also known as the Argyle Street Bridge, is the longest rainbow arch bridge in the Province of Ontario. Spanning 700 feet across, the Caledonia Bridge includes an impressive nine arches. Opened to traffic on November 19, 1927, the bridge crosses the scenic Grand River in the Haldimand County town of Caledonia.  Caledonia Bridge was the first, and is now the only nine span bridge in Canada. The arches along the bridge tower over most passing vehicles. King's Highway 6 also once crossed this bridge, before the Caledonia Bypass was opened in 1982.

The site where the current Caledonia Bridge is located has a long history of being the location of a noteworthy bridge. In fact, the existing bridge replaced a large, six arch Whipple Arch truss bridge that was built in 1875 along the old Plank Road between Port Dover and Hamilton. Each of those spans were 105 feet (32 meters) in length. A large brick toll keepers residence was also built near the north end of this bridge. The Caledonia Toll House was also completed in 1875. Built by the Caledonia Town Council, the toll house was constructed to collect tolls to cross the Grand River using Caledonia's old Iron Bridge. While tolls were no longer collected at this bridge after 1890, the toll house is now a private residence, remaining true to its Gothic Victorian architecture. At least one portion of the 1875 bridge in Caledonia collapsed due to overloading by a truck in 1925, which prompted interest in constructing a new bridge, leading to construction of the existing rainbow arch bridge.

Built by the Randolph MacDonald Company of Toronto, Ontario, the bridge was completed in a record 140 working days, a feat both in 1927 and today as well. The existing nine span concrete arch bridge that carries Argyle Street across the Grand River in Caledonia is considered to be a heritage bridge and structure. However, time has taken its toll and the bridge is now posted with weight restrictions for crossing vehicles. This also means that the Caledonia Bridge is not long for this world, as there is a project study in place as of 2019 in order to replace the historic nine arched rainbow arch bridge with a steel arch bridge.

I visited the Caledonia Bridge on two occasions, in 2005 and 2010. This heritage bridge (in Ontario, they use the term heritage instead of historic for these sorts of sites) is truly unique and worth visiting if you happen to be in the area. Here are some photos that I have took of the bridge and its surroundings.










How to Get There:



Sources and Links:
Caledonia Bridge - HistoricBridges.org
Old Highway 6, Caledonia - Alps' Roads
The King's Highway 6 - TheKingsHighway.ca
Heritage and Culture - Caledonia Ontario
The Toll House - Canada's Historic Places
Replacement of the Argyle Street Grand River Bridge in Caledonia - Argyle Street Bridge Replacement

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Former California State Route 24 through the Kennedy Tunnel and Old Tunnel Road

 Near the eastern City Limit of Oakland high in the Berkeley Hills one can be find the ruins of the Kennedy Tunnel at the intersection of Old Tunnel Road and Skyline Boulevard.  The Kennedy Tunnel opened in 1903 and was the first semi-modern automotive corridor which crossed the Alameda County-Contra Costa County Line.  The Kennedy Tunnel even saw service briefly as part of California State Route 24 before the first two bores of the Caldecott Tunnel opened in 1937.   Part 1; the history of the Kennedy Tunnel The genesis point for California State Route 24 ("CA 24") being extended into the San Francisco Bay Area begins a couple years before the Sign State Routes were announced when Legislative Route Number 75 ("LRN 75") was added by 1931 Legislative Chapter 82.  According to cahighways.org the original definition of LRN 75 was as simply "Walnut Creek to Oakland."  The instigator for the adoption of LRN 75 was construct a replacement route for the Ken

The original alignment of California State Route 1 in San Francisco

In 2019 the Gribblenation Blog Series covered the history of the Hyde Street Pier and the original surface alignment of US Route 101 in San Francisco.  Given the Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic in May of 1937 coupled with the fact that the Sign State Routes had been announced in August of 1934 there were still some open questions regarding the original highway alignments in San Francisco.  Namely the question of this blog is; where was California State Route 1 prior to the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge?  Thanks the to the discovery of a 1936 Shell Highway Map of San Francisco and the California Highways & Public Works the answer can be conveyed clearly.     Part 1; the history of early California State Route 1 in San Francisco The genesis point for California State Route 1 ("CA 1") in San Francisco dates to 1933.  1933 was significant due to the State Legislature allowing the Division of Highways to assume maintenance of highways in Cities for the first time. 

Santa Clara County Route G8 and the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine

Santa Clara County Route G8 is a 29.38 mile County Sign Route which is part of the San Francisco Bay Area transportation corridor.  Santa Clara County Route G8 begins at California State Route 152 near the outskirts of Gilroy and terminates at former US Route 101 at 1st Street/Monterey Road near downtown San Jose.  Santa Clara County Route G8 incorporates the notable Almaden Expressway and is historically tied to the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine.   (Santa Clara County Route G8 map image courtesy CAhighways.org) Part 1; the history of Santa Clara County Route G8, the Almaden Road corridor and New Almaden Mine The present corridor of Santa Clara County Route G8 ("G8") began to take shape with the emergence of the Almaden Expressway.  According to the October 1960 California Highways & Public Works Unit 1 of the Almaden Expressway opened in November of 1959 between Alma Avenue near downtown San Jose south to the Guadalupe River as part of a Federal Highway Aid Secondary pro