Monday, January 18, 2010

Road Bridges of the Lower Don

This is the third of a series on bridges that cross the Don River south of the forks. Previously I blogged about pedestrian and railway bridges. Road bridges comprise the majority of bridges. Of the 26 bridges that cross the lower Don River, 13 are used by road traffic. Here they are from south to north. Note that I haven't included the Cherry Street lift bridge at the west end of the Keating Channel since I consider this part of the harbour and is not really on the river.

The first bridge is a dual bridge. On top is the Gardiner Expressway and below is Lakeshore Blvd. East. It probably dates from the 1960s when the Gardiner was built.

This picture contains bridges 2 and 3. The one in the foreground is the offramp to the Don Valley Parkway. The bridge in the background is the onramp.

This bridge connects Eastern Avenue to both Front Street East and Richmond Street.

This is the ramp from the Don Valley Parkway that connects to Front Street East and Richmond Street.

Queen Street East Bridge. The bridge was built in 1911 and replaced several earlier bridges all of which were damaged by Don River flooding. During the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion, rebels tried to burn the bridge but were unsuccessful.

Dundas Street East. There is a sign on the bridge that says "1910 2007". Presumably that indicates when it was built. I do remember a lot of reconstruction work a couple of years ago so I guess that's what the 2007 refers to.

Gerrard Street East. There is no plaque on this bridge (at least none that I could see). However it looks very similar to the Dundas Street bridge so it may date from the 1910s.

Bloor Street Viaduct. Officially the Prince Edward Viaduct but nobody local calls it that. Opened in 1918, the far-sighted designer included an underdeck for a future subway that wouldn't be built until 1960. The bridge construction was portrayed in fiction by well known author Michael Ondaatje in his book, In the Skin of the Lion.

A connector bridge that runs between the DVP and the Bayview Extension. Underneath this bridge is an unused cloverleaf exit. Two slowly decaying offramps are closed off and lead nowhere. Their existence is a legacy of a colossal plan to lace all of Toronto with a network of expressways. This bridge was supposed to be the start of the Crosstown Expressway which would have cut straight through Rosedale and the Annex and link up with the Black Creek Expressway. None of these came to fruition but the Don Valley is stuck with the leftovers of this folly.

Pottery Road eastbound. The Pottery Road bridge is actually two separate one lane bridges. The westbound bridge is the later construction and the east bound (the one with the arch) is earlier. A plaque on this bridge indicates it was built in 1928.

Pottery Road westbound. This bridge, the more modern of the two was constructed in 1977.

Leaside bridge. Actually it is Millwood Road that goes over the bridge. It splits into Donlands and Pape at the south end. The bridge was built in 1927. While the underdeck looks like it might be converted to a subway line, according to Steve Munro this is not the case.


Marnie said...

Thanks for the unabridged report!

Mg said...

The Gerrard Street bridge opened on December 16, 1923. It cost $762,000, and took 17 months to build.