There are seven bridges in town all crossing the Gananoque River. All but two of these bridges are found on the Gananoque Walking Trails. You can pick up a copy of the Walking Trail Map and brochure from the Gananoque and 100 Island Visitor Centre, 10 King Street East, or click here for a printable copy.
Furthest upstream is the “Black Bridge”. Originally used as a railway bridge for the 1000 Island Railway it is now a bridge on the Gananoque Walking Trails (Lions Loop).
Next downstream is the “Hudson Bridge”. The original “Black Bridge” was moved in 1924 to the location when the railway needed a bridge better suited to its needs. Hudson Bridge was added to connect the residential area on the west side of the river north of King Street to the east side. Machar Street, just a block long was added to provide access to the bridge.
The “Rail to Trail Bridge” was a railway bridge, now a useful shortcut from downtown to the Steelworkers Park. It also has great views both up and down the river.
The foot path over the dam is next on the way down river. The dam is still used to control water levels up stream. Several times a year the winches on this Bridge are used to lift large wood beams in and out to change the water flow.
On the same path there is another bridge that crosses the sluice-way or canal that took water to the early businesses to provide power for running saws and other machinery.
In the summer here is a large metal eel ladder on the east side f the dam. It allows the eels access to up river breeding grounds.
The “Cement Bridge” on King Street is located where the first permanent bridge to cross the river was located. Over the years, wood was replaced by iron and then by cement. This bridge has always been vehicular. From the sidewalks there are great views of the dam, mill pond and the lower rapids.
The next bridge crossing the Gananoque River is another railway bridge repurposed for pedestrians and viewing the river. There is a large population of map turtles who can often be seen basking along the edges of the river from the viewing steps on the bridge. This bridge is only a couple of meters from the downtown end of the Cement Bridge.
From the heritage designated “Swing Bridge” on Water Street you can see the St Lawrence River. This was the last railway bridge to be built in Gananoque and the first to be taken out of use. It was designed to swing so as not to disrupt the water based deliver of coal to the industries based on the West shore of the Gananoque River. It still swings but it is a rare time when it is seen open, usually every few years.
– The original bridge’s engineering heritage value
– The modern replacement bridge
– The bridge’s engineering heritage value
– Heritage designation info