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McEwen Bridge

McEwen Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: July 22, 2012

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Kirby Road Over Humber River
Vaughan: York Region, Ontario: Canada
Structure Type
Concrete Rainbow Through Arch, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1923 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown and Engineer/Design: Frank Barber of Toronto, Ontario
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
62.3 Feet (19 Meters)
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
13 Feet (3.96 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge's future is at risk!

Bridge Status: 2020: This bridge appears to be at risk for demolition.

In 2010, Eric May reported that this bridge has had signs posted indicating it is closed and should not be crossed. It was still passable. As of August 2020, large equipment is being set up near the bridge suggesting the bridge is at risk for demolition. Ontario has a terrible preservation record in terms of its unique concrete bowstring arch bridges, and this would only be the latest failure to preserve one of the dwindling number of surviving bridges. A decision to demolish this bridge would go against recomendations and reports made in years past that the bridge could have been rehabilitated, in particular an environmental assessment in 2010.

View Environmental Assessment Documents For This Bridge

This bridge carries a segment of Kirby Road that was abandoned for vehicular use and turned into a non-motorized trail. This bridge is one of only four rainbow (bowstring) type arch bridges on the Humber River. The bridge displays good historic integrity with no major alterations, but is in poor condition structurally. Severe spalling and other deterioration was noted on the hangers, railings, deck and floor beams. The main arch ribs appeared to be in fair to good condition however.

An Environmental Assessment has been in progress for this heritage bridge. A number of alternatives for improving this crossing for pedestrian use were studied, many of which included undesirable demolition of the heritage bridge. However the most recent study reports indicated that rehabilitation was the preferred alternative for the bridge. It is hoped that a project to rehabilitate the existing bridge will move forward.


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