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Wallace Avenue Foot Bridge

Wallace Avenue Foot Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 20, 2013

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Toronto: Toronto City, Ontario: Canada
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1907 By Builder/Contractor: Ontario Bridge Company of Toronto, Ontario
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
85.0 Feet (25.9 Meters)
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
3 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge is a rare example of a multi-span pony truss, and also of riveted truss foot bridge. It is listed on the Toronto Inventory of Heritage Properties. It was reported to have been built in 1907 with the trusses built by the Ontario Bridge Company with Frazer Matthews as Chief Engineer. The City of Toronto Works Department apparently constructed the concrete foundations for the bridge. C. H. Rust was the city engineer when the bridge was built.  The bridge features steel bents for supports, which rest on top of the concrete footings. The three truss spans include a larger center span that has an unusual skewed design. The southwestern end post is vertical as a result of the skew, while the other three end posts are inclined, although the inclination angle does not appear to be the same for the two at the eastern end, again likely a result of the skewed design. The bridge has experienced moderate alteration from its original design and materials. The stairways do not appear to be original. Some truss members appear to have been replaced, and some rivets appear to have been replaced with bolts.

The below undated photo, presumably taken soon after the bridge's construction, either explains the bridge's history, or adds to the mystery depending on your perspective. In the below photo (click the photo for enlargement) the endposts on the truss spans all appear to have similar inclination, and the nearly-vertical endpost on the center span does not appear to be present. Another photo dated 1915 shows the nearly-vertical end post. This would seem to suggest that one of the bents supporting the trusses was relocated slightly sometime between 1907 and 1915, perhaps to accommodate changes to the track configuration. Moving a single bent without moving anything else would require changing the trusses, such as changing the endpost inclination. Sometime after 1915, another alteration occurred when the bottoms of the steel bents were converted to concrete.

Above: A photo showing the bridge in 1951. Source: virtualreferencelibrary.ca


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