Cambridge Main Street Bridge
0, Main Street, City of Cambridge, Ontario, N1S, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Cambridge Main Street Bridge spans the Grand River between Water and Melville Streets, in the former City of Galt, now the City of Cambridge. The bridge is a multiple-span concrete bowstring arch bridge and was constructed in 1931.
The property was designated by the City of Cambridge in 1982 for its heritage value under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 2225).
The Cambridge Main Street Bridge has also been listed on the Ontario Heritage Bridge list, a list of provincially significant bridges maintained by the Ministry of Culture.
The Cambridge Main Street Bridge is located in the historic centre of the former City of Galt and spans the Grand River, a Canadian Heritage River. It is part of a group of four multiple-span concrete bow string arch bridges spanning the Grand River that were erected in the same time period. They are all similar in style. These bridges are a part of the upgrading work that took place to the transportation networks in Ontario, after the First World War, to accommodate the increased number of automobiles. This group includes two other bridges within the Region of Waterloo, the Freeport Bridge and the Bridgeport Bridge in Kitchener. The fourth bridge, the Caledonia Bridge is located in the nearby City of Caledonia.
The Cambridge Main Street Bridge crosses the Grand River and connects the east and west sides of downtown Galt, making it the most important bridge in the City of Cambridge. The current bridge replaced an earlier bridge, built at this location. Commissioned by the former City of Galt, at a cost of approximately $55,000, the structure was designed by Archibald B. Crealock, a consulting engineer from Toronto. It was built in four months, by W.H. Yates Construction Company Limited of Hamilton. The official opening of the Cambridge Main Street Bridge took place on December 22, 1931.
The Cambridge Main Street Bridge is a reinforced concrete bowstring arch bridge. The bridge's bowstring design was popular in the 1920s and 1930s as it required minimal material, was simple to install and could easily accommodate vehicular traffic. It has an overall length of 188 feet and two spans of 94 feet each. The bridge's abutments and piers are built entirely on limestone bedrock. Two lanes of cars can cross the bridge and 8 foot wide sidewalks, one on either side of the vehicular traffic, make it a pedestrian-safe structure.
Sources: City of Cambridge By-law 2225; City of Cambridge Report, 2002.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Cambridge Main Street Bridge include its:
- two-span reinforced concrete bowstring arch construction
- overall size and massing as incorporated into the downtown
- two 94 foot concrete spans
- two car lanes
- two 8 foot wide sidewalks
- limestone bedrock abutments and piers
- decorative concrete rails and balustrades
- concrete deck beams
- prominent location in the former City of Galt, spanning the Grand River
- proximity to three other bridges in the area which were built in the same era
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1982/01/01 to 1982/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Bridge, Tunnel or Other Engineering Work
Architect / Designer
Archibald C. Crealock
W.H. Yates Construction Company Limited
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Cambridge
73 Water Street North
Cross-Reference to Collection