Maitland River Bridge
Goderich CPR Bridge
Links and documents
1906/01/01 to 1907/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Menesetung Bridge spans the Maitland River near its entry into Lake Huron. It connects the Town of Goderich and the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh. The seven-span, steel and wood, former railway bridge was constructed between 1906 and 1907.
The property was designated, by the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh in 1993, for its heritage value, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, By-law 29-1993.
Located within the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh the Menesetung Bridge is a visual reminder of the important role of Lake Huron and the railway in the area's development.
The Menesetung Bridge was vital to the development of Goderich and the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh. The train service that crossed the Maitland River via the Menesetung Bridge, on the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Guelph-Goderich Line, brought business and passengers to the area and through their commerce and trade the township flourished. Construction by M.A. Pigott of Hamilton, which began in 1906, was often delayed due to disputes with the competing Grand Trunk Railway (GTR).
The Menesetung Bridge's official opening ceremonies took place on September 19, 1907 and the bridge served the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh and the CPR for over 80 years. In 1988, the last CPR train stopped on the bridge and blew its whistle, for a final time. Today, due in large part to the efforts of the local community to save the bridge when it was threatened in the early 1990s, the Menesetung Bridge serves as a pedestrian bridge on the Maitland Trail.
The Menesetung Bridge was the longest bridge in Ontario, at the time of its construction, and was a fine example of a CPR bridge. The seven spans each measure 104 feet in length and 12 feet in width, creating a total length of 750 feet. The bridge is held up by two abutments and six concrete piers, which rise about 60 metres from the Maitland River. The embankments were reinforced with millions of tons of earth which reduced the grade from the Township of Colborne into the Goderich Harbour.
Source: Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, By-law 29-1993.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Menesetung Bridge include its:
- steel and wood construction
- seven spans creating its104 foot length and 12 foot width
- six concrete piers
- two abutments
- reinforced embankments
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
Function - Category and Type
- Pedestrian Way
- Bridge, Tunnel or Other Engineering Work
Architect / Designer
M. A. Pigott
Location of Supporting Documentation
Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh
Office of the Deputy Clerk
82133 Council Line
R. R. 5
Cross-Reference to Collection