Middle Road Bridge
1700, Sherway Drive, Mississauga, Ontario, L4X, Canada
Sherway Heritage Bridge
Middle Road Bridge
Links and documents
1909/01/01 to 1910/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Middle Road Bridge is located at the eastern terminus of Sherway Drive and spans the Etobicoke Creek which acts as a boundary between the City of Mississauga and the City of Toronto.
Currently used as a pedestrian bridge, the Mississauga portion of the 4.3 meter wide and 26.1 meter long concrete truss bridge is recognized for its heritage value by City of Mississauga Bylaw 1101-86.
The City of Toronto (formerly City of Etobicoke) portion of the bridge is recognized for its heritage value by (former) City of Etobicoke Bylaw 1986-281.
The heritage value of the Middle Road Bridge lies in its architectural and historical significance, and in its contextual value as an important community landmark.
Built in 1909-1910 to accommodate growing use of the Middle Road, it is the first example in Canada and second example of a reinforced concrete truss or tied arch bridge in North America. The bridge was designed by Frank Barber of Barber and Young, a prominent bridge and structural engineer from Toronto and constructed by O.L. Hicks of Humber Bay, who is recognized for his unique construction method which involved the placement of ice on concrete to slow down the setting process in order to ensure a good bond between successive pours.
Constructed on the stone abutments of a former bridge, the Middle Road Bridge is an enduring remnant of the historic Middle Road, which was a major transportation corridor connecting the former counties of York and Peel until it was surpassed by the Queen Elizabeth Way in the late 1930s. The bridge provided an important economic and social link for surrounding communities. In the early 1900s, it was used by horses, carts and cattle to cross the waterway. Later, automobiles used the bridge, although it only allowed for one lane of traffic. The bridge is now located on the edge of a quiet residential suburb. Although used only for pedestrian traffic, it continues to provide the local community with access to a commercial area on the Etobicoke side of the valley.
Middle Road Bridge is an important landmark within the community. The structure is physically prominent in its setting, and continues to be appreciated by the public. The bridge is the only remaining feature of this portion of the popular, well-travelled highway, the Middle Road.
Sources: City of Mississauaga Bylaw 1101-86; Middle Road Bridge Heritage Structure Report, City of Mississauga, 1984; City of Mississauga File CS.08.SHE 1&2
Key character-defining elements that embody the heritage value of the bridge as an early example of reinforced concrete truss or tied arch bridge construction include its:
- massive arched compression chords, slim vertical tension members and system of counter braces
- truss joints specially designed so that members will fail in the body rather than at the joint
Key character-defining elements that embody the contextual heritage value of the bridge as an enduring remnant of the historic Middle Road and community landmark include the bridge's:
- continued cultural and economic use as a transportation link between the former Counties of Peel and York
- location on the stone abutments of a former crossing of the Etobicoke Creek
- prominent setting at the eastern terminus of Sherway Drive in view of the Queen Elizabeth Way
- continued relationship to the adjacent natural lands of the Etobicoke Creek Valley
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Technology and Engineering
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
Function - Category and Type
- Bridge, Tunnel or Other Engineering Work
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Community Services, Planning and Heritage Section, City of Mississauga
Cross-Reference to Collection