McCrae Boulevard, Guelph, Ontario, N1H, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Gow’s Bridge spans the Speed River on the west side of Royal City Park. This stone bridge continues to serve both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Gow’s Bridge has been designated by the City of Guelph under By-Law (1990)-13471. The designation covers all elements of the south and middle spans of the bridge and the piers, all of which are of stone construction, as well as the concrete foundations, but does not include the more recent north span.
Gow’s Bridge has been designated by the City of Guelph as having historic and architectural value. This stone arch bridge remains as the only surviving example of several stone bridges which once crossed Guelph’s rivers. The bridge was built for the City Council in 1897 by Daniel Keleher, a local contractor. It replaced a wooden bridge constructed at this site in 1852 to circumvent the toll bridges on the Guelph and Dundas Roads.
Both the new and old bridges were known locally as Gow’s Bridge due to their location beside Gow’s Mill, a woolen mill and tannery owned by the prominent Guelph businessman and politician Peter Gow. Gow was elected Mayor of Guelph in 1866, was the first representative of South Wellington in the Provincial Legislative Assembly, serving from 1867 until 1876, and was then appointed Sheriff of Wellington County.
Today this unique remnant of Guelph’s stone heritage lends considerable charm and character to one of the city’s largest public parks.
Key character defining elements that embody the value of the bridge as an example of stone bridge construction include its:
- locally quarried limestone construction
- two-arch design with low stone walls and stone piers
Key character defining elements that embody the contextual value of the bridge as a bypass for the toll-charging bridge network along the Guelph-Dundas Road include its:
- continued access for both pedestrian and vehicular traffic
- location west of the former main access Guelph-Dundas road
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
Function - Category and Type
- Bridge, Tunnel or Other Engineering Work
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Guelph By-Law Number (1990)-13471, City Clerk's Office, City of Guelph
Cross-Reference to Collection