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Cambridge Main Street Bridge

0, Main Street, City of Cambridge, Ontario, N1S, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1982/07/19

View looking south depicting the bridge spanning the Grand River.; Kayla Jonas, 2007.
Main Street Bridge, 2007
Of note are the two 94 feet spans and the 8 foot wide sidewalk.; Kayla Jonas, 2007.
View Looking West, 2007
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/01/12

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.

Heritage Value

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

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




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1982/01/01 to 1982/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation

Function - Category and Type



Bridge, Tunnel or Other Engineering Work

Architect / Designer

Archibald C. Crealock


W.H. Yates Construction Company Limited

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Cambridge Planning Services 73 Water Street North Cambridge, Ontario N1R 5W8

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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