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Otter Creek Bridge

0, Middletown Line, Township of Norwich, Ontario, N0J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1987/06/23

Featured is the scenic rural setting of the Otter Creek Bridge.; Ministry of Culture, 2007.
North Approach, Otter Creek Bridge, 2007
Of note is the wooden deck.; Ministry of Culture, 2007.
South Approach, Otter Creek Bridge, 2007
Of note are the steel members in the form of W's and the steel cables; Ministry of Culture, 2007.
Detailed view of the Otter Creek Bridge, 2007.

Other Name(s)

Otter Creek Bridge
Heritage Pony Truss Bridge
Big Otter Creek Bridge
Pony Truss Bridge

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/03/20

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Otter Creek Bridge, spans the Big Otter Creek and is located on Middletown Line between Cornell and New Roads, in the Township of Norwich. The steel pony truss bridge was constructed in circa 1900.

The property was designated, by the Township of Norwich, in 1987, for its historical or architectural value or interest, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 33-87). The Otter Creek Bridge has also been listed on the Ontario Heritage Bridge list, a list of provincially significant bridges maintained by the Ontario Ministry of Culture.

Heritage Value

Built by the Hamilton Bridge Company in circa 1900, the Otter Creek Bridge is one of a few remaining steel, pony truss bridges in Ontario. Steel bridges proliferated rapidly in Ontario after 1900, and pony trusses, which were easy to erect, comparatively inexpensive and readily available, peppered the landscape. The pony truss design is low, lying alongside the bridge deck which allows light truss units to cross relatively large spans. The single lane capacity of pony trusses, however, resulted in many municipalities upgrading to two lane bridges.

The Otter Creek Bridge is of the Warren Truss form which uses diagonals in the shape of “W's” as its bracing and load bearing system. It also features bolted joints and a wooden deck.

The Otter Creek Bridge is a significant landmark in Oxford County. It is located on what was once a well traveled rural road in South Norwich. The Otter Creek Bridge's location on a forested winding road, contributes to the scenic rural landscape. It is a favourite location of local fishermen, naturalists and artists.

Sources: Township of Norwich By-law 33-87; Discovering Heritage Bridges on Ontario's Roads, David J. Cumming, 1951.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Otter Creek Bridge include its:
- Hamilton Bridge Works plaque located at the east end of the south truss
- one lane width
- Warren truss construction
- timber deck beams
- bolted skeletal framework, including diagonal steel members and horizontal steel bracing
- location spanning the Otter Creek in a rural setting in South Norwich
- location on a winding forested road including steep hill approach on the south side of the bridge




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1987/01/01 to 1987/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation

Function - Category and Type



Bridge, Tunnel or Other Engineering Work

Architect / Designer



Hamilton Bridge Company

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Township of Norwich 210 Main Street East Otterville, Ontario N0J 1R0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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