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, connecting the Town of Goderich and the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh. The seven-span steel and wood railway bridge was constructed between 1906 and 1907.
The property was designated by the Town of Goderich in 1993 for its architectural and historical significance under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 90 of 1993).
Located within the harbour area of the Town of Goderich, the Menesetung Bridge is a visual reminder of the important role of Lake Huron and the railway to the development of Goderich. The harbour and the train station, located to the south of the bridge, were the industrial and commercial hub of early Goderich and greatly contributed to the success of the town.
The Menesetung Bridge was vital to the development of Goderich as a thriving port town. The train service which crossed the Maitland River via the Menesetung Bridge on the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Guelph-Goderich Line brought business and passengers to the harbour town and, through their commerce and trade, Goderich flourished. The construction, which began in 1906 by M.A. Pigott of Hamilton, 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 Town of Goderich and the CPR for over 80 years. In 1988, the final 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 as part of the Maitland Trail.
The Menesetung Bridge was the longest bridge in Ontario at the time of its construction and is a fine example of a typical Canadian Pacific Rail 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 2 abutments and 6 concrete piers which rise about 60 metres from the Maitland River. The embankments were reinforced with millions of tons of earth, which also reduced the grade from the Township of Colborne into the Goderich Harbour.
Sources: Town of Goderich By-law 90 of 1993; Bridge to the Past: A History of the Menesetung Bridge, Ryerson Neal, 2007.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Stone Road Bridge include its:
- location spanning the Maitland River, in close proximity to Goderich Harbour and the former Goderich CPR station
- views to the bridge from the banks of the Menestung River and the Harbour area
- steel and wood construction
- original dimensions of the bridge including seven 104 foot spans 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
Location of Supporting Documentation
Town of Goderich
57 West Street
Cross-Reference to Collection