Proposed demolition and replacement of historic CPR railway bridge over Rideau River – Updated

posted in: Heritage

The bridge (marked with a red arrow in a 1928 aerial photo from GeoOttawa, click to enlarge) is actually mostly just outside Sandy Hill but is an essential and historic active transportation link for our community. ASH was copied on the email below to the NCC & City of Ottawa Built Heritage Sub-Committee members from architect Barry Padolsky. The two attachments referenced in the email are below the email text.


Updated with City of Ottawa staff presentation.







From: Barry Padolsky <>
Date: Wed, 11 May 2022 at 19:26

Dear Chair King and BHSC members,

It has come to my attention  that the City of Ottawa is planning to demolish and replace the historic CPR Railway Bridge across the Rideau River immediately south of the Queensway. This bridge was constructed in 1898 and is the last survivor of the four historic bridges that spanned the Rideau at this strategic location.

I am attaching an illustrated  Memo  dated May 12,2022   to urge that the BHSC request that:

1.The city heritage staff undertake an assessment of the heritage value of this 8 span half deck plate girder bridge with the objective of designating the structure under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act as a step towards preserving and rehabilitating this historic landmark.

2. The General Manager Planning Infrastructure and Economic Development  initiate a peer review of the “Detailed Condition Assessment and Renewal Options Analysis report was completed by Parsons in November 2018, which recommended that the existing structure be replaced on a new alignment upstream of the existing bridge”. The objective of this review would be evaluate the feasibility, relative costs and benefits of preserving and rehabilitating this historic landmark.

I will bring this request to the next meeting of the BHSC on June 20,2022.

I am attaching the City Staff Report date February 22,2022 that provides a status report on the proposed replacement of the “Old Railway Rideau River Ped Bridge SN018600”. It is of note that since the bridge has not yet been designated under Part IV of the Heritage Act the report give no consideration to  preserving and rehabilitating this historic landmark.

Respectfully submitted

Barry Padolsky

Barry Padolsky B.Arch.,M.Sc.Urban Design OAA, FRAIC, RCA, CAHP

bridge -railway -river -replacement -charter-22100
Replacement of Old Railway Rideau River Ped Bridge (SN018600)-V4 Final