The STEWARTON BRIDGE over the Rideau Canal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
August 24, 2015:
Stewarton Bridge, a.k.a Ottawa East Bridge
by Will Lockhart
Stewarton Bridge was a wooden swing bridge over the Rideau Canal located at the end of Archibald Street
(continuation of Argyle Avenue). It was built in 1890 and joined the village of Stewarton on the west side
to the village of Ottawa East. Stewarton was named after William Stewart who had a large tract of land on
the west side and whose house was located at the present side of the Victoria Museum Building. These villages
were later incorporated into the City of Ottawa and the bridge was later referred to as the Ottawa East Bridge.
In a letter dated February 28, 1910, Mr. A.T. Phillips, Superintending Engineer of Canals, uses the terms
"Ottawa East Bridge" and "Stewarton Bridge" without distinction.
The Department of Railways and Canals employed a bridge tender there to operate the bridge. Canal navigation
would have been given priority over foot and buggy traffic.
This bridge is not to be confused with the Canada Atlantic Railway's swing bridge that was built around March 1882,
located just to its south, at the present location of the Queensway.
In 1915-1917 the Pretoria Bridge was built south of the railway bridge to replace the Stewarton / Ottawa East Bridge.
Written by Will Lockhart with assistance from the Ottawa Railway History Circle and John McDonald.
George Hagerty was a "bridge tender" at Stewarton. He was employed by the Department of Railways and Canals
between 1873 and 1886, his previous assignment having been as a Lock Labourer at the Ottawa Locks.
Sources: 'Invisible Army', Ed Bebee and Canadian Civil Service Lists, Library and Archives Canada
References to the proposal to build a bridge at Mutchmore Avenue contains some references to the
existence of xxx bridges circa 1907. (http://www.oldottawasouth.ca/index.php/oshp-research/1592-mutchmore-bridge-over-the-rideau-canal),
Source: John McDonald
I also found a reference to Stewarton at: http://www.openbookontario.com/news/halt_which_empty_402_mcleod_street_stewarton_part_one?device=mobile.
I don't see a source but the boundary of Stewarton seems to fit with what I found back in my thesis research days.
Stewarton was considered as the first suburb in Ottawa when it was established. Source: John McDonald
Building swing bridge, 1890
Stewarton Bridge - a wooden timber swing bridge that opened to let boats like this coal barge pass by (below).
Detail plan of the bridge on the 1912 Fire Insurance Plan.
Snippet from David Jeanes, full full collection LAC R6990-292-1-E
Ottawa Railway History Circle
The 1876 map, 'Bird's Eye View of the City of Ottawa' shows no crossing at all in the area. The closest bridge to
the north was at Maria Street (Laurier Avenue). No bridge can be seen to the south.
The January 1888 Lumber District map, sheet 105, does not show the bridge at the End of Archibald Street
(continuation of Argyle).
The 1893 Bird's Eye View
http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=4140195&rec_nbr_list=4140195 - Shows the bridge
The 1906 Atlas of Canada
http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/auth/english/maps/archives/1stedition/peopleandsociety/culturalgeography/page38_39 - Shows the Stewarton / Ottawa East Bridge and the Canada Atlantic Railway bridge immediately to the south.
The 1915 Atlas of Canada http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/auth/english/maps/archives/2ndedition/peopleandsociety/culturalgeography/page75_76 - Shows the Stewarton / Ottawa East Bridge and the Canada Atlantic Railway bridge immediately to the south. Pretoria Bridge is not yet on the map.
Wikipedia.org - Pretoria Bridge.
An article, "Mutchmore Bridge over the Rideau Canal" by Jean-Claude Dubé after his viewing LAC Title:
Rideau Canal, Ottawa, Mutchmore Bridge. Library and Archives Canada reference: R610-156-1-E.
Thanks to Will Lockhart for the above research!
Keywords: Rideau Canal, Pretoria Avenue, Glebe Neighbourhood.
E-mail Will Lockhart and Allan Lewis
Back to Bytown or Bust - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa, Canada, area