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Newmarket ghost canal: site of the swing bridge

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Comments (9)

Marilyn Whiteley on July 3, 2009

In 1906, construction began on an extension to connect Newmarket, Ontario, to the Trent Canal System, in hopes of giving economical water access to the markets of Chicago, the western provinces, Montreal, and even Europe. Planners, however, grossly underestimated the costs and overestimated the amount of water available! Work on the canal was stopped in 1912 and never resumed.

This is the site of a swing bridge constructed in 1911. With the cancellation of the canal, it never had reason to swing, but it carried vehicles until a new bridge was built in 2002. The old one was subsequently removed and this pedestrian bridge built at the site.

Amelia Royan on July 4, 2009

Very interesting info Marilyn. It makes one wonder how many other projects world wide have been planned, started and given up, and this one sounds as if it was on a really grand scale!!! It does seem a pity that hey removed the old swing bridge though, It was part of the town.

I do like a photo with a bit of interest and history :)

Greetings, Amelia on July 4, 2009

You chose a very nice perspective for this picture. Well done!

Greetings from Ulm

Seyithan BOZDEMİR on July 4, 2009

Very beautiful view

► Greetings

► Seyit

Hank Waxman on July 4, 2009

Remnants of the old steel swing bridge seem to remain as a testament to poor planning. The name "Newmarket" holds such commercial promise that your story caused me to wonder what happened to the town. Fortunately, Wikipedia confirms that it pulled through and is now part of the greater Toronto metropolitan area. The article even mentioned the canal thusly:

"North of Davis Drive the East Holland River was straightened to prepare it for use as a commercial waterway to bypass the railway, whose prices were skyrocketing around the turn of the 20th century. Sir William Mulock, the local Member of Parliament, proposed a canal system running down the Holland river through Holland Landing and into Lake Simcoe. This would allow boats to connect from there to the Trent Waterway for eventual shipment south. The canal was almost complete by the summer of 1912, when it was cancelled by the incoming government of Robert Borden.[8] Today the locks are still visible, mostly silted up, although the turning basin in downtown Newmarket was filled in and now forms the parking lot of The Tannery Mall, on the site of the former Hill tannery."

Larry Workman on July 4, 2009

Great history lesson and very nice photo, too.


Marilyn Whiteley on July 4, 2009

Thanks for your comments, Amelia, Digga, Seyit, Hank, and Larry. I'm glad you like exploring a little history with me!

Special thanks, Hank, for the additional information. The canal would have connected the canal with both Lake Ontario (and ports east) and Lake Huron (and ports west), but the cost overrun was huge and the lack of water for filling the canal and its locks does sound like a serious problem!


Alex-Booking Vuelos on May 14, 2014

Elegiste una perspectiva muy agradable para esta foto. Bien hecho!

Copia de seguridad d… on June 17, 2014

Lovely! regards from Mallorca!

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on July 3, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Marilyn Whiteley
    • Taken on 2009/06/29 10:51:52
    • Exposure: 0.005s (1/200)
    • Focal Length: 7.81mm
    • F/Stop: f/5.600
    • ISO Speed: ISO50
    • Exposure Bias: -0.70 EV
    • No flash