Sometimes when you’re meandering about in Toronto, it can be hard to slow down and smell the roses. We almost never stop to marvel at the history behind the landmarks we see every single day. But what if we did? Today we’re looking back to the beginnings of one of the city’s most famous bridges, the Bloor Street Viaduct.
Having turned 100 years old back in 2018, this landmark structure has been a city staple for longer than you’ve been alive. It’s the connecting force between the east end and central Toronto, as the sprawling bridge from Danforth Avenue to Bloor Street over the DVP and Don River.
So let’s take a look back. Although it’s most commonly known as the Bloor Street Viaduct, this massive bridge also goes by Prince Edward Viaduct. The namesake is said to be after King Edward VIII, although it really has not stuck.
When it was first built, the Bloor Street Viaduct was constructed in three separate sections: the Don Section, River Valley, and Rosedale Section. The sections coincide with the areas of the city that they cover. Although the construction of this bridge is now seen as a pivotal moment in Toronto’s history, rumour has it that at the time it wasn’t widely thought of as necessary. In fact, The Toronto Star once reported that people even called it “the bridge to nowhere” because of the incredibly low population on the Danforth side at the time.
Of course, some of this bridge’s history isn’t all too cheery. Over the years it gained a reputation as a popular suicide spot. So many people ended their lives by jumping off of it that a massive barrier was added in 2003. Oof.
Today, the Bloor Street Viaduct still stands as one of the oldest (and prettiest) Toronto landmarks. Often in the evenings you’ll spot it lit up just like the CN Tower. Plus, when you’re walking across it provides seriously beautiful views of the DVP and surrounding greenery. We recommend taking a jaunt in the area during the fall for some seriously insane sights.
There you have it, Toronto! Now you know a little more about a piece of our city’s story. Isn’t it wild to think that a landmark we rarely ever give a second thought has so much history behind it?
Stay healthy, folks!