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Visiting High Falls Bridge, Bracebridge, Ontario: a Bridge for Canada

Updated on April 27, 2013
Provincial flag of Ontario
Provincial flag of Ontario | Source
High Falls Bridge, Bracebridge, Ontario
High Falls Bridge, Bracebridge, Ontario | Source
Commemorative panel, High Falls Bridge, Muskoka, Ontario
Commemorative panel, High Falls Bridge, Muskoka, Ontario | Source
Map location of Muskoka District Municipality, Ontario
Map location of Muskoka District Municipality, Ontario | Source

Spanning the Niagara of the North

High Falls is one of the the scenic landmarks of Bracebridge, in Ontario's Muskoka district. Across the brow of the Falls is High Falls Bridge, 43 metres long, known as a double-single Acrow bridge (1).

The Bridge is designed to carry loads of up to 16 tonnes.

The Falls themselves, sometimes known as Niagara of the North, have a 14.6 metre drop. The volume of water — from the North Branch Muskoka River — which is carried over the Falls is 8.49 cubic metres per second.

The history of the Bridge, constructed in 2000, is linked with the Centenary of the Canadian Military Engineers / Génie militaire canadien. This Centennial was commemorated in 2000, and by way of tribute to this event, the Engineers began a series of Canada-wide projects — collectively referred to as Bridges for Canada / Ponts pour le Canada — in proximity to the Trans Canada Trail / Sentier transcanadien.

This particular bridge was the responsibility of Toronto's 2nd Field Engineer Regiment / 2e Régiment du Génie, in June 2000; 49 sappers of this Regiment worked on the structure.

The hosting Township of Bracebridge / Canton de Bracebridge, and other sponsors, were involved in this particular project also.

A commemorative panel gives some details of the Bridge's characteristics and history, and pays tribute to the close links which exist between the Canadian Forces / Forces canadiennes and Canadian citizens, for whose particular benefit this series of Bridges was planned.

Particularly when overseas tragedies occur, and if the remains of Forces personnel are repatriated, it is a tradition for many flag-bearing Canadian citizens to pay public tribute to their sacrifice and thus the traditional closeness of the Forces with the people of Canada is publicly and vividly recalled.

But this kind of project also underlines the permanent, close relationship between the Forces and Canada's citizens in peacetime as well as war, and one which has existed now for more than a century.

The Falls, and Bridge, are accessible via Cedar Lane, 6 kilometres north of Downtown Bracebridge, in Ontario's Muskoka District.

April 27, 2013


(1) The Acrow Bridge is a standard variety used both militarily in the field and in civilian application by the Department of National Defence / Ministère de la Défense nationale.

(2) The occasion for the building of this bridge over the High Falls came following the collapse of an earlier structure.

Also worth seeing

In Bracebridge itself, Woodchester Villa is an interesting 19th century octagon house, now a museum.

Muskoka Falls (distance: 4.4 kilometres) the Pioneer Cairn and the Peterson Road plaque are of historic interest.

Gravenhurst (distance: 18.1 kilometres); from here, the 'Segwun' sails regularly on Lake Muskoka.


How to get there: Toronto Pearson Airport (distance: 179.2 kilometres) to which Air Canada and WestJet fly from many North American destinations, is the largest international airport within accessible distance to Bracebridge, which is situated north of Toronto by road via Highways 400 and 11. Car hire is available at Toronto Pearson Airport. Ontario Northland operates rail services to Bracebridge from Toronto Union Station. Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

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