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Visiting the Jacques Cartier Bridge / Pont Jacques-Cartier: Historic Structure Linking Montreal and Longueuil, Quebec

Updated on May 14, 2018
Flag of Quebec
Flag of Quebec | Source
Pont Jacques-Cartier / Jacques-Cartier Bridge
Pont Jacques-Cartier / Jacques-Cartier Bridge | Source

Recalling the Brooklyn Bridge, NYC?

Opened in 1930, the Jacques Cartier Bridge / Pont Jacques-Cartier (1), spanning the Saint Lawrence / Saint-Laurent (2), was not actually named until 1934 for the great French explorer of North America with whose name the structure is now inextricably linked (1491-1557).

Stretching nearly 3 kilometres, and attaining 104 metres at its highest point, it was a great feat of engineering which is still among the busiest of bridges in Canada.

It has long been one of the defining sights of Montreal. When in 1930 the R-100 airship visited the city, the Jacques Cartier Bridge / Pont Jacques-Cartier (as it was subsequently known) served as an iconic backdrop to the historic visit (see photo, below).

Originally the Jacques Cartier Bridge / Pont Jacques-Cartier was a toll crossing for vehicles and pedestrians, but the tolls were discontinued in 1962.

Executed in 33,267 tons of steel, and with construction having begun in 1925, this cantilever structure was the work of the Monsarrat & Pratley civil engineering partnership (3), which specialized in many significant bridge-building projects.

In some ways, at what was previously Canada's largest city, the Jacques Cartier Bridge / Pont Jacques-Cartier would correspond roughly to the Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, NY (although the latter bridge is older).

May 14, 2018


(1) See also:

(2) Île Sainte-Hélène / Saint Helen's Island is situated midway across the bridge.

(3) Charles Monsarrat (1871-1940) formed an engineering partnership with Philip Pratley (1884-1958); other projects for which the company was responsible included the Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver, BC, the Angus L. MacDonald Bridge, Halifax, NS, and the Burlington Bay Skyway Bridge, ON.

Some sourcing: Wikipedia

Jacques Cartier Bridge/ Pont Jacques-Cartier, Montreal
Jacques Cartier Bridge/ Pont Jacques-Cartier, Montreal | Source
R-100 passing over the Jacques Cartier Bridge / Pont Jacques-Cartier in Montreal, 1930 Collection Michel-Bazinet
R-100 passing over the Jacques Cartier Bridge / Pont Jacques-Cartier in Montreal, 1930 Collection Michel-Bazinet | Source

Also worth seeing

The architectural and cultural attractions of Montreal are too numerous to mention here, but of special note, among many others, are the domed Bonsecours Market (Marché Bonsecours ), dating from 1847, which was a venue used to house the Parliament of United Canada, prior to Confederation. The Notre-Dame Basilica (Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal ) was built mainly between 1824 and 1829; many Montrealers attend annual performances of Handel's 'Messiah' there. Fine views from Mount Royal (Mont Royal) may be obtained at St. Joseph's Oratory (Oratoire Saint-Joseph) and the Belvedere (Belvédère). The Olympic Stadium (Stade Olympique ) in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district, used for the 1976 Olympics, has the the world's tallest inclined tower, at 175 metres.

Mont-Tremblant (distance: 133 kilometres), in the Laurentian Mountains (Laurentides ) is ideal for scenic excursions, golf and skiing; its boutiques attract many shoppers.


How to get there: Air Canada flies to Montreal (Aéroport international Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau de Montréal ) from Toronto-Pearson, and from New York-Newark and New York-La Guardia, with wide connections. A number of car rental companies offer service at Montreal-Trudeau airport. VIA Rail maintains regular services with Toronto and Windsor. Route 134 passes over the Jacques Cartier Bridge / Pont Jacques-Cartier. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

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


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