Anyone passing by Toronto's Fort York area in recent weeks may have noticed a 600-tonne crawler crane looming over the wedge of land north of the fort. This massive machine was a key player this past weekend at the site of Garrison Crossing, where the first of two spans was hoisted into place to create a new pedestrian and cycle bridge connection that will link the Fort York and Niagara neighbourhoods, crossing over the Kitchener rail corridor to the north and the Lakeshore West rail corridor to the south. 

Garrison Crossing, Fort York Pedestrian Cycle Bridge, TorontoNorth bridge span being hoisted into place, image courtesy of CreateTO

The project consists of two separate spans, consisting of a tied stainless steel network arch with a single arch rib inclined outwards. The bridge's 52-metre-long north span was hoisted into place in a delicate operation early on Saturday morning, connecting the South Stanley Park extension to the Ordnance Triangle over the Kitchener rail corridor.

Garrison Crossing, Fort York Pedestrian Cycle Bridge, TorontoNorth bridge span being hoisted into place, image courtesy of CreateTO

The hoist involved a temporary closure of the Kitchener corridor, conducted overnight to minimize disruption of rail traffic. Brief video clips provided by CreateTO show snippets of the hoist as seen by a drone, including a view of the north span in the process of being swung into place below.

By early morning, the span was in place and the rising sun allowed for a better look at the work accomplished overnight.

“As Toronto’s downtown core continues to grow and evolve, the City continues to plan for new ways to enhance accessibility and connectivity around the expanding communities,” reads a statement from Councillor Mike Layton, Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina. “Connecting the Fort York and Lakeshore neighbourhoods to communities north of the rail corridor is a vital city-building initiative. This important new pedestrian and cycling link will allow for new transportation routes and will connect our parks and greenspaces for all Toronto residents.”

Garrison Crossing, Fort York Pedestrian Cycle Bridge, Toronto600-ton crawler and the new north bridge span, image by Forum contributor Red Mars

Being led by CreateTO on behalf of the City of Toronto, the duplex stainless steel arch bridge—the first of its kind in Canada—is being built by Dufferin Construction, project managed by CreateTO and by MMM Group, with a design-build team composed of PedeltaDTAH, Mulvey & Banani, and Golder Associates. 

Garrison Crossing, Fort York Pedestrian Cycle Bridge, TorontoNorth bridge span in place, image courtesy of CreateTO

“Each step of the way, CreateTO has worked with the City to achieve the highest quality design while respecting the City’s budget so this vital community connection project could move forward and become a reality,” reads a statement from Mike Whelan, CreateTO’s Vice President, Major Projects. “Through strong visioning and collaboration, this project has brought together the strength and expertise of municipal partners and the private sector.”

Garrison Crossing, Fort York Pedestrian Cycle Bridge, TorontoNorth bridge span in place, image courtesy of CreateTO

The first span will be followed by the 49-metre-long south span over the Lakeshore West rail corridor, which features a westward outward-angled arch. The second span is anticipated to be raised into place in September.

Additional information and images can be found in our database file for the bridge, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.