Legal description: Being the Heffernan Street Footbridge, located over the Speed River in the City of Guelph, County of Wellington and the Province of Ontario, on Heffernan Street, as established and shown by Registered Plan 8, Canada Company Survey, and also Part of Lot 9, Registered Plan 32, opened as Heffernan Street by By-law Number 282.
The designation applies to the entire bridge structure including piers, arches, girders, deck and railings.
This graceful concrete arched bridge, which spans the Speed River at St. George’s Anglican Church, is a unique decorative feature of the riverscape. Its fine double curve, often reflected in the water below, is clearly visible from both main bridges in the city centre.
The bridge was built for City Council in 1914 by contractors Galbraiteh and Cate to plans prepared by Ernest E. Clawson, City Engineer. It replaced the original metal arch footbridge, built by the City in 1881, to provide convenient pedestrian access to the downtown for residents of the east side of the river. Although popular with local citizens, the original bridge was ordered removed by the Dominion Railway Commission as it provided no means of safe access over the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks on the east bank. City Council’s decision to again erect a footbridge at this site re-established the bridge’s functional importance as a mid-block pedestrian link to the City’s commercial core and its visual importance as a distinctive piece of Guelph’s landscape.
The designation applies to the entire bridge structure.