Friday, June 15, 2018

Wakefield Bridge

One last spot in this excursion into the Gatineau Hills was a bridge spanning the Gatineau River at Wakefield. Given Tom's interest in covered bridges, I knew he and Janette would enjoy this one. The Wakefield Covered Bridge is seen here from the auto bridge upstream. The first bridge, the Gendron, built in 1915, was destroyed by fire in the 1980s. It was a blow to the community, who organized to rebuild it, and the finished bridge was inaugurated in 1998. It is open to pedestrians and cyclists, but not to cars. The bridge is faithful in design to its predecessor, and rests on top of the original cement supports.

Here we have the entrance on the east side. The bridge is 87.8 metres (288 feet) long, 5.5 metres (18 feet) wide, and both 4.9 metres (16 feet) above the river and in terms of its wall height. Most of that's wood- Douglas fir for the structure and pine exterior siding, with a steel roof.

A nearby staircase leads down to the river itself.

This view looks downstream. The better part of the village is down there at a bend in the river.

Here we have a view looking back up.

A sign with the vital statistics of the structure and the story of its new life is found near the entrance. The old bridge was very much the heart of the community, and its destruction was a profound loss. Resurrecting it in a new bridge has given the community its heart back.

Before stepping inside, I paused to photograph upstream. The bridge we crossed over with the car is over there.

Inside the bridge, there are displays about the history of the old bridge and the building of the new one. The community came together to raise the funds- $600 000- to rebuild, and the two spans of equal length were first assembled on land and then floated on the river by barge to the site. Those spans weighed 57 000 kilograms. I have more from here in tomorrow's post.


  1. Awwww...covered bridges remind me of my childhood in Pennsylvania. So beautiful.

  2. Estas pontes são uma maravilha, gosto bastante de as ver.
    Um abraço e bom fim-de-semana.

    Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa
    O prazer dos livros

  3. ...I never can see this beauty too many times, thanks!

  4. It is nice to see the history given inside the bridge. Looks like a lovely place in your photos.

  5. Do you know why covered bridges were covered? They are lovely. but out of a whole adventure, it is only a few meters of covered!


  6. What a wonderful bridge, great it's been rebuilt.

  7. A treasure indeed and a treat for walkers and bikers.

  8. love seeing the construction views. awesome!! love the color. it was funny when we were in Canada recently the hubby was talking about miles and so forth to travel here and there (we were giving suggestion of where for them to see and travel) and the Canadian friends were saying how many km is that? when they sort of got where we were coming from they were like oh that is not far ... thanks for sharing both. so helpful. have a great day. ( ;

  9. @Pat: this one definitely is!

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Tom: you're welcome!

    @Maywyn: the period photos are a nice touch.

    @Janis: it protects the wooden structure from the elements.

    @Jan: it was well worth resurrecting.

    @Marie: it is indeed.

    @Beth: the metric system is so much easier!

  10. Fascinating bridge and it is good that it was rebuilt exactly as the old one was:)

  11. The villagers were very astute to replace this bridge as it held a lot of history and is a great tourist draw.

  12. I can't believe it but I've never been on a covered bridge. I might just have to come to Ottawa!

  13. I always enjoy seeing Tom's covered bridges, the new bridge has been reproduced perfectly. I have never seen a covered bridge here, must Google!

  14. What a lovely photograph that first one is … although I enjoyed them all.
    That covered bridge is a beauty isn't it.

    All the best Jan

  15. These bridges are far and few between glad this was rebuilt and that it's closed to cars, etc. Your photos are superb! We don't have such bridges down this way or at least I've never seen one, but they've always been a favorite kind of bridge for me.

  16. I had no idea there was a covered bridge up there! What a good display they have about it!

  17. Wonderful views William. I love that covered bridge!

  18. It's lovely by the water, Wakefield is a lovely spot, as well.
    I'm still playing catch up with spring chores, but, as you so kindly commented, the photos will last a lifetime. We won't go back to Lake Louise ever again!

  19. I am just now catching up on blog reading, William, and enjoyed this post and recent previous ones. We have seen quite a few covered bridges on our travels through New England, most recently in Woodstock, VT. Most of them have quite a history and many like the one you posted about have been rebuilt as well because of deterioration, fire damage, vandalism. It was nice to read about the Wakefield covered bridge.

  20. @Rosie: rebuilding it was the right thing to do.

    @Red: it is something that just draws you to it.

    @Jeanie: covered bridges seem to be found a lot in the northeastern states and the eastern provinces of Canada.

    @Grace: I suspect there wouldn't be many of them in Australia!

    @Jan: it certainly is.

    @Cloudia: that it is.

    @Lowell: I imagine south of Mason-Dixon they would be quite rare.

    @RedPat: there are more in Quebec. The only one I can think of in Ontario is around Kitchener. This one, of the ones around this part of Quebec, is the longest one.

    @Marleen: so do I.

    @Jennifer: Wakefield is a wonderful place.

    @Beatrice: New England has its share!

  21. Interesting and beautiful bridge.
    Have a nice weekend
    Divagar Sobre Tudo um Pouco

  22. Great. I haven't seen a covered bridge since I left Iowa.

  23. Ah ~ beautiful bridge ~ delightful series of photos,

    Happy Weekend to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  24. I live the river view and covered bridge. There is no covered bridge here. Have a great weekend!

  25. How nice that they managed to rebuild this bridge, and to make it pedestrian friendly.

  26. always a fan of a read covered bridge. nice!! ( ;

  27. The bridge has an interesting history.

  28. @Maria: thank you!

    @Mari: Quebec has some. Ontario, I believe, just has one, and that's in the southwest part of the province.

    @Carol: thank you.

    @Nancy: thanks!

    @Kay: it was well worth rebuilding.

    @Beth: this one's a beauty.

    @Klara: it does.