On September 26, passionate Trail volunteers and supporters gathered at the Uxbridge Trestle Bridge to celebrate its official reopening, as a restored stretch of the TCT in Uxbridge, Ontario.
Valerie Pringle, TCT Foundation co-chair, attended the event and marvelled at the history of the structure, which was originally built in 1872 by the Toronto-Nipissing Railway.
“This bridge is a treasure, a gift to future generations and an homage to the proud heritage of Uxbridge,” said Pringle to the gathering of Trail enthusiasts and residents. “We are proud to count it as part of the TCT.”
In collaboration with the Pan Am/Parapan Am Legacy fund, TCT contributed over $160,000 toward the restoration of the Uxbridge Trestle Bridge, which had fallen into disrepair in the early 2000s and was eventually closed down for a number of years until enough funds were raised to revamp the structure into a pedestrian bridge.
Today, Trail users can safely cross the Uxbridge Trestle Bridge, which at one time carried the weight of trains transporting wood and grain from northern Ontario to Toronto. When Trail users continue on along the Barton Trail, which was once rail-bed, they walk in the footsteps of railroad workers and settlers who made Uxbridge a major railroad hub over a hundred years ago.
“With the restoration of this bridge as part of the Trans Canada Trail, the past is evident, and the future is apparent,” said dedicated Uxbridge Trails Committee volunteer John McCutcheon. “The structure is almost as old as Canada, so it’s very fitting for it to be part of the grand legacy of the TCT, and for it to be fully restored in time for the full connection of the Trail for Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017.”
The TCT in Uxbridge is 100 per cent connected, while Ontario’s section of the Trail is currently 73 per cent developed, with just over 1,200 kilometres left to connect in time for 2017.
View photos from the event HERE.