|Inside Broadview and Castle Frank Stations|
Today it's more commonly known as the Bloor Viaduct, which covers a span of 1680 feet or 494 metres and connects the City from Bloor street East to Danforth avenue passing over the Don Valley parkway, the Bayview extension and Riverdale Park.
|I found this huge air vent on the west|
side of the bridge. What it's for?
Bloor Viaduct-Built 1918-note the "Luminous Veil"
Suicide Magnet-Long way down
Like many bridges in large cities, this one isn't any different as far as being a suicide magnet. Its original design did not include the "luminous veil" which was put up in 2003 at a cost of $5 million dollars to prevent grief-stricken people from ending their lives by jumping over the bridge. It also was to protect the traffic underneath in danger of being hit by a fallen body. A sign is erected at the western most part of the bridge, which indicates the phone number to the distress center, standing by 24 hours a day to help listen and hopefully saving a life that day.
Beside it is a Bell public phone which requires no coin if you dial the helpline.
Although statistics have proven that the steel rods which look and behave much the same way as a ships mast, do not prevent suicides. This is to the dismay of many unsympathetic people who feel that the view has been disturbed and was put up in vain due to the fact that one who is in that frame of mind may find alternative choices out of desperation. As in the heart breaking story about Martin William Patrick McMullan, who jumped the 'Leaside Bridge' just minutes away. H was only 19 years old. I pass by this whenever I am on the bike trail, and stop to pay my respects for the young man and think of his devastating last minutes. These are pictures of the unprotected Leaside bridge.
The Bloor Viaduct was designed above all to move mass transit and proved to be a catalyst to Toronto's economic and population growth in the early 1900's. The upper and lower deck of the bridge accomodated both trams on the upper deck and rail transport on the lower deck. At that time, the lower deck was a point
View from Broadview Street (hence the namesake of
broad view of Toronto)
|Toronto marries successfully city and nature beautifully.|
Here I took pics which shows views from Viaduct to the
Don Valley parkway below
There is an award winning fictional novel which was written by Canadian author Michael Ontaadje called the "Skin of a Lion". He despicts the fictional lives of immigrant workers who constructed the Bloor Viaduct and how they lost their identities, and 'skin' blood, and sweat to build the bridge. I was given the book while working at Penquin Books Canada as a gift by the author who later went on to write his more famous work, the English patient. The "Skin of a Lion" is a colorfully written book and I highly recommend it for further reading.
|Riverdale Park East Wetlands (south of Broadview|