La Salle Causeway

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File:Lasalle causeway.JPG
The causeway and bridge, looking west

The La Salle Causeway is a causeway that allows Highway 2 to cross the Cataraqui River (the southern entrance of the Rideau Canal) at Kingston, Ontario. The causeway separates Kingston's inner and outer harbours. Construction of the causeway was completed on April 15, 1917.[1]

Three bridges are incorporated into the causeway, the centre one being a Strauss trunnion bascule lift bridge[2] designed by Joseph Strauss, designer of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

The La Salle Causeway was named after René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle who oversaw the construction of Fort Frontenac in 1673 at, what is now, the western end of the causeway.


File:Cataraqui Bridge.jpg
Cataraqui Bridge and Toll House circa 1900. Watercolor by Ella Isabel Fraser (1856–1943)

The first attempt at transportation across the river was a cable-operated scow type of ferry that began operating in 1786. Two rowboats were often available for use as well.[3]

In 1826 the Cataraqui Bridge Company was formed to build a wooden bridge "1800 feet long by 25 feet wide and built on stone piers".[3] The Cataraqui Bridge was opened in 1829.[3] Tolls were collected from a toll booth on the west end of the bridge, and since pedestrians were charged a penny, the bridge was popularly known as the "Penny Bridge". A draw bridge allowed larger vessels to pass through. The draw bridge was eventually replaced by an easier-to-operate swing bridge.

In 1917, the Penny Bridge was replaced by the causeway which included three bridges: two bridges at each end of the causeway, and the centre lift bridge. Of these, only the original centre lift bridge remains; the steel bridges at the east and west ends of the causeway were replaced with concrete bridges in 1962 and 1993 respectively.[4]

See also


  1. Whig 20070720 - Kingston , Ontario waterfront. Retrieved 2013-07-12
  2. Canadian Environmental Assessment Archives - La Salle Causeway Bascule Lift Bridge Painting Project, Kingston, Ontario. (2012-12-05). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Armstrong 1973, P. 168
  4. Vintage Kingston - History of the LaSalle Causeway Retrieved 2016-02-05
  • Armstrong, Alvin. Buckskin to Broadloom - Kingston Grows Up. Kingston Whig-Standard, 1973. No ISBN.
  • Mika, Nick and Helma et al. Kingston, Historic City. Belleville: Mika Publishing Co., 1987. ISBN 0-921341-06-7.

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