This week, Mississauga City Council unanimously passed a resolution strongly objecting to the proposed demolition of the existing Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) heritage bridge that spans the Credit River just east of Mississauga Road.
“Council was informed by the Ministry of Transportation without notice or consultation with the community, they have changed course on the Credit River bridge project. Instead of rehabilitating one of Mississauga’s unique heritage features, the plan is now to demolish and rebuild from scratch. This bridge is an important part of our City’s history and we must preserve and protect it,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. I have sent a letter to Premier Ford to ensure the province is aware of our serious concerns. We want to work with them to find a solution that preserves this important piece of our City’s history. You can’t put a price on heritage.”
The bridge is currently listed on the City’s Heritage Register for architectural reasons and because it is part of the cultural heritage landscape. It is also identified as a Provincial Heritage Property of Significance and included on the Ontario Heritage Bridge listing. It is 840 feet long, was originally constructed in 1934 and expanded in 1960. It is owned by the Government of Ontario, Ministry of Transportation. During a recent public information meeting, held on November 7, the Ministry of Transportation advised they are taking an alternative approach to life cycle asset management and will be replacing the bridge rather than rehabilitating.
“As Chair of Mississauga’s Heritage Advisory Committee, I am extremely disappointed at the direction the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Ontario are taking in wanting to now demolish the QEW/Credit River bridge. It’s like saying, we know you’re old, we know you need work, but you’re going to take too much time, effort and money to fix so it’s easier if we just throw you away and start all over again. That’s shameful and it’s very frustrating,” said Ward 11 Councillor George Carlson and Chair of Mississauga’s Heritage of Advisory Committee. “This bridge has been identified as deserving of heritage preservation, why that is being ignored is baffling to me. There’s a reason we have heritage inventories – to preserve and protect our history. Once something like this bridge is gone, it’s gone forever – we can never get it back. That’s why we need to take a strong stance and ensure that we’re doing absolutely everything we can to preserve it.”
In order to demolish the existing bridge, the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, the Honourable Lisa MacLeod, must provide consent. If consent is granted by the Minister, the City of Mississauga is requesting that an application for the demolition be submitted for review by the Heritage Advisory Committee. At this time, no application has been submitted.
Learn more about Heritage Planning and the City’s efforts to identify, protect, conserve and celebrate Mississauga’s cultural heritage.