Bloor Viaduct History Photos

The birth of the Bloor Viaduct

The Bloor Viaduct, also known as the Prince Edward Viaduct, is a landmark project in Toronto.

Opened in fall of 1918, the bridge system is actually composed of two structures: the one that spans the Don Valley and the smaller western section that runs above the Rosedale Valley (and a third if you consider that the stretch of current day Bloor between Sherbourne and Parliament was built on fill). 

The Viaduct is arguably the city's most important bridge, linking the eastern and western sections of Toronto over a valley that at one point left them very much divided. It was also a major factor in the birth of the Bloor-Danforth subway line (before it opened, the east/west subway line was almost built along Queen Street).

In addition to these practical features, the design is iconic as well, with those black steel arches towering above the valley below. Interestingly, it wasn't always destined to look this way. Along with a (failed) proposal to build a much longer bridge between Broadview and Sherbourne, where Bloor terminated at that time, there were also numerous other designs tabled for the viaduct.

Here's how the Viaduct has looked since its birth in Toronto.

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Alternative proposal by L.G. Mouchel and Partners Ltd., 1914

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Alternative proposal by L.G. Mouchel and Partners Ltd., 1914

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Detail of the Louchel plan, 1914

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Hedrick and Cochrane design, 1914

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Unspecified alternative proposal, 1914

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Rendering of adopted proposal

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Getting started, 1915

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View of construction in the valley, 1915

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Laying the foundation in the Don Valley, 1915

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Construction, July 1916

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Construction July 1916

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Progress by winter 1916

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Taking shape, 1917

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Rosedale side, 1917

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Rosedale side surface, 1917

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Paving, 1918

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Laying track, 1918

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Laying track,1918

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The new extension to Bloor Street, 1918

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Just opened, 1918

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Just opened, 1918

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Final route of Prince Edward Viaduct

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The Viaduct in 1920

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Another shot from 1920

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The Viaduct in 1933

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What it looks like today. Photo by Derek Flack.

Photos by

The Toronto Archives. Written by Derek Flack.


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