timing, my old photos of Hogg Bay CPR Trestle Bridge 1975

my photos of the CPR trestle bridge at Hogg Bay taken in 1975.  You alwys tend to think that things will stay the same and that old things will be around forever…..built in 1907-08, dismantled in 1978. Near Port McNicoll and Victoria Harbour Ontario about 100 miles north of Toronto.

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from the Tay Township website:

The Hogg’s Bay trestle, completed in 1908, was an incredible engineering feat.  Stretched across the swampy bay 2,141 feet, it was the longest wooden trestle of its kind in Canada.  The trestle was built to service the CPR line when it moved its Georgian Bay terminal to Port McNicoll.  At the time, the Grand Trunk Railway already had a rail line running into Midland, and would not allow the CPR to cross their line, so the CPR had to find another way.  They figured the best solution was to run the line across Hogg’s Bay, and in 1907, they hired Mike McPeake, a local builder without an engineering degree, to build the trestle.

McPeake knew little more about the project than where the trestle was to begin and end.  While the trestle was being built, he lived in a shack beside the “hole in the wall”, the overpass where the rails crossed the road.  Every morning, he would get up and mark the timber for the morning’s work with his square and his marking pencil, then head to the Queen’s Hotel in Midland for refreshment, returning at noon to see how the work was progressing.  The result was an architectural marvel, a perfect curve between the two points.

The trestle was anchored by 65-foot fir timbers, which were driven into the ice of the bay.  In a search for solid ground, the workers drove in two piles, one on top of the other, without reaching the bottom.  Local children would skate out onto the bay to watch the pile-drivers work.  Later, they would catch rides to school on the cowcatchers of the slow-moving grain trains.

The trestle remained operational until 1971, at which time railway officials decided that a land route would be safer and cheaper to maintain.  The trestle was dismantled in 1978, despite local requests for the preservation of this unique structure, and its wood was salvaged for use in log homes and telephone poles.