Watch Melissa Wakeling, Education and Marketing Coordinator at Glanmore, as she talks about the history of the Bay Bridge and this 1909 Belleville souvenir booklet.
The Bay Bridge is an important element of Belleville’s history. Before it was built, people between Belleville and Prince Edward County had to make the journey across the Bay of Quinte by private boat or ferry.
In 1887, Belleville earned permission for a bridge to be built and when it was completed in 1891 it was the longest bridge in Canada at the time. For a short time, toll booths were set up at either end of the bridge that people had to pay to cross. The bridge has changed much over the years; the toll booths were removed in 1921 and the bridge has since been restructured. It still remains an important crossing for those moving between Belleville and Prince Edward County.
This souvenir booklet was created by the Belleville Historical Society in 1909. In it, there are many different images of our city’s iconic features. The booklet was created to promote tourism in the city.
The original steel bridge spanning the Bay of Quinte from Belleville to Rossmore features prominently on the front cover of the booklet. The fact that it was chosen for the cover shows how iconic the bridge was to Belleville. Images of the Bay Bridge are still used as promotional images for the city and it remains an iconic element of Belleville’s skyline.
-written by Emma Craig, YCW Public Engagement Assistant