The beautiful Pagoda Bridge in Peterborough’s Jackson Park is about to undergo an extensive restoration — which means the bridge will be closed to pedestrians for around six weeks starting Thursday.
The City of Peterborough has hired Wilson Carpentry of Peterborough to restore the bridge, including fixing components of the structure and the roof that have deterioated.
Restoration work will begin later this week and will continue for eight to 10 weeks, ending in late October or early November. For safety reasons, the bridge will be closed to pedestrians beginning Thursday, August 27th for around six weeks.
The Pagoda Bridge is a 20-foot (six-metre) covered bridge that was originally built between 1894 and 1895 for the Nicholls Park Trust, during the landscaping of Jackson Park and construction of the artificial lake and spillway. It’s an example of Victorian architecture, with its bell-cast roof giving it an oriental appearance — which likely led to the “pagoda” name.
The City of Peterborough aasumed responsibility for the bridge in the 1960s and it eventually started to deteriorate. In 1986, the City recommended demolishing the bridge and replacing it with a steel structure. Led by Elizabeth Farquharson (mother of well-known local lawyer Ann Farquharson), the “Preserve the Pagoda Bridge” committee raised $30,000 to restore the bridge.
On June 25, 1989, the bridge officially reopened and was designated a heritage property. In 1989, Elizabeth Farquharson was named Citizen of the Year, partially because of her successful efforts to save the bridge.