Bridge of Lights: A Walk Down Arlington Street

It’s April 8, 1911 and Winnipeg’s newest bridge is nearing completion. A Manitoba Free Press headline reads: Bridge of Lights, New Arlington Viaduct Will be a Night Sight for Winnipeggers. The writer continues:

The new Arlington street bridge across the C.P.R. yards when completed will be one of the night sights of the city as the result of the decision of the board of control yesterday to instal ornamental lighting standards on each side of the bridge roadway. The poles on each side will be seventy-five feet apart, and each will cary big incandescent globes. By alternating the lights, this will mean a big light every 37 feet across the bridge.

Sadly, the lighting never came to be. But, in the idea of glowing globes, there is a glimmer of recognition that this bridge has a purpose well beyond transporting traffic from one side to the other. This bridge of steel, crossing a broad river of rail tracks, connecting neighbourhoods on either side, serves a broader civic function. Continue reading