Would you like to Cross the Chemong Lake Floating Bridge?
January 8, 2023
Chemong Lake Floating Bridge
Completed in 1901, much local ingenuity went into the construction of one of the most memorable bridges ever in the Kawarthas—the Floating Bridge across Chemong Lake (then Mud Lake). It was a remarkable structure, not the least because it survived the ravages of the waves and ice that constantly beat upon it. Towards the east end, it even included a swing bridge to allow boats to pass.
Travelling across the floating bridge was a memorable experience, because, as the name implied, it was actually just floating on the surface of the water. On a windy day, waves crashed over the structure, and the planking was not that much wider than what was needed to accommodate a single vehicle. In a blizzard it would be something else entirely.
Yet, the bridge was in a beautiful location to see Chemong Lake, though parking on the bridge for sightseeing was not allowed. Otherwise, it might have been even more of a tourist attraction.
By the 1940s, the need for two directional traffic was becoming increasingly apparent. In 1949 the James A. Gifford Causeway was completed, at the cost of $255,058, mostly paid by the province. It soon became a landmark as well, but it the memories of crossing Chemong Lake were not quite the same afterwards.