City seeks public feedback on Vimy Bridge naming suggestion
Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: July 29, 2014, Last Updated: July 29, 2014 10:57 AM EDT
The city has answered the call of some veterans to name the new Strandherd-Armstrong bridge “Vimy Bridge” by launching a round of public consultations.
Members of the public have until Aug. 27 to comment on the proposal, which was submitted jointly by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch South Carleton 314 Manotick and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 641 Barrhaven.
Naming the new bridge “Vimy Bridge” would be an appropriate way to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War and the epic battle of Vimy Ridge, led by Canadians to one of their greatest victories, the veterans say.
Because the bridge spans the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as a Canadian Heritage River, and because it connects two entrances to the nation’s capital, some feel the structure is more than a small local bridge connecting two communities.
The amount of traffic going by and over this bridge on a daily basis, both local and tourist, would mean that a lot of people would be reminded of Vimy and the sacrifices made by Canadian troops, the veterans say.
View the online proposal for “Vimy Bridge” here
The battle of Vimy Ridge is seen as a defining moment in Canada’s history.
The three-day battle took place in northern France in April 1917 and claimed 3,598 Canadian lives. Another 7,000 were wounded, but the victory was significant.
The Strandherd-Armstrong bridge opened earlier this month, cost $48 million to build and opened two years later than expected.
The city’s south end is also home to the Veterans Memorial Highway and John McCrae Secondary School, named after the First World War poet and doctor who wrote ‘In Flanders Fields.’