Ottawa·From the archives

Macdonald-Cartier Bridge connecting Ottawa and Gatineau opened 50 years ago today

It was five decades ago today that dignitaries and local residents flocked to the brand new Macdonald-Cartier Bridge, spanning the Ottawa River.

Lester Pearson, premiers of Ontario and Quebec took in inauguration

Public Works Minister George McIllraith speaking about the bridge's inauguration ceremony on Oct. 15, 1965 0:29

It was 50 years ago today that dignitaries and local residents flocked to the brand new Macdonald-Cartier Bridge.

The 617-metre long, six-lane bridge over the Ottawa River was inaugurated on Oct. 15, 1965. It had been under construction for two years, and on that day it was filled with people — on bikes, in cars and on foot.

Many important dignitaries took in the bridge's inauguration, which involved placing a bronze plaque midway between the two provinces it connected. They included the then-premiers of both Quebec and Ontario, Jean Lesage and John Robarts, as well as the prime minister of the day, Lester Pearson.

The bridge is currently in the midst of a $5 million upgrade, including its deck, sidewalks and concrete surface.

In the piece of archival footage above, federal public works minister George McIlraith talks about the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge, days before its inauguration.

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