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Lost Toronto: Earl Bales Park footbridge

Strange Advance

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I don't know if this is the appropriate subforum, for I don't have any photos. I was hoping someone else might.

Anyone who lives or lived in North York and is of a certain age might remember the wooden footbridge in Earl Bales Park, which permitted easy foot travel from the lower level of the park to the upper, and vice versa. At both ends of the bridge, there were delightful little asphalt paths through the woods. The one at the lower level was enveloped by overgrowth long ago, and is no longer detectable, as far as I know (I haven't actually walked through the woods and checked for remnants). But on the upper level there's still a path leading into the woods and the edge of the gulley the bridge once spanned.
The bridge was torn down about 35-40 years ago. I have no idea why. I have fond memories of it from my childhood. To my mind, it would still be useful today, because the only way to go from upper to lower or lower to upper on foot is via unofficial dirt paths through the woods, via the ski hill, or on the steep asphalt road/path at the far north end of the park.
This area of the park - and other areas as well - has changed quite a lot over the years. Looking at the GoogleMaps link below, the dog park has only existed for about 20 years, and the area to the west of the dog park, which is now completely forested, was a large toboggan hill until about 25-30 years ago. That entire area was virtually clear of trees. I think city officials closed the hill to tobogganing because it was too dangerous.
I have made a Paint sketch (bottom) showing very approximately the configuration and location of the bridge (thicker line) and paths (thinner lines). The bridge was much shorter than I have depicted it.

Anyone here recollect what I'm talking about, and, even better, have some information on the bridge's dismantling and/or photographs of it? I couldn't find anything about it online.

https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.7547559,-79.4326622,261m/data=!3m1!1e3

Earl-Bales.png
 

Lone Primate

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Strange Advance

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That could be it, L.P. Thanks a lot for digging it up. I am surprised no one else here has memories of this bridge. I should go to Earl Bales and take pics of the vestiges of the upper path. Last time I was there, some years ago, some asphalt was still visible.

I thought the footbridge was a bit more to the southeast than is shown in your aerial. Closer to the east end of that dark line of trees in the photo you found. On the other hand, if what you circled is not the bridge, what the heck is it? Interesting. I'd guess the footbridge was dismantled sometime around the mid-'80s.
 

Strange Advance

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I finally got around to swinging by Earl Bales and taking some pictures. I haven't walked on this path in at least 20 years. As you can see, the original asphalt footpath that leads down to where the upper access point of the bridge used to be is still there and eminently visible more than 35 years after the bridge was removed, though it is not maintained. Park users and dog walkers are keeping it well-trodden. The first pictures show the path as it goes into the forest near the Barry Zuckerman Amphitheatre (which is under renovation), then turns right and left in a sort of switchback down the hill. Then I have two photos of the three 6x6es that are the only remnant of the bridge itself. I was wearing the wrong shoes, so I didn't clamber down into the gully and up the other side to see if anything is visible on that end.
One of the photos shows an old, square, concrete foundation-like structure. No idea what that is.
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Lone Primate

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Intriguing! How does stuff like this ever get lost? You'd think the city would have records of pretty much every thing bidded on, built, 'bandoned, and burned. It's weird we have to grope around in the dark playing Columbo with what was there in living memory. Anyway, thanks. Now I want to go there and see this.
 

DSC

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Intriguing! How does stuff like this ever get lost? You'd think the city would have records of pretty much every thing bidded on, built, 'bandoned, and burned. It's weird we have to grope around in the dark playing Columbo with what was there in living memory. Anyway, thanks. Now I want to go there and see this.
I could not see any digitised photos on Archives website but they seem to have other files on Parks (incl Bales) that have photos but they are not digitised.

Then there is https://scenesto.com/2019/01/07/scenes-from-earl-bales-park/ and https://www.alltrails.com/trail/canada/ontario/earl-bales-park-gravel-pit-loop/photos
 
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I'm amazed I'm the only one who remembers it, but I'm glad I finally got out there to capture concrete (or wood, as it were) evidence of its existence. I would be thrilled if one of you city-archives sleuths dug up info on it. I can only assume it was dismantled in the early-'80s because the wood was no longer deemed sturdy enough for public crossing. Such a pity it was never rebuilt, as there still exists no really viable way to get from bottom to top, or vice versa, as a pedestrian. The asphalt path/service road next to the dog park is quite steep, and the various paths down the hills in other areas of the park are informal and likewise steep and precarious.
 

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