Cherry Street North Bridge arrives in Toronto after journey on barge from N.S.

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The first of four Cherry Street bridges arrived in Toronto on Saturday morning after it travelled on a barge from Nova Scotia.

Mayor John Tory was on hand with federal and provincial officials to greet the new white-and-red structure officially known as the Cherry Street North Bridge.

"It's an iconic, beautiful bridge of which there will be four," Tory told reporters. "I'm just proud that we are here together to be taking this step."

Coun. Paula Fletcher, who represents Ward 14, Toronto-Danforth, said the bridge is something to celebrate because it signals the revitalization of the waterfront is underway.

"This is truly an exciting day. What a beautiful, beautiful bridge it is. If you are a bridge lover, then it is spectacular. It's going to be transformational for our waterfront. What it really means is, this is real. Our waterfront transformation is real."

Fletcher noted the environmental assessment of the Port Lands revitalization work was done 12 years ago.

"Good things take a good, long time. This project, starting today, I think, it is a beacon to show what will be happening here on the Port Lands, as many have said, housing, infrastructure, parks," Fletcher said.

Robert Krbavac/CBC
Robert Krbavac/CBC

The 57-metre long bridge, which weighs 340 metric tonnes, is one of four bridges that Waterfront Toronto says it is delivering as part of the Port Lands flood projection project. It travelled from Dartmouth, N.S. through the St. Lawrence Seaway to Lake Ontario to Toronto.

According to PortsToronto, the journey took 8.5 days and 1250-nautical miles and the barge passed through four Canadian provinces on the way.

Waterfront Toronto said in a media advisory on Friday that the four bridges will connect people to Villiers Island, which will be created by a kilometre-long extension of the Don River through the Port Lands.

Waterfront Toronto said the flood protection project has received $1.25 billion in government funding.

"When completed, 240 hectares of land will be removed from the Don River's flood plain, and an area the size of the existing downtown core will become a new destination for people to live, work, relax, and enjoy stunning new green spaces," Waterfront Toronto said in the advisory.