VIRUS BRIDGE : A Forgotten 1800’s Iron Bridge That Carried Plagued Citizens to Isolation Island

VIRUS BRIDGE : A Forgotten 1800’s Iron Bridge That Carried Plagued Citizens to Isolation Island

OTTAWA REWIND

Ottawa, like all cities and communities, is grappling with a pandemic situation, and it reminded me that the Nation’s Capital is no stranger to quickly spreading viruses.  Throughout history the city has dealt with quickly spreading viruses, and the unfortunate plagued souls were placed on an island in the Rideau River. A hidden and rusting iron truss bridge that once carried those virus victims still remains…

The year was 1893 and the smallpox virus was sweeping through the Nation’s Capital so the City Of Ottawa wanted to build an isolated smallpox hospital to keep those infected away from the general population. City Council chose Porter’s Island, an eight-acre, low-lying property in the Rideau River as the quarantine island.

IMG_3789 This 1879 map from The Carleton Atlas shows the vacant Porters Island in downtown Ottawa, chosen as the site for the virus isolation island.

A hastily constructed isolation hospital was built on…

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