August 25, 1860
The Victoria Bridge in Canada was dedicated. This bridge, which spans the St. Lawrence River and connects Montreal with the south shore city of Saint-Lambert, was officially opened about eight months after the first trains had passed over the new structure.
The Victoria Bridge was the first bridge over the St. Lawrence River. At the time of its completion, it was also the longest bridge in the world. This structure, now carrying both rail and motor vehicle traffic, has played a pivotal role in establishing Montreal as a major hub in North America’s railroad system.
The bridge was named in honor of Queen Victoria. While declining to attend the dedication ceremony, she did send her oldest son Albert Edward – the Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne – to represent her. “There was no delay in the performance of the ceremony,” noted one newspaper account covering his role in those festivities. “While the Prince was at the bridge, salutes were fired by the Field Battery from the flats below the bridge, and from St. Helen’s Island.”
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