The Burlington Skyway Bridge

Today the Burlington Skyway Bridge stands like a giant over the Burlington Canal with its steel framed structure handling over 50,000 vehicles traveling over it each day.

In the summer time you can see folks out for a stroll along the pier enjoying the summers day, one can see boaters going and coming into the launch area by the canal. One will see folks fishing from both ends of the pier.

In the springtime one will see folks smelting and some fishing, while others still go for a stroll along the pier.

In the winter time the pier ices over because of the waves that come in from Lake Ontario. On some high wind days you can watch the massive waves brush along the side of the pier causing a large spray of water.......

Unnoticed by most vistors the pier and the canal as well as the Skyway Bridge have untold stories to tell as well as some spirits that linger in this area of days gone by.

The bridge has had its share of history and fatalities over the years. And because of this it gives the Burlington Skyway a reason to be investigated, bringing the history and the fatalities together as to why there would be paranormal activity to this area.....

"The Early Years"

The Beach strip in realty is a large sand bar that is located in the western extremity of Lake Ontario that streches for about 4 miles in length and divides the lake from the bay area.

The sand bar sits about 10 ft. above the lake, and provides a calmness to the bay area.

As Hamilton was becoming a settlement, a shallow area of water that connected the lake to the bay became a portage and loading zone in the early years.

In the year 1823 it was decided to construct a bigger canal for ships to enter the bay, so hundreds of labours were imported and hired as diggers for widening the canal.

After the first contruction was completed the canal had a width of 60 ft. In the above photo one can see what the canal looked like back then.

In the year of 1830 the first construction of a 21 ft. swing bridge was built, only to be short lived when a schooner crashed into the bridge destoying it.

After the accident in 1830 the bridge had been replaced by what was known as a scow-ferry service that transported people and animals across the canal for free until the year 1896.

The scow ferry was made of a white oak frame, the bottom planking was made of white pine while the sides were made of oak. The scow ferry was replaced by a swing bridge in 1896. In the year 1850 the canal went through another widening change from 60 ft. to 120 ft. The scow-ferry was still in operation at the time.

In the later part of 1896 the first electronically operated swing bridge was installed across the canal. This bridge was replaced in 1930 when construction of the widening of the canal took operation to a width of 300 ft.

After the construction of the canal was completed a new bridge called the "Bascule Bridge" was constructed. The above picture was taken in 1951.

While the "Bascule Bridge" was in operation there was a fatal car accident that took place on May 13th, 1948. A volkswagon car was heading towards Hamilton at night when a power failure occurred with the bridge. This left the bridge half way up and unnoticed by the driver of the car that plunged into the canal.

The volkswagon car being pulled from the canal the next morning.

A picture of the operator of the bridge on the left, Bert Hawkridge, and the 18 yr. old Frank Theoret who managed to cheat death by getting out of the car door after the car plunged into the canal and sunk.

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Copyright 1998-2004 by George & Cathy Brady, Hamilton Paranormal