An idyllic symbol of Edmonton, the High-Level Bridge has conjoined the north and south sides of the city since 1913. It sits close to 800 metres above the North Saskatchewan River, with an initial concept of providing a means of transportation for pedestrian, vehicular, train, and streetcar traffic. The bridge was designed by the Canadian Pacific Railway, who subsequently ended their rail operations in 1989.
A few years back, in 2013, the High-Level Bridge was equipped with several LED lights which are capable of turning a multitude of colours. The colours often signify a special holiday, day of recognition, or event. For Edmonton Oilers games, you might see orange and blue; for Edmonton Eskimos games, you might see green and gold! On Canada Day, in addition to the lights, you will see fireworks being set off of the bridge.
The High-Level Bridge allows automotive traffic to go in one direction: south. Entry begins on either 109 Street or 110 Street; 109 entering on the left and 110 entering on the right. To clarify, the only way you can travel by vehicle is from Downtown to the Garneau / Old Strathcona area. If you require access back across the river, it is recommended to take the Walterdale Bridge or Groat Road. Fortunately, walking and bicycle traffic is welcome in both directions of the High-Level Bridge, with lines painted on the sidewalk to assist in the flow. The view of the River Valley isn’t too shabby, either.
Atop the bridge is where the infamous Streetcar travels. Operated by the Edmonton Radial Railway Society, the Streetcar begins at the Strathcona Streetcar Barn and Museum and ends at Jasper Plaza just after crossing the North Saskatchewan River. Historically, up until 1951, the Streetcar travelled through the core of downtown Edmonton. Currently, it operates between the Victoria Day long weekend in May and Thanksgiving long weekend in October. During these months of operation, it might be of interest to check out a Streetcar Show: artistic performances, both musical and theatrical, within the intimate setting of the Streetcar. Sounds magical, right? The best part is that showtimes usually coincide with sunset – during a show filled with local talent, Mother Nature bestows a gift of her own.