A jewel of our heritage, the Jacques Cartier Bridge has been a fixture of the city’s skyline for 89 years.

24 May 2019

In 1921, citizen committees, the Board of Trade, the Montreal Chamber of Commerce, the Civic Improvement League, and several other organizations submitted a report to the Honourable P. J. A. Cardin, Minister of Marine and Fisheries, about the need for a new link between the South Shore and Montreal. From Longueuil, people could take two ferries to Montreal during the summer. During the winter, motorists could risk crossing an ice bridge during the few weeks of severe cold.

The three-lane bridge was opened to traffic on May 14, 1930 and inaugurated on May 24, 1930.

The inauguration ceremony started with a speech from the chairman of the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal, Senator W. L. McDougald. Monseigneur Georges Gauthier, archbishop of the diocese of Montreal, blessed the bridge, and at 11:50 a.m. the Right Honourable William Lyon Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, gave his speech by telephone from his office in Ottawa. He then pressed a button to remotely open the curtains to unveil the commemorative plaque. At the time of the inauguration, the bridge was named the “Pont du Havre” or the “Harbour Bridge,” as it was built by the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal.

On June 23, 1934, in response to public demand following a petition started by Le Devoir editor Georges Pelletier, the Harbour Commissioners adopted a resolution recommending to His Excellency the Governor General in Council that the Harbour Bridge be renamed the “JACQUES CARTIER BRIDGE” in homage to the French explorer and in recognition of the 400th anniversary of his arrival in Canada in 1534. On June 30, 1934, the resolution was approved by a ministerial decree. On this date, the government of France gave Canada a bronze bust of the famous explorer and discoverer from Saint-Malo. On September 1, 1934, the bridge received its new official name, and the bronze bust was unveiled. The bust was presented by Mr. Henry Bordeaux and was accepted on behalf of Canada by the Minister of Marine at the time, the Honourable Alfred Duranleau.

The best photos of the Jacques Cartier Bridge from 2012 to 2019: