WSP combines traditional architecture and modern material to design the first aluminium footbridges for Parks Canada.

A major roadway for the community

Parks Canada turned to WSP to find innovative solutions to replace two footbridges with insufficient load bearing capacity. They are located on the Lachine Canal National Historic Site and close to 5,000 cyclists and pedestrians use them on a daily basis. Footbridges are a vital element for bringing communities together and to promote active transportation. These footbridges connect communities surrounding the canal to downtown Montreal.



Tribute to the Lachine Canal’s railway era

Instead of relying on a typically shaped truss, WSP met with the client’s heritage expert which inspired the chosen geometry. The new footbridges are a miniature version of the railway trusses from the Lachine Canal’s industrial era.

Footbridge dimensions
27 m x 4.3 m 27 m x 4.3 m
Pedestrians and cyclists
5000 per day 5000 per day
Weight of a footbridge
17500 kg 17500 kg


These are the first footbridges designed in aluminium for Parks Canada. Aluminium is a sustainable material that requires low maintenance. Eco-materials like aluminium are environmentally-friendly for their entire useful life-span and Quebec’s aluminium exceeds the industry’s environmental and ethical standards and has the lowest carbon footprint in the world. At 27 meters long, these footbridges are strong, light and operational year-round.


Future Ready

WSP firmly believes that using these materials will enhance the economic and environmental potential of footbridges in the future. The project reminds us of the canal’s heritage value while being designed for the future with the use of aluminium, an innovative and sustainable material.