Opening of the MacDougall Park Bridge

Friday, October 16, 2009
Russell Ontario



MacDougall Bridge Grand Opening 


The first dry stone bridge to be built in a public park in Canada was officially opened to the public on Saturday, October 17 2009. 


Over one hundred and fifty people attended the opening of the MacDougall Park Bridge in Russell, Ontario, including many who had been involved in its design and building, as well as many in the community who helped in fundraising, prepared meals for workers, supplied local fieldstone, or were instrumental in getting this unique structure approved by the Town of Russell council and their engineers and town planners.


The Russell Men's Choir sang as part of the bridge opening celebration. 
They sang a wonderful song that was written especially for the occasion.

Ballad of The Drystone Bridge in MacDougall Park

Words by Neville Brown
(Tune: "The Ballad of the Green Berets")

Some folk in Russell had a plan
To be the first in all the land
Combining history with art
A drystone bridge in a public park.

Built by many volunteers
Using stones from far and near
Each stone has personality
It will show where it wants to be.

With chisel just remove some chips
Mold each stone until it fits
No mortar used between the stones
The graceful arch will stand alone.

There it stands for all to see
Now it's part of history
It has become dear to our heart
The drystone bridge in MacDougall Park.



The main dry stone structure of the bridge was completed in August of 2009. A flagstone path and specially fabricated steel handrails were added later.


The structure stands as a beautiful reminder to what can be accomplished by individuals who work together within a community in order to create a public space, one with character as well as a connection with the past. Even in our modern world, traditional skills can be appreciated and, in the case of dry stone walling, still acquired and maintained.








The Official Opening of the MacDougall Dry Stone Bridge in Russell Ontario near Ottawa Oct 17 2009.

Opening of the MacDougall Park Bridge

See a photo gallery of the dry stone bridge

Previous CBC TV coverage on August 19th, 2009 of the MacDougall Bridge built last August.