Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bronson Avenue Bridge

Last week, when I drove along Riverside Drive, I thought I had spotted two large birds perched on the edge of the bridge that spans the Rideau River and divides Carleton University, on the north-west side of the bridge, from the RA Centre and Billings Bridge, on the south-east side.

But as I drew nearer, just before I passed under the bridge, I knew the birds weren't real, that they were some sort of statues.

And in that moment, I knew I had to return and capture them for Where In Ottawa.

I was hopeful that it would take some time for somebody to identify the location of these birds, but it only took nine minutes for John MacNab to figure it out. A bit of serendipity, he admitted, as it was only this morning, as he drove through morning traffic, that he noticed them for the first time.

Way to go, John! You should have a copy of my book by now.

I could not find anything that explains why these birds—are they falcons?—are perched here. Below, on the pillar that supports this span of the bridge, are beautiful concrete slabs with carved birds, but no plaque, no indication of the significance of the art.

If anyone knows, I'd love to hear from you. Leave something in the Comments section of this post.

Where In Ottawa returns Monday, February 2.


  1. The panels are government sponsored art. The artist, Christopher Griffin, paid for and made the statues on top out of his own pocket--with city approval of course. He also got the art contract for the parking garage in the Glebe:


  2. My wife tells me they are pieces by Christopher Griffin. He has also done some statues outside the Glebe Community Centre. See page 6: https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.glebereport.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Glebe-Report_sept_2014_web.pdf&sa=U&ei=w2W-VN-IHJSeyAT1yYKQDA&ved=0CAYQFjAA&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNEwj7uuwNSe5MQr1tMvDZsExn-bmw

  3. Christopher GriffinNovember 4, 2015 at 10:50 PM

    Peregrine Falcons have been nesting on the adjacent RA Centre for the past 4 years. Each spring/summer dedicated volunteers of the Ottawa Falcon Watch take shifts right beside this overpass to make sure the fledgling birds come to no harm on the busy streets below. The sculptures are an homage to this little known Ottawa fact.