It’s Wayback Wednesday: Balsam Chutes bridge then and now


Welcome to Wayback Wednesday sponsored by Cavalcade Color Lab! Every week, we’ll be sharing a vintage photo and asking our readers to chime in with anything you can recall about the photo, other related memories, or even a funny caption. Have some vintage photos of your own? Send them to [email protected] and we may share them with our readers!

The Stephenson Road 1 bridge (the bridge at Balsam Chutes) has been temporarily closed for the past week for geotechnical investigations. The bridge is scheduled for replacement later this year. Do you know why this group was gathered there many years ago? Do you recognize any faces in the crowd?

Scroll down to see comments from last week’s photo.

 Wayback Wednesday is sponsored by Cavalcade Color Lab

This photo gathered comments on both the event and the current state of the location.

Wayback Wenesday 6 - A&P parking lot header

On the event:

Well done to park so closely together (more than one pair of vehicles in this photo). I don’t know that practice. Why and how did this start and, evidently, end? ~Sandy McLennan

I do think I recall they use to hold religious services in the A&P Parking Lot. I’m not certain what faith it might have been. This would have taken place in the 60’s. ~Bryan Boothby

Looks like the grand opening ~Debbie MacLeod Andrews

I think this was a Sunday Night Pentecostal Reunion Service led be Reverend Lang. ~Mike Janke

We used to drive around them in our convertible. Around and around with our music blasting and yelling! Not very nice when you think about it. Ah the things you do when you are young! I believe we went to school together? ~Carol Earl

On the location:

I remember shopping there with my mother when I was a kid. I loved how our groceries were put in bins and rolled down the series of metal bars outside so we could drive up and load our trunk. My job was to hold the pieces of cardboard with the numbers on them and find the matching ones to indicate our bins. ~Paula Boon

Both my dad and Grandma worked at A&P and I took back many a pop bottle for my treasured nickel! But….that’s not Brendale Square. We always just called it the A&P plaza….now we just call it an embarrassment 🙁 ~Andrea Brown

Not sure the plaza was ever officially called anything. We always said A&P parking lot. Other end was always Beer Lake. ~Debi Davis

Ahh my memory is buying my first pack of cigarettes there as a kid!! ~Zelda Dwyer

Dad called it “beer lake”. ~Joy Salmon Moon

There was a little restaurant there I think ~Diane Moores

On its future:

Let’s consider redesigning Brendale Square as Muskoka’s largest and most dynamic market. Timber-framed and covered, partially open-air, with surrounding growing season stalls like the hugely successful Atwater Market in Montreal, what a happy meeting place year ’round for commerce, trees, fountains, citizens and visitors! ~John Rivière-Anderson

Great memories when it seemed to be an all day trip just to do your groceries. I think that whole section should be torn down to make way for new stores. ~Cathryn Williams

Since it’s usually flooded anyway turn it into a splash park for the children. ~Corinne Fisher

A Doppler reader also reposted the photo on the If you grew up in Huntsville, you’ll remember… Facebook page with many followers adding comments. View them here.


  1. The bridge was going to be removed in the early 1980’s as it was deemed to be unsafe. A group was formed calling themselves S.O.B. for (save our bridge) . They where strong enough in numbers that the bridge was reinforced to make it safe. The only stipulation that I can recall was that the road would not be plowed for winter use from the bridge to hwy11 and that it would be signed at hwy 11 to indicate that it was for summer use only. The picture is of the reopening after being reinfoced.

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