Garrison Common, located just to the west of Fort York, is the original ground on which urban Toronto was founded in 1793. The salvaged rebar used in the fabrication of The Garrison was sourced from a bridge that was built in the 1960s, but a bridge existed on the site for more than 160 years.
In 1854, Grand Trunk Railway cut railway tracks across Fort York, dividing the fort from the Military Reserve to the west. To remedy this, the Railway built a wooden bridge which spanned the tracks.
The original bridge underwent a few iterations until in 1960, the newly planned Gardiner Expressway made the bridge an obstacle to construction. The bridge was rebuilt, this time from steel and concrete, in a more direct line across the railway cut to avoid the many concrete bents that would support the expressway.
In 2015, this concrete and steel bridge was demolished, and the steel from this bridge was salvaged and repurposed into The Garrison.
No new bridge will replace the newly demolished Garrison Road Bridge. Instead, material excavated during construction of the new Fort York Visitor Centre will fill in the original railway cut to create a permanent crossing, restoring the connection between Fort York, the Garrison Common and the old Military Reserve for the first time since the 1850s.