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The stone-built Lislehurst Bridge arching over a small pond, surrounded by a forest of trees in late summer
Photo by Randy Landicho

Bridge Over Time

U of T Mississauga landmark is popular among newlyweds

The casual observer might not think of modern-day Mississauga, Ontario, as a place to find idyllic pastoral scenes, but this picture says otherwise.

The Lislehurst Bridge spans a manmade pond on the University of Toronto Mississauga campus, not far from the historic home where vice-president and principal Ian Orchard and his family reside.

“The bridge is picturesque year-round because it reflects the seasons that are going on around us,” says Orchard. “We have lots of walkers who go through the campus and through the woods, even in winter. Often you’ll see people walking over the bridge and reflecting, looking down in the pool. You hear the frogs croaking as you go by in the spring and summer. It’s lovely.” The bridge is also a popular spot for wedding photos. During the warmer months, Orchard often finds limousines lined up near the house as couples pose in the rustic surroundings.

The Lislehurst estate was built by the Schreiber family, descendants of Sir Isaac Brock. The house was constructed in 1885, but the bridge and pond were added later by Reginald Watkins, a Hamilton businessman who bought the property in 1928. Watkins eventually sold it to U of T, and Mississauga declared Lislehurst a heritage site almost a quarter-century ago.

Orchard believes the estate and the bridge provide an important historical reminder for the U of T Mississauga students, staff and faculty who pass through the bucolic patch of nature in the midst of the city. “Even though we’re a very young campus,” he says, “we have this reflection of history built into it.”

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