Esplanade Riel

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Esplanade Riel
Esplanade Riel pedestrian bridge
Coordinates 49°53′26.8″N 97°7′37.0″W / 49.890778°N 97.126944°W / 49.890778; -97.126944Coordinates: 49°53′26.8″N 97°7′37.0″W / 49.890778°N 97.126944°W / 49.890778; -97.126944
Crosses Red River
Locale Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Official name Esplanade Riel
Maintained by City of Winnipeg
Design Side-spar cable-stayed bridge
Total length 197 metres (646 ft)
Width 7 metres (23 ft)[1]
Height Top of the pylon is 57 metres (187 ft) above the bridge deck, and the bridge deck is about 11 metres (36 ft) above the water level.[1]
Number of spans 2
Designer Colin Douglas Stewart and Étienne Gaboury
Construction begin 2003
Construction end 2004

Esplanade Riel is a pedestrian bridge located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was named in honour of Louis Riel.[2]

It is a side-spar cable-stayed bridge which spans the Red River connecting downtown Winnipeg with St. Boniface; it is paired with a vehicular bridge, the Provencher Bridge. The bridge includes an architectural composite tower that is prestressed with a cantilevered and stayed semi-circular plaza area at the base of the tower. The plaza provides space for commercial activities and as well as a restaurant.[1]

Esplanade Riel with the Provencher Bridge to the left

The Esplanade Riel is the only bridge with a restaurant in North America. Its first restaurant was a Salisbury House.[3] Salisbury House is a chain restaurant local to Winnipeg.[4] The next tenant was Chez Sophie sur le pont (on the bridge), which opened in the summer of 2013 and closed in February 2015. [5] The Esplanade Riel has become a landmark and is used in many promotional materials.

Opened to foot traffic in 2003[6] and having a grand opening in the summer of 2004,[1] the Esplanade Riel was designed by Colin Douglas Stewart of Wardrop Engineering and the architect Étienne Gaboury. The original drawing, stamped by Colin Douglas Stewart, rests in the Engineering building of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.

The Esplanade Riel was built as part of the Provencher Twin Bridges project, a $72 million project which included a new four-lane divided vehicular bridge as well as new roadways and sidewalks linking the bridges to Downtown Winnipeg and Waterfront Drive.[7]

In January 2013 the City of Winnipeg terminated the lease with Salisbury House and in March the city approved a five-year lease agreement with the French restaurant Chez Sophie sur le pont. The original Chez Sophie, founded in 2005, is located on Avenue de la Cathedrale. The restaurants are operated by Stephane and Sophie Wild, who are from the Alsace region of France. [8] Chez Sophie closed on February 2, 2015.

Mon Ami Louis opened as the new tenant in July 2015, serving more "approachable" fare, as opposed to haute cuisine.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d "Esplanade Riel Pedestrian Bridge, Winnipeg, Manitoba". DYWIDAG-Systems International. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Esplanade Riel Pedestrian Bridge". Tourism Winnipeg. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Toilet gets mayor in hot water with Taxpayers". CBC News. 19 May 2003. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Winnipeg's Legendary Salisbury House Celebrates its 80th Anniversary in 2011". Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Winnipeg Free Press Chez Sophie on the Esplanade Riel Bridge is Closing Down" retrieved 2015 03 20
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Esplanade Riel opens to public". City of Winnipeg. 30 December 2003. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Skerritt, Jen (4 March 2013). "Chez Sophie approved as new tenant on Esplanade Riel". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  9. ^

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