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In Amsterdam, there is a bridge over the river Amstel called the Torontobrug

In Amsterdam, there is a bridge over the river Amstel called the Torontobrug. I’m wondering if there is a connection to our city.—Paul Gardner, The Annex

In a word, yes. In 1974, Toronto the Good and Amsterdam the Naughty entered into a “twin city” agreement, one of the first times we embarked on such an arrangement. (The list has since grown somewhat bloated—we now have nearly 30 twins, including Volgograd, Russia, and Chongqing, China.) In 1978, thanks to the efforts of the Toronto/Amsterdam Twin Cities Association, an Avenue Road parkette (at St. Clair) was renamed Amsterdam Square. But it was in 1974 that mayor David Crombie travelled to the Netherlands to rechristen a bridge in Hogtown’s honour. The chosen link is a 120-metre-long, five-span monster originally known as the Stadhoudersbrug. It’s not one of Amsterdam’s more historic bridges (it first opened in 1969), but it’s big, solid and efficient—perfectly suited to its Canadian namesake.

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