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a bridge with a dark side

Found this strange and interesting New York Times article on Toronto's "suicide magnet" bridge. Quote:

The structure became a literary landmark as well in 1987 when Michael Ondaatje described the construction of the double-decker bridge in exquisite poetic detail in his novel "In the Skin of a Lion," marking it as the epitome of this city's latent but limitless possibilities in the collective imagination of Torontonians.

But the steel-arched bridge, spanning the Don River and Don Valley Parkway with a 12-story drop, also has a dark side, one Mr. Ondaatje suggested in his novel by describing how a gust of wind blew a nun off the bridge before she was scooped up in midair by a construction worker suspended on a rope.

Reality has been less kind. More than 400 people have jumped from the bridge to their deaths, including 100 over the last decade, lending the viaduct the morbid nickname of "suicide magnet." Only the Golden Gate Bridge has been the site of more suicides in North America, according to mental health advocates here.

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on February 19, 2003 at 12:39 AM

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