City unveils Waaban Crossing visual branding

The City of Kingston has unveiled the official logo and other visual branding elements for the Waaban Crossing bridge. The naming officially takes effect when the bridge opens to the public on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. Image via City of Kingston.

The City of Kingston has announced new details regarding the branding of the third crossing. With the bridge connecting Gore Road and John Counter Boulevard over the Cataraqui River set to open to the public on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, the City is currently preparing to transition to the bridge’s official name: The Waaban Crossing. The City has released the official logo for the bridge, which it says “reflects feedback from Indigenous and non-Indigenous people gathered through information sharing and public engagement earlier this year.”

According to the City, the new visual branding “encompasses a sense of place, movement, history and the natural environment, and will be a means to connect the physical Waaban Crossing with both the Indigenous and community stories that are to be shared in relation to the bridge.” The Waaban Crossing’s official name, logo, and other visual branding are meant to invite residents to reflect on “the history of the land around us, the people and animals that are here now, those who have come before, and those who will come after us.”

The name “Waaban Crossing” was announced earlier this year after a 2020 decision by Kingston City Council, which committed the City to an official name for the third crossing that “reflects and celebrates the stories and contributions of Indigenous communities in this region, both past and present.” “Waaban” (pronounced WAH-bin) is a multi-meaning Anishnaabemowin (Ojibwe) word that describes the eastern direction of the sun at dawn. The name not only refers to the bridge’s natural surroundings, but it also honours the enduring presence of Kingston’s Indigenous communities.

Along with the official name of the crossing, the bridge’s logo contains three additional words: “Reflect,” “Connect,” and “Flow,” all of which have a connection to the purpose of the bridge, as well as the history of Indigenous land in the region. “Reflect” invites contemplation on the history of the land the bridge now occupies and the water it crosses. “As we move along the crossing and take in its natural setting, whether on foot, by bike, or by car, we are reminded that many people share this land. We must also acknowledge our collective responsibility to care for it.”

The word “connect” refers to the bridge’s function as a crossing between two sections of the city. “The crossing helps us come together on a deeper level as we learn a more complete version of our area’s history. It opens the door to understanding, respect, and stronger relationships — between communities, individuals and the environment.”

Lastly, “flow” speaks to the ways the crossing inspires residents to “move together.” “When we work together, we are powerful and healing. We are able to build a better, more sustainable future for everyone.” 

The visual branding will be used to influence future design choices and artistic installations on the bridge. The Waaban Crossing officially opens to the general public in the early evening of Dec. 13, 2022, at the end of a day of special ceremonies and events.

Aerial photo of the soon-to-be Waaban Crossing as taken from the sky in early September 2022. Photo by John Andrew.
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4 thoughts on “City unveils Waaban Crossing visual branding

  • December 7, 2022 at 2:24 pm
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    Great name, but why exactly did we need to spend a whole bunch of money on “visual branding” for it?

    It’s a bridge, folks.

    Everyone using it will know that the bridge connects one side of the Cataraqui River with the other side. That’s all anyone cares about — except perhaps for someone at City Hall who is a little short of something to do and thought up this goofy idea.

    Nobody crossing it will be contemplating “the history of the land the bridge now occupies and the water it crosses,” because they will all be thinking about what they will have for dinner tonight or what time the hockey game comes on.

  • December 7, 2022 at 10:56 pm
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    I LOVE the name! Having read a few different interpretations, I have my own…
    ‘Bridging the past and the future’
    The branding is a way of making it our own – unique to Kingston – not just another bridge.
    Thank you City Hall, well done!

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