Owen Bellwood

Published:June 10, 2022



For the second time today, let me just say that I like bridges. For a start, they’re a great way of fording a gap, but they also can look utterly majestic. So now I’d like to introduce you to my new favorite bridge, a tiny span that connects Canada with the U.S.

The bridge in question can be found in the Thousand Islands region in the Saint Lawrence River, which weaves its way along the border between Canada and New York State.

The group of around 1,800 islands in the river is divided between the two countries, with Canada laying claim to two thirds of the islands and the U.S. claiming the other third. While Canada may have more of the islands, the region is split pretty much in half between the two nations in terms of area.

Among the thousands of islands in the river is one called Zavikon, which is home to one cutesy little house, a rocky beach, a few trees and not a lot else. But if you want more space on your tiny island, you can’t really extend out into the river very easily. Thankfully, there are a lot of other islands pretty close by, so you instead just need to lay claim to one of those whenever you want a bit more garden space.

And that’s exactly what the owners of Zavikon island did, they built a tiny bridge from their plot of land to a neighboring island and turned it into their new backyard.

But, according to Atlas Obscura, the neighboring island they decided to build their bridge to was actually one of America’s islands in the stream. That means that this 32-foot-long bridge can lay claim to the title of smallest international bridge in the world.

Atlas Obscura reports:

“​​These two islands were joined by a bridge because the smaller island is owned by the same person who owns the house on the larger, Canadian island. They use the smaller island as a backyard.”

The bridge itself is a narrow wooden foot bridge. At one side, there’s a Canadian flag and the other has an American flag painted on its side. It’s a very cute little river crossing.

But not everyone sees it this way, and some passers by warn that the dainty little bridge is actually nothing more than a tourist trap.

Atlas Obscura says:

“However, the truth of this has been questioned as a tourist ploy since the 1880s, with both islands being in Canada according to some sources.”

But really, who actually decides on a border? Is it Google Maps, is it political bodies or can it just be the owner of a tiny little bridge between to islands? Who knows.

So, gimmick made up by the owner or world’s smallest international bridge? You decide?