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Sep 6, 2013

West Montrose Covered Bridge

'Covered Bridge' - West Montrose ON

In 1881, horses and buggies were the main form of transportation. Covering a bridge served two purposes: The roof protected the timber frame from the elements and, the sides (or walls) of the bridge prevented the horses from being spooked by rushing water. The West Montrose Covered Bridge would appear to have served both purposes well. The bridge remains in use and local Mennonites still take their horses and buggies through the bridge on a regular basis.

According to the Township of Woolwich website, the bridge is Ontario's only remaining covered bridge. It crosses the Grand River with a span of 198 feet. The Township website also says that the bridge is sometimes called 'The Kissing Bridge' because the enclosed area provides some privacy and the soft light filtering through the boards can create a romantic ambiance.


'Inside the Covered Bridge' - at West Montrose ON

The Ontario Heritage Foundation sign at the bridge reads as follows:
This structure, the only remaining covered bridge in Ontario was designed by John Bear in 1880, on the authority of Woolwich Township Council, to replace an earlier bridge over the Grand River. Built a year later by John and his brother, Benjamin, the 198-foot bridge was covered to protect the wooden flooring and frame against the elements. Known locally as the Kissing Bridge, it later came under the jurisdiction of Waterloo County. In 1937 the province assumed responsibility for the Guelph-Elmira Road, including the West Montrose Bridge, and its floor and sub-structure were subsequently rebuilt and reinforced.

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