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The Kissing Bridge – West Montrose Covered Bridge

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July 3, 2011


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The Kissing Bridge – West Montrose Covered Bridge

covered bridgeThe West Montrose covered bridge is Ontario’s last remaining covered bridge. It has a 198-foot span across the Grand River. Visitors come from all over the world to see and photograph this picturesque bridge.

The bridge was covered for safety and economic reasons. A roof over the bridge serves to protect the large timbers and trusses from the elements. Uncovered wooden bridges have a life span of only 10 to 15 years because exposure to rain causes unprotected joints to rot in summer and freeze in the winter; the hot sun causes the wooden planks to dry and curl. Applying oil and tar to preserve the floor made the surface slippery when wet. Horses fear rushing water and would often become spooked as they approached bridges. A horse will trot up to the opening of a covered bridge and clip-clop through, reassured by the side walls and the light at the end of the tunnel.

The bridge was built in 1881. It underwent major repairs in 1999. Light traffic is still crossing the bridge daily and many horse and buggies cross on Sundays. The bridge 
is often referred to as “The Kissing Bridge” because it is enclosed and the soft light provides a feeling of intimacy for the romantic.

Where: West Montrose

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Keith helps home buyers understand homes, schools and neighbourhoods in Kitchener Waterloo. He is an author, an award-winning realtor and an agent of change. On Twitter @kdmarshall. Online at

(1) Reader Comment

  1. Kate Hagerman
    April 9, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Hi Keith, The Region is wondering if you might be able to add some text to your website page on the West Montrose Bridge that would help visitors to the bridge know that there is a load restriction in effect. I have included some suggested text below. Thank you, Kate Suggested Text: “The Region of Waterloo, in collaboration with the Township of Woolwich and local residents, is committed to maintaining the West Montrose Covered Bridge as a viable open bridge with the appropriate limitations to ensure that the heritage integrity of the structure is conserved. Please note: The West Montrose Covered Bridge has a 3 tonne load limit and should not be crossed by trucks, buses, tractors or other heavy vehicles.”

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