West Montrose Covered Bridge, which is also more known as Kissing Bridge, is the name of the covered bridge in West Montrose, Ontario within Waterloo region. This one is the last wooden covered bridge in Ontario and the oldest such bridge in Canada.
West Montrose Covered Bridge Canada was built in 1880 until 1881 with mostly of oak and white pine by John Bear, who had previously built barns, and the total cost to the Township of Woolwich was $ 3,197.50. the structure of the bridge is still able to be used by pedestrians, buggy traffic and vehicles weighing less than three tonnes for crossing the Grand River. Since 1998, the bridge has been owned and maintained by the Regional Municipality of Waterloo.
The original design of West Montrose Covered Bridge Canada was described as the two span hybrid Howe truss or as the hybrid Queen Post – Howe timber configuration with two louvred windows. Currently, there are two visible windows that were added at some later date. The whole structure was originally built of wood. The weight of the bridge was supported by 15 piles driven deep into the river bed. At the time of construction, the useful life of the structure was estimated 70 to 80 years. The number was significally increased with the subsequent restorations.
The main modifications during the restorations were added the concrete and the steel parts in order to strengthen the aging structure. However, the latest visible from the bridge remains the same to the original design.
As stated before, West Montrose Covered Bridge is more known as the “kissing bridge”. What is the story behind the name? Some locals driving their horse and buggy rigs were the ones who started to call the structure the “kissing bridge”. At the time, a kiss was required as a toll to cross the bridge. Basically, the historical summary indicates that the local girls learned to be wary when the escort’s horse stopped inside the bridge without any command from the driver. This is the main reason for the name of the kissing bridge for hikers which passes through the settlement.
West Montrose Covered Bridge Canada is really popular up until now. Its popularity makes the bridge featured in the film called In the Mouth of Madness (1995) and some scenes for it were filmed around the covered bridge. In addition, the latter movie is set in the state of Maine where the nine covered bridges still exist.
Today, West Montrose Covered Bridge Canada cans till be used by pedestrians, buggy traffic, and vehicles weighing less than three tonnes for crossing the river named Grand River. When you visit this covered bridge, do not forget to also stop at the Olde Bridge Place gift shop. This one is close to the bridge that is fully stocked with the locally made souvenirs including jewelry, clothing, gourmet foods, home decor, and many more. Another thing to take a note is to bring your beloved one to the bridge.