West Montrose Covered Bridge, also Kissing Bridge is one of the oldest covered bridges in Canada

Montrose Covered Bridge was bilt in 1880–1881 mostly of oak and white pine by John Bear. He had previously built barns, the total cost to the Township of Woolwich was $3,197.50.
The structure can still be used by pedestrians, buggy traffic and vehicles weighing less than three tonnes for crossing the Grand River. Since 1998, it has been owned and maintained by the Regional Municipality of Waterloo.

Why The Kissing Bridge?

Locals driving their horse and buggy rigs began to call the structure the “kissing bridge”: a kiss (in relative privacy inside the bridge) was required as a toll to cross it.

The West Montrose Covered Bridge was designated as a Provincial Historic Site in August 1960. In 2018, the structure was one of the eight recognized under the region’s Heritage Bridge Recognition Program. There is a Mennonite information office in the charming village of St. Joseph.

Covered Bridges in Canada:
In 1900 Quebec, New Brunswick, and Ontario had an estimated 1000, 400, and five covered bridges respectively. In the 1990s there were 98 in Quebec, 58 in New Brunswick,. But only one in Ontario, the West Montrose Covered Bridge.

In 2015, the total number of surviving covered bridges in Canada was below 200.

The longest covered bridge in the world.
The 1,282-foot (391 m) Hartland Bridge in New Brunswick is the longest covered bridge in the world.

The bridge was featured in the film: In the Mouth of Madness (1995)

The Covered Bridge / Craig Cornish

Tired timbers creak and groan;
lonely bones now brittle,
once proud and strong when
bearing the harvest weight.
The wagons and muscular engines
were no burden for my
young and supple limbs.

Spanning the Connecticut,
green to granite –
I miss the melody
of wheels and hooves;
the morning breaths
floating and settling among
my rafters – dripping
in the noon heat.

Carriages where whispers
echo between my latticed
trusses and clandestine truths
and lies were lost in the shadows
where tears of both joy
and pain are forever hidden.

Below, the river perpetually runs
like life and time,
always moving, never waiting,
and testing our will
to carry on…

Copyright © Craig Cornish