The West Montrose Covered Bridge, or the Kissing Bridge, is the last remaining covered bridge in Ontario. The bridge itself is Located in the Woolwich township and crosses over the Grand River. This bridge being the last remaining covered bridge in Ontario, it holds great significance in the community and was named a Provincial Historical Site in 1960. It also has an interesting historical background.
The bridge was designed by a contractor named John Bear and constructed by him and his brother in 1881 as a replacement for a bridge that was located in the same spot. From the beginning, the bridge was made only of wood, but as the bridge has stood for many years, the materials have since been altered to be a mix of wood, stone, asphalt, concrete and steel. While the material has been altered from its original wood, it has been viewed as a representation of the evolution of bridge technology aas well as the changing township region and province that evolved along with it. Bridges tend to have a life span of around 10 to 15 years due to rust and rain, however, the West Montrose Covered Bridge has remained standing after over 100 years. This is due to the bridge being covered, as this will protect the construction materials from the elements. Today, the bridge can only carry light foot traffic, and horses and buggies as it is not strong enough to drive a heavy car across. The bridge became known as the “Kissing Bridge” due to the privacy that the covered bridge offered and the nickname has stuck. The privacy offered a feeling of intimacy for couples who would stroll across the bridge.
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