west montrose covered bridge

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West Montrose Covered Bridge

The West Montrose Covered Bridge is recognized as a historic site by Ontario's Archaeological & Historic Sites Board and is the last remaining covered bridge in Ontario.

The bridge across the Grand River was built in 1881 by a Mennonite carpenter and barn builder named John Baer. It is a two-span hybrid Howe truss covered bridge and is 62 m (205 feet) long and five metres (17 feet) wide.

When the bridge was constructed in 1881 the primary means of transportation was by horse and buggy. Horses are less hesitant to cross a covered bridge than an uncovered bridge where they can see water on both sides. When sleighs replaced buggies in the winter months a person was hired to shovel snow onto the bridge allowing the sleighs to cross without damaging the plank floor.

Restorations have taken place over the years and at one point the bridge was even considered for demolition. Around 1960 the bridge was reinforced with steel trusses and a new bridge was built about a kilometre upstream diverting traffic away from the bridge.

Places to Explore

Elora Gorge Conservation Area
Elora Quarry Conservation Area
St. Jacobs Market
West Montrose Covered Bridge

Ontario Towns and Cities

Bayfield, Ontario
Elora, Ontario
Goderich, Ontario
St. Jacobs, Ontario

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