Summer is time for road trips. For checking out places you have never been. New beaches, farmers markets and historical landmarks. Or just a pretty town you want to visit. We never really travel abroad in the summer months because Ontario is gorgeous in the summer. We used to just head to the cottage but now that our kids are a bit older and we have a few road trips under out belt (here and here) it is time to do more exploring. So I decided to do an Ontario road trip series visiting small towns and attractions around south western Ontario. Easy to get to from the GTA but something different than just a trip into Toronto. If you are coming to visit Toronto but want to see more of the province you might want to give these are try. The first place I dragged my kids along with me to visit was the West Montrose Covered Bridge.
Ontario Road Trip: Covered Bridge
The West Montrose covered bridge is the last one in existence in Ontario and is the oldest in Canada. It was built in the late 1800s and is a throwback to a different way of life. The bridge was made a provincial historical site in the 1960’s and is maintained by the region of Waterloo.
The bridge is also known as the West Montrose Kissing bridge as back in the day it was said a kiss was required as a toll to cross the bridge. I think it might have just been dreamed up by teenage boys, but hey the name stuck. Now it is a popular site for engagement photos playing on that kissing bridge theme.
I found the area surprisingly busy considering it is a rural area. There was a biking event crossing the bridge and there is a bed and breakfast right there with a lovely property. If you are looking to get photos done at the bridge keep in mind that local traffic does use this area so you will have to manage traffic. Local properties do offer professional photographers to rent the space to get photos.
Since I was there with my kiddos we waited until we had an opportune time to snap a few photos while we were pulled over the side of the road. However once we had an opening I wasn’t too much up for posing! We did walk across the bridge. The kids thought it was a bit spooky. We did get to see an Old Order Mennonite couple take the bridge in their horse and buggy before we left which pretty much made the trip as authentic as possible.
If you are thinking of driving into the Kitchener Waterloo area to check out the West Montrose covered bridge keep in mind there isn’t much else to do right at the bridge. There is gift shop at the B&B and variety store but that was about it. You might want to also check out St. Jacobs or maybe head on over to Elora if you are looking to make it a full day trip.
While my younger self would not have thought much about driving out to see the covered bridge we all thought it was pretty cool in the end to go back in time and cross this bridge on foot. Keep in mind if you are driving to yield to on coming traffic as the bridge is one way.