Officially, Ontario has just one covered bridge, which can be found in West Montrose. But the official count fails to include the 144-foot lattice-covered walking bridge that spans the convergence of the Eramosa and Speed Rivers in Guelph.
In 1992, 400 volunteers from the Timber Framers’ Guild raised the bridge by hand. It was designed in the style of Ithiel Town’s patent from the 1880s, and is notable for the amount of light it allows into the interior. While the supports have metal bars and bolts, the interior sports handmade wooden dowels.
At one end of the bridge you will find a plaque that notes that two of the posts were hewn from a willow tree that once grew near the site of the bridge. At the other end of the bridge you will find a plaque in front of the 15,000th tree planted in Guelph by the Rotary Club.
The bridge is located at the beginning of the 4.1 kilometer Eramosa Trail, which meanders along the river. Near the bridge is the Boat House restaurant, open every day and serving light fare such as bagels, salads, scones and tea. From its location on the water, you can enjoy ice cream while watching canoeists paddle by and ducks and geese dive for food.Closer to the bridge there is a reflection garden that has various memorial plaques. Across the main street (Gordon), near the bridge is a park for children and a sculpture known as Garbasaurus that reminds us of the importance of environmental conservation.
Know Before You Go
Parking can be found on Gordon, north of the Boat House restaurant and at the west end of York Road (Highway 7). The bridge is 130 meters (147 yards) north east of the restaurant.