Monday, June 26, 2017


June 2017 - Toronto ON

We were invited to a wedding shower in New Hamburg, about a 1.5 hour drive from Toronto so decided to make it a day trip.

Our first stop was the West Montrose Covered Bridge, also known as the "Kissing Bridge", is a covered bridge in West Montrose, Ontario, the last wooden covered bridge in Ontario and the oldest such bridge in Canada. 

What we didn't expect was the amount of flooding that has taken place. It comes after 100 millimetres of rain fell in the northern part of the Grand River watershed between 3 and 5 a.m. Friday.

Everywhere was the sound of generators.  Most docks were underwater.

Built in 1880–1881 mostly of oak and white pine by John Bear, who 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.

The bridge's original design was described as a "two-span hybrid Howe truss" or as a "hybrid Queen Post – Howe timber configuration" with two louvered windows. Additional windows, visible today, were added at some later date. The entire structure was originally built of wood. Its weight was supported by 15 piles driven deep into the river bed.

Unfortunately this gift shop was closed I would guess due to the flooding.

Later in the day we went into New Hamburg to see the waterwheel which is 50 feet tall and predominantly wooden. 

There were more statements as New Hamburg issued warnings as the Nith River swells.

The sound of the rushing water was deafening and quite scary.

This bandstand was under water.

Right by the river is this mural done in 1993 by local artist Lance Russwurm, who was born in Kitchener, ON, and is 20' x 80' in size. According to his website, it was his first attempt at a mural.
"Note how I incorporated the actual windows of the building into the scene. I drew all the objects dead-on so that perspective would not cause problems with viewing from any angle. Everything is life-size so passers-by can feel that they are a part of the picture. It has proven to be a popular photo backdrop with tourists for that reason".

The house in the background is Castle Kilbride which we visited earlier in the day.

It just so happened that I took this photo and didn't know it was another Lance Russwurm mural until we got home.

"Ritz Printers" 1997 - a mural by Lance Russwurm - acrylic on concrete block
To explain this mural, Lance let the client do the talking:
"The illustration ... is a photo of the mural painted on our north wall by renowned Kitchener-Waterloo artist Lance Russwurm in September, 1997. It shows Great Uncle Dan Ritz, Grandfather Otto Ritz at the Linotype and Great-Grandfather Jacob at the hand-fed platen press. We're thrilled with the historical accuracy and detail! We asked Lance for a mural to advertise our business to the traffic moving by on the street. He gave us, instead, a pictorial celebration of our past!"


  1. ...what a great area, one more place to put on the 'to see list.'

  2. That is a lot of water!

    I've been to that bridge. It's a beautiful one.


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