Covered bridges, sometimes called kissing bridges dotted the countryside throughout Upper and Lower Canada and the Maritimes in pioneer days (300 still remain in Quebec). They were covered to preserve the timbers, which is left open would last only about ten years, and not to keep snow off the deck. As a matter of fact, snow had to be carried in and spread around to allow sleighs to pass through.
Covered bridges, made of wood, represent an integral part of the architectural heritage of Quebec.
The covered bridges could be seen everywhere in the Québec landscapes in the 19the century and up to 1970ies.
Indeed, in the early 19th century, local architects, after having studied the system of bridges in Europe and a few Asian countries, started adding a roof to the bridges in order to preserve their superstructure. Due to the harsh winter, conventional wooden bridges last between ten and twenty years in Quebec, whereas the lifespan of bridges with roofs, so called covered bridges can be up to ten times longer.
Thousand or even more covered bridges stretched across ravines or crossed Quebec’s rivers. Today, more than a hundred of them still allow people to enjoy their romantic view and the magic aura of their architecture.
The oldest bridges still in place date back to the early 20th century, while the newest one was built in 1945, in Gaspesie region.