Love Lock Bridge in Ottawa

Photo of a railing with locks set against the sunset.

On a recent visit to Ottawa this past summer, I visited the love lock bridge.  After having been in Ottawa for years, I must have been living under some really big boulder because I never knew it existed. It is really quite an amazing sight and place to be. Thousands of couples have shown their commitment and devotion to each other adding a lock to the collection. The bridge just oozes with love!

Photo of Meg overlooking the Rideau Canal from the Love Lock Bridge.
Standing on the bridge overlooking the Rideau Canal.

What is all the rage with Love Lock Bridges Anyways?

So there is some history to these fun, romantic and artsy bridges. They have actually been around for decades. It is said that the tradition of this started back around World War I after a Serbian girl fell in love with a Serbian guy who had to fight in the war. They decided to get engaged. During the war he fell in love with another woman, and so the engagement was broken off. Other Serbian women wanted to “protect” their love and started putting locks on the Most Ljubavi bridge (wikipedia.com).

It is a unique tradition and has been replicated in many other European cities and beyond. The most popular and famous love lock bridge would be in Paris at Pont des Arts. Due to it’s mass popularity, Paris officials have actually started removing the one million locks (45 tonnes of them to be exact), due to structural soundness issues of the bridge (bbc.com)

Adding a Lock of Your Own

So there are some pretty simple steps to doing this.

  1. Buy a lock (preferably a padlock with a key)
  2. Visit the desired love lock location with your lover or significant other
  3. Ensure to label your lock with your initials and customize it any way you want
  4. Hook on the lock to the bridge (perhaps a quick kiss might be appropriate at this point)
  5. Hold hands and toss the key
Close up of a sample lock that has had a lot of time and attention.
Some people get very serious with their locks and have them professionally engraved.

Where is the Bridge in Ottawa?

Ok, so where is this bridge? The bridge is located along the Rideau Canal. Take Somerset Street all the way to the end until it reaches the canal. A pedestrian foot bridge lies at the end. It is this bridge that has been transformed into the love lock bridge. This bridge also connects to the University of Ottawa.

Ottawa is not the only city that has one. If you are in Toronto, a very similar type of attraction exists in the Distillery District. Montreal is very slowly trying create their own love lock bridge at the Old Port.  In Vancouver, they are just starting to jump on the bandwagon, and have very recently, as of August 2015, had an open vote on where a love lock installation should be placed (vancouver.ca).

Close up of one of the railings on the bridge with many locks.
Thousands upon thousands of couples have locked up their love on this bridge.

Take a moment out of your walk or ride next time to visit the love lock bridge. Whether you are single, in an “it’s complicated” status, madly in love, married, or any situation, it is a fun, and inspiring place to visit in Ottawa.

 

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