NEWS

Montreal Old Port removes 'love locks' from bridge

07/27/2015 08:57 EDT | Updated 07/27/2016 05:59 EDT
The 'love locks' that caused headaches in Paris are now popping up in Montreal, to the chagrin of city officials.

Jimmy Laforge, spokesman for the Old Port in Montreal, acknowledges the walk from the touristy Old Port to Bonsecours Basin is romantic and enchanting and ideal for a happy couple, but he says they should stop locking padlocks to the bridge as a sign of their enduring love.

In recent months, lovers started attaching their locks to the bridge and throwing their keys into the water. On Saturday, around 40 of them were hanging on the Old Port bridge.

However, they're not there for very long, said Laforge. The Old Port management worry heavy locks will cause structural problems to the bridge.

"The bridge was not designed to bear the weight of padlocks … they are removed frequently," said Laforge.

It's become so popular, a nearby tourist shop is entertaining the idea of selling padlocks because people have been asking about them.

"Every day, once or twice, someone asks whether we have them… I've thought about selling them, but I've got a lot of things for sale already," said Sujjinanont Ida, the owner of the shop.

Love locks are popping up around the world, and indeed, across Canada, in tribute to the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris. The bridge, over the Seine, attracted thousands of couples who hung their padlocks, often with their names and the date inscribed on the lock. 

But in May, the City of Paris removed the locks, citing the strain it was causing to the bridge.

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