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Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site of Canada

Parks Canada and Ontario Waterpower Industry Collaborate on a Strategic Framework

New framework supports clean energy, safe infrastructure and sustainable canal operations

March 21, 2014 - Peterborough, ON - Parks Canada and Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) are collaborating to manage and develop the hydroelectric potential of national historic canal systems in Ontario. The new framework is expected to foster new infrastructure investment, encourage clean hydroelectric energy and support the long-term sustainability of the Trent-Severn Waterway and Rideau Canal.

Today, the two organisations announced the release of a report on waterpower management in national historic canal systems in Ontario. The report and its recommendations are a collaborative effort that addresses the shared desire of the waterpower industry and federal government for clear, consistent policy and procedures that encourage investment in waterpower infrastructure and help Parks Canada to realise the revenue potential of hydro generation.

All revenues generated by Parks Canada canal operations are reinvested back into the canals. The financial sustainability of canals and communities requires a combined effort with Parks Canada, provincial and local governments and the many business interests along the canal. Parks Canada remains committed to the recapitalisation and maintenance of very complex historical and contemporary canals infrastructure, including dams, locks and bridges, many of which are integral to the ongoing operation of generating stations along the waterway. These investments connect communities and ensure this infrastructure is available to those who need it.

The full report, Towards a New Business Relationship: Waterpower on Parks Canada Agency Waterways, is available on the OWA website at

Quick Facts

  • The Parks Canada Agency is responsible for the administration of the Trent-Severn Waterway and Rideau Canal national historic sites of Canada. It supports the sustainability of historic canals and quality tourism opportunities with responsible fiscal management and wise investment of taxpayer dollars.
  • More than two-dozen waterpower facilities on the Trent-Severn Waterway and the Rideau Canal systems represent nearly 100 MW of installed capacity and produce, on average, approximately 500 GWh of clean, renewable energy.
  • On average, waterpower facilities provide $1.3 million in annual revenue to Parks Canada's historic canals in Ontario. All revenues generated by Parks Canada canal operations are reinvested back into the canals.
  • The Government of Canada invests in repairs or replacements of essential infrastructure like dams, bridges, and locks so that visitors can continue to enjoy sites safely.
  • Parks Canada continues to work with partners and communities to ensure the historic canals are premier tourism destinations, generate revenue, foster recreation and economic development, build strong communities and support Canadian families.


"Our Government is committed to the financial sustainability of Canada's historic canals and the communities along them. This framework shows how governments and private industry can work together to streamline processes and support the national historic canals' infrastructure for the benefit of all Canadians."

Rick Norlock, Member of Parliament for Northumberland-Quinte West

"This report will serve as the foundation for a new business relationship. Our participation in this joint effort has itself provided for improved communication and cooperation."

Paul Norris, President, Ontario Waterpower Association