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Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site of Canada


The Government of Canada is investing record amounts in our historic canals

Over the next two years Parks Canada is investing up to $58 million towards bridges, dams and other infrastructure along the Rideau Canal and Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW).

The funding announced today also includes $11.5 million over the next two years across the TSW for dam safety and in preventative maintenance projects for bridges, dams, lock gates and retaining walls as well as the management of navigation markers, and visitor facilities.

Below are some of the major projects highlights. 

Trent-Severn Waterway

Thompson Bay Dam Reconstruction – total investment of $1.5M

Thompson’s Bay Dam, built in 1925 and located on the Otonabee River in Peterborough, is an earthen embankment with a concrete spillway. It is a key asset for maintaining water levels on the Trent-Severn Waterway and its overflow spillway provides the water flow necessary for the ecology of the downstream creek. It also forms a part of the Peterborough trail system.

This investment will recapitalize the dam and ensure safe water management for years to come.

Otonabee Dam Deck Rehabilitation - total investment of $7.6 million

The dam at Lock 23 is located on the Otonabee River in Peterborough adjacent to Canal Road. It’s an essential piece of water management infrastructure and facilitates hydroelectric power generation in the city of Peterborough. The investment will see the dam’s deck replaced and repairs made to its concrete piers. Rehabilitation of this significant piece of infrastructure is important for the waterway to function properly as one entity and also so that employees maintaining and operating the site remain safe.

Kennisis Dam Rehabilitation – total investment of $3.5M

Parks Canada will invest in work at Kennisis Lake Dam as a part of our integrated asset management program. It was built in 1950 and serves to manage water levels between Kennisis and Red Pine Lakes in the Trent-Severn Waterway watershed. The dam will be rebuilt or see a major rehabilitation, pending the outcome of the options analysis. Parks Canada will be working with stakeholders like the municipality, neighbours, and Public Works & Government Services Canada to develop the specific project plan.

Rehabilitation of Healey Falls Lock 15 – total investment of $0.7 million

Contractors for Parks Canada are in the final stages toward completion of major concrete work at Healey Falls Lock 15, near Campbellford in the southern area of the Trent-Severn Waterway. The work has been taking place over the winter months and has included the removal of 300mm of deteriorated concrete, the installation of reinforcing steel, and the casting of new concrete, inside and immediately outside the lock.

Parks Canada completes much of its work to infrastructure on canals over the winter months. Although this introduces many challenges, this is done to ensure the continuation of navigation during the tourism season.

Bolsover Dam at Lock 37 – total investment of $24.1 million

The Dam at Lock 37 is located in Bolsover on the Trent-Severn Waterway, in what is known as the historic Talbot section. The relatively unchanged appearance and operation of this section of man-made canal between Lake Simcoe and Balsam Lake is one of the main reasons that the Trent-Severn Waterway is designated a National Historic Site.

In the construction phase, Parks Canada will remove the existing dam, build a new dam in the same location, and do the necessary work to build and remove temporary cofferdams above and below the dam construction site. At the same time, a flow diversion system will be built and then removed so that water continues to flow to during construction. Parks Canada will salvage and reuse the dam’s historical operational features.

Parks Canada has considered many factors to determine the design of the new structure, including safety, operation, cost, policy, and the importance of this section of a national historic site that Parks Canada protects. Modern construction techniques will improve the structure and ensure its longevity for future generations, while also striving to maintain the look of this culturally significant landscape.

Hastings Swing Bridge Replacement – total investment of $4 million

Parks Canada will replace the Hastings Swing Bridge in the Village of Hastings, southeast of Peterborough on the Otonabee River. The Agency’s priorities during this project are to ensure that the bridge is safe, that disruption is minimal, and that the village and surrounding communities have a sound link well into the future.

Brighton Swing Bridge – total investment of $4.6 million

The Brighton Road swing bridge spans the Murray Canal and is located in the municipality of Quinte West. The bridge is one of two routes across the Murray Canal and one of five routes into Prince Edward County. It provides an important link between the municipalities of Brighton and Quinte West on the north side of the Murray Canal and Prince Edward County on the south side.

Parks Canada will replace the current Brighton Swing Bridge with one that has a full highway load rating and no restrictions for emergency and service vehicles.