June 1, 2015

Harper Government announces significant new investments in Rideau Canal National Historic Site

SMITHS FALLS, ON, June 1, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, joined by Mr. Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds--Grenville, today announced new infrastructure investments totalling $39.4 million in the Rideau Canal National Historic Site.

These projects are the result of an unprecedented investment by the Government of Canada to support infrastructure work in our national historic sites, national parks and national marine conservation areas. This investment represents the largest federal infrastructure plan in the 104-year history of Parks Canada, ensuring these cherished places are protected and secured for the future while also creating and projecting jobs and opportunities.

The Government of Canada is committed to enhancing visitor experiences along the Rideau Canal. In addition to this major investment for its infrastructure, Parks Canada has also taken other actions, including:

    --  The installation of oTENTik tents and showers at Beveridges Lockstation,
        near Perth;
    --  An exciting 2 for 1 lockage permit offer that provides boaters an
        opportunity to double their fun on historic canals in Ontario and
    --  The establishment of a business development unit for the Rideau Canal
        and the Trent-Severn Waterway; and
    --  A collaborative and innovative Visitor Experience Opportunities Concept
        project to foster recreation, tourism and economic development
        throughout the Rideau Canal corridor.

Quick Facts

    --  On November 24, the Prime Minister announced the largest infrastructure
        investment in Parks Canada sites across Canada in the agency's 104-year
        history. This investment will support infrastructure improvements to
        heritage, tourism, waterway and highway assets located within national
        historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas
        across Canada. This is part of a new $5.8 billion federal infrastructure
    --  Ottawa welcomes over 7.3 million visitors per year, who spend over $1.18
        billion. The Rideau Canal is one of the most visited National Historic
        Sites in Canada and one of Ottawa's top attractions on TripAdvisor.
    --  The Rideau Canal is one of the most visited national historic sites in
        Canada and one of Eastern Ontario's top attractions with its nearly
        2,000 boats each year and over 80,000 cyclists that use its pathways
        each month during the summer season.
    --  Including two previous announcements of infrastructure investments at
        Black Rapids Lock 13 and at Poonamalie Dam, the Government has announced
        a grand total infrastructure investment of $46.0 million at the Rideau
        Canal National Historic Site in the last five years.
    --  Parks Canada is present in hundreds of communities across Canada and
        contributes approximately $3 billion dollars to the Canadian economy
        every year. Parks Canada's overall contribution to the Canadian economy
        is responsible for more than 40,000 jobs from coast to coast to coast.
    --  Parks Canada investments support the Government's National Conservation
        Plan while also creating jobs, promoting visitor experience and
        supporting communities across Canada.


"Our Government recognizes how important cultural heritage is to the economy and the important role that these historic sites play in supporting our communities. These investments will help create jobs while offering opportunities for skilled construction and conservation professionals to work on historic places across the country."

The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

"Our Government is committed to creating and protecting jobs and opportunities by investing in our natural and historical treasures for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Investing in the Rideau Canal National Site, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will support the tourism industry in the region and enhance visitor experience."

Mr. Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds--Grenville

Associated Links

National Conservation Plan

Parks Canada:


Rideau Canal Infrastructure Investments

    New infrastructure investments total:                $39.4 M

    Previously announced infrastructure
     investments:                                         $6.6 M

    Grand total of infrastructure
     investments (new and previously
     announced):                                         $46.0 M

Infrastructure projects:

Rideau Canal National Historic Site

Project descriptions:

Rideau Canal Concrete Rehabilitation | City of Ottawa

$7.6 M

Parks Canada will be repairing and replacing concrete walls in the downtown core of the nation's capital between Ottawa Locks and Dows Lake. This portion of the Rideau Canal serves as a navigable way for boaters from May to October and as a skateway for residents and visitors during the winter months.

Hogs Back Dam & Weir Rehabilitation | City of Ottawa

$1.1 M

The Hogs Back Dam and Weir mark the location where the route of the Rideau Canal leaves the natural path of the Rideau River and enters a manmade canal leading to Ottawa Locks. The Hogs Back Dam is the second highest on the Rideau Canal system, following the one located at Jones Falls. This rehabilitation project will entail the concrete restoration of both structures.

Hogs Back Fixed Bridge Rehabilitation | City of Ottawa

$3 M

The Hogs Back Fixed Bridge opened in 1977 and traverses the Hogs Back Weir and allows vehicles and pedestrians to witness the picturesque Hogs Back Falls. This rehabilitation project will consist of concrete repairs and re-paving. These repairs will ensure continued safe travels for those crossing.

Black Rapids Dam Rehabilitation | City of Ottawa

$1.1 M

The Black Rapids Dam is an overflow structure located in the nation's capital on the Rideau River. This rehabilitation project will involve repairs to the concrete structure as well as improvements to the shoreline concrete wall adjoining the dam. This will ensure that the dam remains reliable, functional, meets current codes and standards, and that water management capabilities are optimized.

Black Rapids Lock 13 Recapitalization | City of Ottawa

$2.3 M

Black Rapids Lock 13, located in the Nation's Capital, is considered a cultural resource of national significance, meaning that it has a direct relationship with the reasons for the designation of the Rideau Canal as a national historic site. Timber lock gates were installed at the lockstation in 1969 when the lock was also mechanized. The intent of this project is to repair masonry and concrete in the lock chamber, to replace the lock gates which have been in place for 47 years of service and to upgrade the hydraulic operating system for this lock. This project was previously announced.

Burritts Rapids Earth Dam Rehabilitation | Municipality of North-Grenville

$2.6 M

Located along the Rideau River, the Burritts Rapids Earth Dam serves as a water control structure. This project will include assessment of the earth dams located at the site and their rehabilitation. The intent of the project is to improve the condition of the dams while maintaining their use as a walking trail for the community. This project will ensure the long term viability and engineering function of the earth dams.

Upper Nicholsons Earth Dam Rehabilitation | Municipality of Merrickville - Wolford

$850 K

The Upper Nicholsons Earth Dam is located on the east bank of the Rideau River. This project will rehabilitate the Upper Nicholsons Earth Dam and masonry wall as well as repair the masonry component of a retaining wall in order to enhance their reliability and effectiveness.

Merrickville Swing Bridge Rehabilitation | Municipality of Merrickville-Wolford

$775 K

The Merrickville Swing Bridge connects Highway 43 and crosses the Rideau Canal in the picturesque downtown area of the municipality of Merrickville-Wolford. The Merrickville Swing Bridge was built in 1990, and is the fifth swing bridge to be built at the lockstation. The rehabilitation project occurred over the winter and spring of 2015 and is now complete. Work involved repainting and repaving of the bridge.

Edmonds Weir & Dam and Lock 25 Masonry Rehabilitation | Municipality of Merrickville-Wolford

$1.2 M

The Edmonds Lockstation 25 sits within a 150 meter excavated channel on the west side of the Rideau River. Edmonds Weir and Dam are situated to the east of Edmonds Lock 25. The overflow dam and weir keep water levels at the appropriate navigation range upstream of Lock 25, while also providing an outlet for excess water to be diverted around the lock. The overflow dam, weir and lock are constructed of historic stone masonry dating back to the original construction of the Rideau Canal and are considered cultural resources of national significance. Rehabilitation work will improve the condition of the masonry structures to ensure that they are reliable and functional and that heritage fabric is conserved for future generations. Other work will focus on improving public safety aspects of the site. Preliminary planning is underway.

Poonamailie Dam Rehabilitation Phase 1 | Township of Rideau Lakes

$5.3 M

The Poonamalie Dam, in the Rideau Lakes Township near Smiths Falls, has been continuously maintained and monitored since the 19th century. Parks Canada identified the dam for rehabilitation as part of its ongoing asset monitoring and recapitalization program on the Rideau Canal. This project encompasses stabilizing the earth dam and increasing its height, as well as replacing the Minnow Creek weir and walls. The project began in the Winter of 2015 and work completed to date includes: removal of vegetation along the earth dam, installation of an access road for construction, and demolition and reconstruction of the Minnow Creek weir and its retaining walls. Remaining work is expected to be completed by 2017 and includes; demolition and reconstruction of retaining walls that run along the canal, installation of a masonry face and guard rails on the new retaining walls, and the placement of rock fill, rip rap and gravel along the length of the earth dam to increase its height and width. The increase in size of the earth dam will optimize the management of water. $4.3 million from this project was previously announced in March, 2014.

Narrows Lock 35 Masonry Repairs | Community of Portland, Township of Rideau Lakes

$800 K

Narrows Lock 35, located in Portland Ontario, is considered a cultural resource of natural significance, meaning that it has a direct relationship with the reasons for designation of the Rideau Canal as a national historic site. This repair project will improve the condition of the masonry in the lock chamber in order to conserve heritage fabric for future generations and ensure that boaters can continue to use the lock safely. Preliminary designs are currently underway for the project.

Bobs Lake Dam Rehabilitation | Community of Bolingbroke, Frontenac County

$3.1 M

Bobs Lake Dam in the community of Bolingbroke in Frontenac County will be demolished and replaced with a new concrete dam that meets current engineering safety codes and standards. This will ensure that the new dam remains reliable and functional and water management capabilities are optimized. Bobs Lake serves as one of the main reservoir lakes for the Tay River.

Chaffeys Swing Bridge Replacement | Township of Rideau Lakes

$750 K

Parks Canada replaced the Chaffeys Swing Bridge that spans over Indian Lake on the Rideau Canal. The replacement of the bridge was completed in May 2015 and all vehicles can now cross the new bridge as it meets highway load standards. Minor remaining work is currently being completed to conclude the project. This project insures that the township of Rideau Lakes and surrounding communities will have a sound link well into the future.

Jones Falls Concrete Bridge Rehabilitation | Township of Rideau Lakes

$650 K

Jones Falls Concrete Bridge is a single span concrete structure located between Jones Falls Locks and the upstream stone arch dam. The bridge is located immediately downstream of Jones Falls Weir and spans across a wash channel that diverts water around the locks. The bridge provides a connection between the arch dam and the locks and a means of access for maintenance and repairs of the locks. The bridge, constructed in 1932, is reaching the end of its life cycle and is in need of repair. The project will consider options for complete replacement with a new higher load rated structure in order to alleviate site access constraints created by the limited capacity of the current bridge. Other project objectives will focus on improving public safety aspects of the bridge. Preliminary planning is underway.

Jones Falls Timber Bridge Rehabilitation or Replacement | Township of Rideau Lakes

$1.6 M

Jones Falls Timber Bridge is a cultural resource that was first constructed in 1883 and that is currently used as a pedestrian bridge. The bridge superstructure has been replaced periodically since 1883 but the timber crib support piers for the bridge likely date to the original construction period. The bridge will be rehabilitated or replaced in a manner that respects the heritage values of the site while enhancing visitor safety. An options analysis will be completed to determine the approach for this project.

Upper Brewers Earth Dam Rehabilitation | City of Kingston

$2.1 M

The objective of the project is to rehabilitate the Upper Brewers Earth Dam and associated structures. The project will include an assessment of the earth dams and their rehabilitation. Based on the results of the assessment, work may include vegetation control, increasing the dam elevation, stability improvements, and repairs to the associated masonry waste weir.

Kingston Mills Fixed Bridge Replacement | City of Kingston

$2.3 M

Kingston Mills is the first lockstation at the southern end of the Rideau Canal and connects the waterway to Lake Ontario. This project will involve the replacement of the current bridge superstructure and its abutments in order to ensure the continued safe use of the structure.

Kingston Mills Swing Bridge Rehabilitation | City of Kingston

$2.2 M

Throughout the history of the Rideau Canal, many bridges over the canal along Kingston Mills Road have been constructed and replaced. The current steel swing bridge was built in 1988. This rehabilitation project will include structural steel repairs, sandblasting and repainting of the bridge structure and repaving.

Regular Dams (multiple) Repairs | Various locations from Ottawa to Kingston

$2.5 M

The Parks Canada Agency manages more than 200 dams in canals and waterways. Throughout the systems, various types of dams are found including concrete gravity, earth embankment and stone arch dams. Regular repairs to these essential water management structures are needed to ensure that dams are reliable, functional, meet current engineering and safety codes and standards, and that water management capabilities are optimized. Dams on the Rideau Canal that have been identified as needing regular repairs include the following: Kingston Mills Earth Dam, Kingston Mills Arch Dam and Weir, Old Slys Weir, Long Island Arch Dam Vegetation, Jones Falls Arch Dam, Merrickville Weir, and Manotick Dam.

Lock Masonry Repairs (various) | Various locations from Ottawa and Kingston

$4.5 M

The Rideau Canal spans 202 kilometers from Ottawa to Kingston and is connected by 47 locks. This project will undertake major masonry repairs to various lock chambers along the system in order to ensure that vessels can continue to safely travel through the waterway.

Site Description:

The Rideau Canal is a chain of beautiful lakes, rivers and canals winding 202 km from Kingston, at the head of Lake Ontario, to Ottawa, Canada's capital city. One of Canada's historic canals, the Rideau Canal, is maintained and operated by Parks Canada to preserve and present the canal's natural and historic features, as well as to provide a navigable channel for boaters. Following the War of 1812, surveys were carried out to identify a second, safe route from Montreal to the Great Lakes. The decision was to follow the Ottawa River from Montreal to the mouth of the Rideau River, at present day Ottawa, then travel south along the Rideau and through a series of small lakes to the Cataraqui River which emptied into Lake Ontario at Kingston. The Rideau Canal National Historic Site welcomes approximately 850,000 visitors every year.

SOURCE Parks Canada