Community Update: Construction to Begin

Rideau Canal National Historic Site

Hogs Back Bridge

October 23, 2018 – During the week of October 22nd, the contractor for the Hogs Back Dam and Fixed Bridge rehabilitation project will begin to mobilize to site. In order to set up their staging area, the contractor will utilize a portion of the public parking lot which is currently closed for the season southeast of the bridge. In the spring, the parking lot will reopen to the public with reduced parking availability.

Construction activities will begin in November 2018. Work on phase one of the project will include the installation of a cofferdam, repairs to the piers and abutments of the dam and bridge, repairs to the east and west upstream retaining wall, and to the tunnel under the west abutment of the bridge. Phase two, beginning in spring 2020, will include the replacement of the bridge deck. Substantial completion of the project is expected in 2021.

These projects are part of Parks Canada’s unprecedented $3 billion dollar investment over 5 years to support infrastructure work to heritage, visitor, waterway and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas across Canada. These investments represent the largest federal infrastructure plan in the history of Parks Canada.

About Hogs Back Dam and Fixed Bridge:

Construction of the first dam at Hogs Back began in the late 1820s and was plagued with many challenges. Throughout its construction, the dam was compromised by unexpected high waters and the winter frost impacting its foundation which resulted in its collapse on three separate occasions. Colonel By’s team eventually installed timber cribwork and added a water waste weir to allow excess water to bypass the main dam during high flows. This dam was completed in 1830. Throughout the mid-to-late 1800s the dam sustained significant damage and underwent repairs. A reconstruction effort took place in the early 1890s.

The version of Hogs Back Dam in place today was completed in 1977 along with the fixed bridge. Hogs Back Dam is the currently second highest dam on the Rideau Canal system, following the dam located at Jones Falls.

For More Information:

For up-to-date news about Parks Canada infrastructure work in this area, please visit If you have any questions about any of the project, or if you would like to receive email updates, please email us at: and include “Ottawa Canal Walls” or “Hogs Back Dam” in the subject heading.

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