Community Update: Update on Construction

Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site

Construction work within the residential area, across from Lock 19
Future construction site off River Road, adjacent to the dam at Lock 19

December 22, 2017
–Parks Canada has passed significant milestones for both the Nassau Guard Gate and Peterborough earth dams projects. The preparation, investigation, and design phases have advanced to the point where these major projects have now been put out to tender to seek bids from qualified contractors.

These projects will strengthen key infrastructure and further reduce the risk of flood damage along the canal corridor through Peterborough.

Peterborough Earth Dams

In the fall of 2017, Parks Canada secured a contractor to prepare access roads and staging areas for all four earth dam construction sites – at Thompsons Bay, at Parkhill Road running north, and along both shorelines south of Parkhill Road. This work is now underway. A separate contract will be secured after the project is put to tender in order to conduct the major work as part of the next phase of this project. In order to rehabilitate and strengthen the Peterborough earth dams, washouts will be repaired, dam height will be increased where necessary, and remaining vegetation will be removed and replaced with more appropriate erosion protection and vegetative cover. This project is currently estimated to reach the active construction phase in March 2018 with the work occurring in phases across the four sites over the ensuing 18-24 months.

Nassau Guard Gate

The Nassau Guard Gate project will result in the installation of gates within the canal just north of Nassau Mills road and a raising of an earthen berm closely following the contours of that road. The guard gate would be used in the case of a major flooding event and would redirect water to the Otonabee River rather than the more vulnerable canal cut. This project was put out to tender in late November and current estimates have it reaching the construction phase in February/March. A two year project, the first phase will see the earthworks completed while the specially designed gates are fabricated. In the second year the gates will be installed and the remaining elements of the structure completed. This project is expected to continue through 2019 with the gates in operation for the 2020 navigation season.

Peterborough Lift Lock

The iconic Peterborough Lift Lock National Historic Site has also seen considerable investment as part of Parks Canada’s infrastructure investment program. In 2016 the presswells that house the almost 67 foot tall cylinders that raise and lower the Liftlock chambers were pumped clean of more than 110 years’ worth of grime, grease, and goop. Currently, Parks Canada staff are working to remove vegetation from along the earth berm on the northeast approach to the Lift Lock. The roots of trees and large shrubs have been found to cause subsurface instability in earth dams and so must be removed out of an interest for public safety. This work will continue over the winter and into 2018.

Scotts Mills Dam at Lock 19

The project to replace the Scotts Mills dam is still in the preparation and design phase and is not yet ready to advance to construction. This said, as part of the preparatory works Parks Canada has purchased four properties adjacent to the dam. In early December, three of buildings were removed from the properties to provide an access for construction. The use of this land following the completion of the project has yet to be determined. Parks Canada will engage the community in discussions prior to the restoration of the site in order to generate ideas and feedback.

For More Information:

For more information about the Parks Canada infrastructure projects in the Peterborough area please visit If you have any further questions about these projects or if you would like to receive email updates regarding projects in the Peterborough area, please contact us at and include “Peterborough” in the subject heading.


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