Community Update: Whites Portage Dam Reconstruction

Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site

November 24, 2023 - Peterborough, ON – Construction continues on Whites Portage Dam at White’s Falls on County Road 34. Please remember that access to White’s Falls will be temporarily closed to the public until the end of construction in 2025.

Since mobilizing to the site in July, the contractor has worked to build a new access road and erect the temporary cofferdam on the upstream and downstream sides of the dam. Completion of the cofferdam structure is forecasted to be complete by the end of November, when the 1st phase of demolition and reconstruction work will commence on the west side of the dam. Phase 1 includes rock removal and demolition of the existing dam and will occur in early December. There will be no blasting as the rock removal and demolition will be carried out with mechanical breakers and line drilling. Once the rock removal and demolition are complete, work will begin to build the base slab for Phase 1 of the new dam construction.

The Whites Portage Dam is the main flood management dam for Six Mile Lake and is one of seven owned and operated by Parks Canada in the area. Originally constructed in 1918, the dam regulates the lake’s water level and outflow into Gloucester Pool. The project's scope is to completely replace the current dam with a new one in the same location and orientation.

PLEASE NOTE: County Road 34 will remain open to traffic during the construction period. Please exercise caution driving through the area and obey all posted signage and flaggers.

White’s Falls, which cascades below the dam, is a popular destination for canoes, kayaks, swimmers, and sightseers. Given that the construction area encompasses the entire White’s Falls area, public access to the Falls will be closed throughout the construction period.

This work is part of Parks Canada’s unprecedented investment to support infrastructure work for heritage, visitor, waterway, and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas across Canada. These historic investments will mitigate health and safety risks, halt the loss of nationally significant built heritage, and stimulate the economy in communities across the country.

If you would like to receive updates via email, please get in touch with us at and include “Whites Portage Dam” in the subject line.

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