Questions & Answers - Six Mile Lake Dam

Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site

The Government of Canada is investing in federal infrastructure by supporting critical repairs and upgrades to several locks and dams along the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site (TSW), including the Six Mile Lake operable and blind dams.

Investments in the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site’s infrastructure are essential for public safety, protecting natural and cultural heritage, ensuring environmental protection and conservation, and providing benefits for visitors, local communities, and the nation’s tourism industry.

  • What will the project consist of? Recent engineering inspections concluded that the Six Mile Lake Dam and the nearby Blind Dam are in poor condition. As such, a project has been initiated that will include the complete demolition of the Six Mile Lake Dam and the construction of a new dam in its place. The project will also include the rehabilitation of the nearby Blind Dam to eliminate leakage and improve stability. Improvements to public safety at the site will also be incorporated, including signage and a new floating safety boom upstream of the dam.
  • When will the project start, and how long will it last? Site preparation work in advance of construction began in March 2024. Construction is anticipated to start in the summer of 2024 and continue until fall 2025.
  • Will you be respecting the historic look of the dam?

    The dam will be replaced in the same location and with the same orientation. It will also maintain the same look and feel as the original dam.

    Parks Canada remains committed to the conservation of infrastructure along the Trent-Severn Waterway so that it can be enjoyed by future generations. The restoration and rehabilitation of assets along the Trent-Severn Waterway presents the unique challenge of rehabilitating these structures with modern features and standards while maintaining and respecting the heritage character.

    As with all infrastructure projects, Parks Canada carefully considers the best and most appropriate methods and practices to preserve the unique character-defining elements of these structures.

  • Will the water levels remain unchanged on Six Mile Lake and Gloucester Pool? All efforts will be undertaken to maintain a similar flow regime throughout the project, including lake levels.
  • What environmental measures are included in these projects to ensure the conservation of both land and aquatic species?

    Parks Canada recognizes the importance of the freshwater ecosystem's health, which the Trent-Severn Waterway protects. Under the Impact Assessment Act (2019), Parks Canada has a responsibility to the species at risk and habitats in the system and to ensure no significant environmental effects as a result of any project. Impact assessments are used to manage the impact of infrastructure projects and, when possible, increase ecological gains for site ecosystems.

    All Parks Canada projects are subject to impact assessments to ensure appropriate ecological protection measures are in place. Parks Canada’s environmental team is engaged from the start of each project, carefully reviewing project plans and processes and looking for ways to avoid, reduce, or offset a project’s potential impact on our environment.

    This includes protecting fish and fish habitat by timing project activities to less sensitive windows, monitoring local water quality, controlling sediment and spills onsite, and identifying, tracking and protecting species at risk, such as snakes and turtles.

    As part of this project, several large cavity trees that provide nesting opportunities for woodpeckers and other bird and animal species have been identified and marked for protection. Shoreline vegetation is also being retained.

  • Why have trees been cut down, and will they be replaced?

    The recent tree and shrub clearing is necessary to create laydown areas and access to the upstream and downstream riparian zones during construction and was kept to the absolute minimum required to do the work. The trees at the site were intentionally cut at the base to preserve the root network (no grubbing), which will be protected during construction and promote faster vegetation regeneration post-construction. No rare tree species or species-at-risk were identified at the site. Species were primarily white pine and, to a lesser extent, red oak, black cherry, white ash, white birch, and trembling aspen saplings. The rock barrens are sparsely vegetated with rock spikemoss.

    Post-construction re-vegetation is part of the project. Several large tree boles and logs have been retained for placement back at the site as habitat features for snakes and other wildlife. If necessary, disturbed areas will be supported by additional topsoil, while other areas may be mulched to promote natural regeneration and avoid introducing unwanted weeds from source areas.

  • What impacts will the Six Mile Lake Dam project have on the local community and visitors during the construction period?

    The Six Mile Lake Dam site will be closed to the public for the duration of the construction period.

    Investments in infrastructure, such as replacing the Six Mile Lake Dam, will ensure the quality and reliability of the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site and permit Canadians to continue connecting with nature throughout the system.

  • Will travel on Whites Falls Road (District Road 34) be impacted during the construction? Whites Falls Road (District Road 34) will remain open during the construction period, and emergency or municipal services will not be impeded at any time. The public can expect only short-term periods with traffic control/flaggers near the site to ensure the safe ingress and egress of construction vehicles. Parks Canada remains in contact with local municipal services, elected officials, and staff to inform them of the work taking place, and updates will be posted as they become available.
  • Will boat navigation be disrupted during the construction? This project will not impact boater navigation on Six Mile Lake or Gloucester Pool. However, boaters are reminded to stay clear of dams, including those under construction. The active construction zone will be clearly marked with signage.
  • What will the noise levels be like? Every attempt is made to adhere to local noise bylaws during construction. If work is required beyond the limits of the bylaw, the public will be notified via an update on the website and by direct email. Sometimes, Parks Canada must conduct critical work activities outside of normal hours (depending on the proposed noise-generating activities) and on weekends to maintain project schedules and meet critical milestones.
  • Where can I sign up for updates? To sign up for email updates about this project, please get in touch with us at and include the project name “Six Mile Lake Dam” in the subject heading.

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