Community Update: Update on Parks Canada Construction Projects

Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site

Parks Canada has announced over $615 million in investments into the locks, dams, bridges and other infrastructure along the Trent-Severn Waterway. This scale of investment hasn’t happened since the TSW was originally constructed, between 98 and 185 years ago. 

Major work is happening in the historic Talbot area including the rehabilitation and upgrade of earthen embankment dams between the Talbot Dam and Lock 41, the re-facing or replacement of lock concrete between Lock 39 and Lock 41, the replacement of the Talbot Dam and the Dam at Lock 38, and rehabilitation of the Boundary Road Bridge #44. Updates on ongoing work follows:

An excavator demolishes the face of a concrete wall inside a lock chamber.

Locks 39 - 41

The concrete walls of Locks 39 - 41 along the Talbot canal and their approach walls require repair. The downstream approach walls of Portage Lock 39 were re-faced over the winter of 2016/17. The contractor has been busy this past winter completing the next phase of work on the lock and approach walls.  When the face of concrete was removed, some areas between Locks 39 and 41 proved to be in worse condition than anticipated, requiring additional work outside of the original schedule. As a result, the concrete surfaces of the approach walls at Lock 40 have been left unfinished. For the boating navigation season of 2018 Lock 40 will be a pass-through lock only and the grounds will be closed to the public.  The Talbot canal will open for navigation with the rest of the Trent-Severn Waterway on May 18.  The third and final phase of the lock rehabilitation work will be completed during the non-navigation season 2018-2019.

Talbot Dam

The Talbot Dam, located at the intersection of County Road 50 and Canal Road near Gamebridge, is being fully replaced. The project will require a cofferdam both above and below the dam to keep the work area dry as this happens. To maintain flows through the dam during construction, for water management and flood mitigation, as well as maintain flows for a fish sanctuary below the dam, construction will occur on only one of the two dam sluices at a time. Both the upstream and downstream cofferdams have now been constructed for the first phase of the replacement. A photo gallery and video of this work have been shared to

How to stay informed

The five locks and three dams in the Talbot area overcome a 75 foot difference in water elevation between Canal Lake and Lake Simcoe. This section was originally contracted in 1900 and was officially opened in June 1907. 

Be a witness to the construction work happening near you. Visit to see what’s happening. For questions or concerns, or to receive email updates regarding this project, please contact us at and include the location that interests you in the subject heading. 
Or, stay up-to-date on construction projects, boating activities and events by following our social media channels: Twitter @trentsevernNHS, @tswBoaterInfo or Facebook/trentsevernNHS.

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