Community Update: Talbot Dam Replacement

Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site

Preliminary work to replace the Talbot Dam, located at the intersection of County Road 50 and Canal Road near Gamebridge, will begin soon. The project will require a cofferdam both above and below the dam to keep the work area dry. In the upcoming weeks, work will begin to build the cofferdam directly below the dam. The work will continue over the weekends until October 30, and residents can expect construction noise as sheet piling is installed. County Road 50 below the dam will remain open while the cofferdams are being constructed, however there may be short temporary closures or lane reductions. The cofferdam upstream of the Talbot Dam will be extensive, and will be built over the winter months.

Parks Canada, with support from Public Services and Procurement Canada and informed by extensive investigations in 2016, have determined that this dam will be replaced as opposed to repaired. Significant investigative work has been done to ensure that risks to the sensitive fish spawning area below the dam are reduced.

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.

Other Work in the Area

Talbot Earth Dam Repairs

The earth dams in the Talbot area look like steep banks or berms that run along both sides of the canal between Portage Lock 39 and Gamebridge Lock 41, and around the Talbot dam at the intersection of County road 50 and Canal Road. Over the last year, work crews have been removing vegetation that undermines earth dam stability, and engineers have completed investigations that will inform further work to rehabilitate and strengthen the dams. Soon, further vegetation will be removed, washouts will be repaired, and dam heights will be increased. In many places, sheet pile will be driven into the earth dams to reduce the risk of long-term seepage, and the existing erosion control along the sides of the navigation canal will be replaced.

Concrete Rehabilitation

The concrete walls of Locks 39 to 41 along the Talbot canal and their approach walls require repair. Testing of the concrete and the condition of the surrounding area was completed over the winter and work began with the re-facing of the downstream approach walls at Portage Lock 39. Work will resume again once the navigation season is over in October 2017.

Boundary Road Swing Bridge #44 Rehabilitation

A consultant has completed a comprehensive investigation which included preliminary options to identify rehabilitation requirements for the bridge. A construction tender for the bridge is tentatively scheduled for spring 2018, with on-site construction potentially starting at the completion of the navigation season of 2018.

How to stay informed

For information about this or other infrastructure projects in your area, please visit or 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 or Facebook/trentsevernnh


Date modified :