Letter from Parks Canada Ontario Waterways Directors Office

 Trent-Severn Waterway  Comments Off on Letter from Parks Canada Ontario Waterways Directors Office
Jul 262016

Parks Canada

Ontario Waterways Directors Office

P.O. Box 567, 2155 Ashburnham Drive

Peterborough Ontario K9J 6Z6

July 14, 2016

Brian McFadden,

Thank you for your May 31, 2016 correspondence regarding spring water levels in Pigeon Lake.

The high water levels on Pigeon Lake in 2016 were due to a significant weather event which was evident across a large region. Rain on snow events drive the larger floods on the Trent River System as was the case in 2016. During the month of March there was 170.5 mm of precipitation, 127-3 mm of rain which was recorded at the Haliburton 3 Climate Station. The climate normal (i.e. 30 year average) for that same station is 75-4 mm of precipitation and 37-4 mm of rain. In general, there was more than as much precipitation than average and over three times as much rain. The March 2016 precipitation and rainfall exceeded the highest historic monthly values reported at the Haliburton 3 and Minden Climate Stations. Continue reading »

Trent-Severn Waterway Back On Track?!

 Major Issues, News, Trent-Severn Waterway  Comments Off on Trent-Severn Waterway Back On Track?!
Jul 022015

June has been a busy month for the Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW) with multiple announcements and a community meeting right here in Trent Lakes.

News Release June 19, 2015: The Harper Government announced major new infrastructure investments for across the TSW in the amount of $285 million.
According to Parks Canada this money is available over the next two fiscal years.
For the detailed report and locations identified please refer to this report:
http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/on/trentsevern/ne/neA1.aspx Continue reading »

Voices for the Trent-Severn Waterway – Public Meeting – 2015-06-28

 News, Trent-Severn Waterway  Comments Off on Voices for the Trent-Severn Waterway – Public Meeting – 2015-06-28
Jun 192015

Voices for the Trent-Severn Waterway

DATE: JUNE 28, 2015

Location: Buckhorn Community Centre Time: 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Flyer Voice for the Trent Severn Waterway June 28 2015

Flyer – June 28 2015

Hear from the Chair of the Trent-Severn Working Group Marc Ackert what has been accomplished and what needs to be done going forward.

All Federal candidates have been invited to attend along with Provincial and Municipal representatives.

Who should attend: Property Owners, Business Owners, Boaters, Cottagers


Nogie’s Creek Waterway Project — Special Report — Lakefield Herald

 Major Issues, News, Trent-Severn Waterway  Comments Off on Nogie’s Creek Waterway Project — Special Report — Lakefield Herald
Jan 232015
Trent Severn Waterway

“Council received a presentation and accepted a request to support the concept of a new waterway park for Nogie’s Creek and Pigeon Lake at the Trent Lakes meeting on Tuesday, January 20.

Rob Messervey, Chief Administrative Officer at Kawartha Conservation presented to council a very thorough conceptual plan and most council members supported the idea.

Messervey was seeking to gain establishment of a working group to develop and support a conceptual plan, including municipal participation…”


Lakefield Herald

Nogies Creek Waterway Park Concept

 Major Issues, News, Trent-Severn Waterway  Comments Off on Nogies Creek Waterway Park Concept
Jan 222015
Kawartha Conservation

Trent Lakes council in a 4/5 vote supported the KRCA concept of the Nogies Creek Waterway Park! Those of us in attendance from CFRAD were very very excited. This brings together everything that was being said at Dewdney Mountain OMB about the unique nature of the region. The council also supported the Pigeon Lake Management Plan and the extension of the Blue Canoe Program into north Pigeon, Little Bald and Big Bald. Yeah!

  1. Concept – Nogies Creek Waterway Park: Nogies Creek / North Pigeon Lake / Boyd (Big) Island region including Fleming College property next to Dewdney property, right to Bass Lake – area involved. In this area… Canoe routes, fish sanctuary and research, scientific study, self guided nature trails, interpretive profiling of unique watershed geology, physiology (land between), fishery, natural features, forestry, wildlife and cultural heritage.
  2. Establish a working group of stakeholders including municipalities
  3. Use Tullys and Kens Road allowances for pedestrian trail for access to Fleming College property for students / faculty / community.

Download Nogies Creek Waterway Park Concept presentation by Rob Messervey.

Springtime News from the Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW)

 News, Trent-Severn Waterway  Comments Off on Springtime News from the Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW)
Jul 142014
Trent Severn Waterway

The extensive cuts to TSW staff and hours of lock operation have had a major impact. Compared to the year before 29,833 less vessels passed through the TSW locks in 2013 (99,515 less vessels than in 1994). Although still being the busiest lock of the canal Bobcaygeon Lock 32 vessel traffic was down by 18.5%. www.trentsevern.com

Over the next two years Parks Canada will be investing $58 million in major capital projects and ongoing preventative maintenance. Reconstruction of Thomson Bay Dam, Bolsover Dam, Kennisis Dam; rehabilitation of Otonabee Dam and Healey Falls Lock 15; investments into the Hastings and Brighton Swing Bridges as well as $11.5 million over the next two years across the TSW for dam safety and in preventative maintenance projects, navigation markers, and visitor facilities have been announced. www.pc.gc.ca

Parks Canada and Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) are collaborating to manage and develop the hydroelectric potential of national historic canal systems in Ontario. The new framework is expected to foster new infrastructure investment, encourage clean hydroelectric energy and support the long-term sustainability of the TSW and Rideau Canal. All revenues generated by Parks Canada canal operations are reinvested back into the canals. www.owa.ca

The Trent-Severn Waterway Working Group has now laid out a comprehensive plan that looks at the conditions for ‘developing a self-sustaining operating model for the Trent Severn Waterway and canal communities’. Send in your feedback!



Trent1.docx – Trent Severn Waterway National Historic Site of Canada

Trent2.docx – Harper Government announces extended service on Trent-Severn Waterway

Waterway services could expand – Belleville Intelligencer

 Major Issues, News, Trent-Severn Waterway  Comments Off on Waterway services could expand – Belleville Intelligencer
Mar 112014
Trent Severn Waterway

Belleville Intelligencer

Belleville Intelligencer

“There’s a good chance boaters could see expanded services on the Trent-Severn Waterway this summer.

With about 70 days left before the opening of the 2014 boating season, federal officials will be looking at ways to increase hours of operation and eliminate what are dubbed ‘roving crews’ that race from lock-to-lock.

“It’s a very positive development,” said Quinte West Mayor John Williams, following Wednesday’s meeting in Ottawa with federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq.

Officials are looking at ways to extending weekday schedules by one hour, and adding 1.5 hours a day to the weekend schedule….”


Unlocking the Trent Severn’s Potential

 Major Issues, Trent-Severn Waterway  Comments Off on Unlocking the Trent Severn’s Potential
Jan 292014
TSW Working Group
TSW Working Group

TSW Working Group

The Trent Severn Waterway Working Group has now established their web site and laid out their goals. Please follow this site and read the comprehensive plan that looks at the conditions for ‘developing a self-sustaining operating model for the Trent Severn Waterway and canal communities’.

Send in your feedback!


Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW) — NPLRA, AGM July 27, 2013

 Major Issues, News, Trent-Severn Waterway  Comments Off on Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW) — NPLRA, AGM July 27, 2013
Aug 012013
Trent Severn Waterway

There were many issues facing the TSW last year, staff lay-offs, changes to lock operations, First Nation settlement, worries about water management and flooding, that we are struggling to address and understand. After MP Barry Devolin tabled a Private Members Bill C-530 last month asking for change in governance of the TSW I decided to look briefly into the history of the TSW for guidance.

Built in the 19th century, during Ontario’s logging boom, it was built to open up the interior of the province, to promote agriculture, lumbering and to be used for industrial and transportation purposes to create economic prosperity. Upon completion Lake Ontario had been connected with Lake Huron trough 836 km of navigational waters with about 32 Km of man-made channels, 45 locks and dams. A few years after the completion of the TSW the Welland Canal (1932) opened which could handle much larger ocean going ships and the Trent became mainly obsolete for commercial purposes.

However it had created thousands of hectares of prime waterfront properties and had enormous recreational possibilities.

Originally the TSW was the responsibility of Transport Canada.

This changed in the 1970’s when it was transferred to Parks Canada (PC). At the time this probably made sense since it was more of recreational than commercial value. The TSW became the largest national historic site under the governance of PC.

For many years now PC has been criticized for its antiquated management of the TSW. Today $23.6 bill is the estimated market value of waterfront properties and the TSW generates $1 bill in economic activity each year (2009), Ontario sport fishing industry brings in $300 mill in tax revenues. Tourism is the chief industry in our area.

Fast forward to 2005, the election of Bruce Stanton, now MP for North Simcoe. As a former resort operator Stanton lobbied successfully to put the state of the TSW back on the government radar. In 2007 the federal minister of the Environment appointed a six-member panel to review all aspects of the TSW. 2008 The report on the future of the TSW was published: “It’s all about the Water” with 26 complex recommendations.

  • The panel asked for $270 mill over 10 years and some estimated that it would take $400 mill to ensure the future of the TSW.
  • Following this report the government committed $83 mill over a 5-year period (ending 2014).

Parks Canada allocated most funds to infrastructure replacement and repairs:

I.e. Bolsover Dam replacement at Lock 37 which is under way now or Hastings Swing Bridge replacement (County RD 45) as well as Bobcaygeon Lock 32 inspection and repair.

$7.5 mill were allocated to water monitoring equipment and about $29 mill to boosting the operating budget.

Last year, 2012:  Parks Canada announced $29 mill in budget cuts due to the federal governments deficit reduction action plan.

Citizens have voiced severe concern about these cuts and their economic impact.
Concerns for:
Water management affecting drinking water, fish population, navigation, archaeological discoveries,
Lock operations,
Economic impact on tourism,
User Fees

The organization Voices for the Trent-Severn Waterway, established 2008, is clearly concerned about a “sustainable financial future” for the TSW and tries to serve as an advisory board to our politicians.

Most importantly Voices is asking for a 5/10-year vision for the TSW with the input of all stakeholders.

Our local MPs have held several round table meetings.  The latest was hosted by MP Barry Devolin in Fenelon Falls and was attended by local business owners, tour operators, association members and our councilors.

What I took away from it was that our Government now views the comprehensive study: “It’s all about the water” as a “sitting” document, too expensive to follow up?

Infrastructure improvements are more likely to happen after Ottawa was forced to review all its capital assets after a piece of concrete fell of a Montreal bridge – legal, human costs.

All in all I have not heard a clear vision for the TWS.

Parks Canada is looking at the TSW as a National Historic Site while many of us are looking at it as a driver for the local economy and would like more input in the political decisions.

Finally, June 11, 2013 all these consultations have prompted MP Barry Devolin to introduce a Private Member’s Bill in the House of Commons calling for the creation of an independent Trent-Severn Water Authority that would assume all responsibilities for water management and canal operations and be given an expanded mandate to foster economic activity along the waterways.

The full text of Bill C-530 is available at:

The “Coalition for Equitable Water Flow” (CEWF) representing the interest of approx 40,000 residential property owners since 2006, has already followed up with a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and 4 pages of amendments to Bill C-530.

Even though the political process is slow, our economic realities are changing and change needs to happen.

Our communities are taking action:

Fenelon Falls improvements to the lock facilities are a success.

Lakefield is planning to revive the waterfront through commercial leases for a Heritage Building, Residences with Commercial Outlets, Eateries.

Bobcaygeon built additional dockage, which NPLRA supported by sending a letter to Bobcaygeon Chamber of Commerce.

And last years statistics show that the traffic on the TSW up from 123,959 (2011) to 129,658 boats in 2012.

No hope of rolling back waterway cuts — Peterborough Examiner

 Major Issues, Trent-Severn Waterway  Comments Off on No hope of rolling back waterway cuts — Peterborough Examiner
May 312013
Peterborough Lift Locks

A group of business owners, local tourism industry representatives and municipal politicians met with the head of Parks Canada and Environment Minister Peter Kent in Ottawa on Thursday to encourage them to rollback cuts to the Trent-Severn Waterway.

They returned without much hope for changes to service levels season, said Trent Lakes Mayor Janet Clarkson, who led the trip from Buckhorn to Parliament Hill.

“We did a lot of talking. Maybe somebody listened,” she said Thursday.

Trent Lakes Township chartered the bus that took 21 people to Ottawa.

The group met with Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MP Barry Devolin for about 45 minutes. During that time, Kent dropped by for about 10 minutes.

“The one commitment we got from (Kent) is that he said he’ll come down and take a tour of this end of the Trent,” Clarkson said.

When the group sat down with Parks Canada CEO Alan Latourelle later in the day, it learned there’s more service cuts than just during the shoulder seasons in the spring and fall, Clarkson said.

“They’re cutting back in July and August as well,” she said.

Instead of having crews at all locks, Trent-Severn Waterway is using roving teams that move between locks to let boat traffic travel through the system. It’s a cost-cutting measure. Devolin has said those cutbacks are just for the shoulder season when there’s less traffic, that the service would be ramped up for the busy summer period.

Clarkson said Latourelle indicated that’s not the case — the roving teams will be used for some of the locks during the summer.

“We’re going to have people bunching up and bunching up,” she said. “The boats are just going around in circles, there’s no place for them to tie up.”

Clarkson said the group presented suggestions such as implementing a boat licence sticker program that would charge $25 per sticker per year, which would be similar to vehicle licence stickers, as a way to raise more money.

And the group urged the government to start a national advertising campaign for the Trent-Severn Waterway similar to marketing that it has done for other national parks, Clarkson said.

“Is there any will in the federal government to make this thing survive at all?” she said. “They’ve slashed and burned the budget for tourism.”


Peterborough Examiner