Federal Infrastructure Investment Projects 2023 Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW) National Historic Site Northern Projects Bundle and Kirkfield Lift Lock


Parks Canada’s ability to meet its mandate of protecting and presenting national historic sites, national parks, heritage canals, national urban parks and national marine conservation areas in Canada is founded on its assets. More than just supporting visitors, these assets provide support for critical functions, such as transportation, water management, and services to residents and businesses, while being a source of shared pride for Canadians.

Several of the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site locks and dams will benefit from this funding and will undergo significant rehabilitation or repairs. This funding has been directed to six significant projects with further details listed below. Some projects have recently begun, while others are set to begin this year. 

Project descriptions


Project Name: Kirkfield Lift Lock Assessment and Repairs 

Project Description: On September 2, 2022 the Kirkfield Lift Lock suffered a mechanical failure, resulting in damage to multiple components critical to site operation. Assessment of the damage has been completed and a contract was awarded in late January 2023 to undertake the repairs to restore the site to full service. The scope of work will include: repairs to the structural, mechanical and electrical components; system improvements to increase safety controls and access improvements to critical system components; and backup system improvements to minimize impacts on future maintenance activities.

The contractor has already mobilized to the site with the goal of having the asset fully operational by the beginning of the 2023 navigation season. In order to aid with trip planning for boaters and land-based visitors for the 2023 season, updates on the progress can be found on our website here.

Project Name:
Lock 42 - Couchiching Recapitalization of walls, tunnels and valves

Project Description: This project includes full replacement of the lock chamber walls including tunnels and valves, hydraulic and electrical systems, replacement of the full-face concrete on critical areas of the upper and lower approach walls, replacement of retaining walls and minor site improvements. The tunnel size and valve operation will improve flows controls for flood mitigation. This first step in this project includes creation of construction access to the site including some tree removal. To minimize environmental impacts, work will be conducted outside of migratory or nesting periods and a tree restoration plan is in place prior to project completion. A contract has recently been awarded for this phase and is expected to begin in March 2023. The tendering process for the actual work to Lock 42 will soon be underway, with more details available following that step.

Project Name:
Little Chute Dam “G” Recapitalization

Project Description: This project includes the rehabilitation of Little Chute Dam G near Port Severn. This dam is one of three water control structures owned and operated by Parks Canada in the immediate area. Specifically, this dam aids in maintaining water levels on Gloucester Pool and Little Lake. Originally constructed in 1918, the dam regulates Little Lake’s water level and outflow into Georgian Bay. The scope of work includes the refacing of abutments and wing walls, replacement of the dam operational deck and resurfacing of the nearby parking lot near Lock 45. The project is scheduled to begin in July 2023, with completion in December 2023. 

Project Name:
Whites Portage Dam Replacement

Project Description: This project includes full replacement and capacity increase of Whites Portage Dam on Six Mile Lake. 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. As part of this work, the flow capacity of Whites Portage Dam will be increased to meet current Dam Safety requirements. The scope of work includes a full replacement of the dam, increased flow capacity to mitigate flooding, increased safety for water management operations and

increased safety for residents and visitors.  The project is scheduled to begin in summer 2023, with estimated completion in 2025.

Project Name:
Healey Falls Lock Valve Tunnel Rehabilitation

Project Description: This project will rehabilitate the valve tunnels for Healey Falls Locks 16 and 17 and replace six existing cylindrical valves for the locks. A similar project was undertaken in 2020-21 on Ranney Falls Locks 11 and 12 and the new valves were procured for Healey Falls locks at that time as a cost-savings measure. In operation for over a century, the valve tunnels and air vent shafts require extensive concrete replacement and the existing valves are at the end of their useful life. Once this project is complete, Healey Falls will have fully rehabilitated valve tunnels and new lock valves, which are the primary operational components of a lock. This work will provide reliable lock operation at Healey Falls for the next 50 years and beyond, ensuring safe, reliable navigation operations at this lock site. Work began in February and is expected to be completed in spring 2023 ahead of the navigation season.

Project Name:
Access road from White’s Falls Road to the Pretty Channel Dam

Project Description: This project includes the construction of a new access road to the Pretty Channel Dam, in advance of future work on that site. The Pretty Channel Dam is considered to be a remote dam, and current access is limited as it can only be accessed by foot, ATV, boat or snowmobile in the winter. A drivable service road to the dam will improve operational efficiency, including quicker response time in the event of an emergency. The access road will be constructed using a gravel driving surface and will be used to facilitate the future reconstruction of the Pretty Channel Dam, as well as standard operational and maintenance needs. The road will travel across Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) administered land prior to arriving at Parks Canada administered lands adjacent to the Dam. Parks Canada and the province are working together to facilitate this project. Work is planned to be completed over the next two years.


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