"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Parks Canada Investing in Future of Historic Rideau Canal

image credit: Collections Canada

Rehabilitation of Poonamalie Dam to support continued animation of historic infrastructure
SMITHS FALLS, OntarioMarch 20, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville, on behalf of Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced today that Parks Canada is supporting communities and businesses along the Rideau Canada by investing up to $7.5 million over the next two years to rehabilitate the Poonamalie Dam and for ongoing preventative maintenance projects and visitor facilities across the Rideau Canada system.
For the Poonamalie project, Parks Canada is investing $4.3 million to rehabilitate the existing earth dam and reconstruct a waste weir to improve dam stability, visitor safety, and improve a service vehicle lane. Up to $3.2 millionwill also be invested over the next two years across the Rideau Canal for preventative maintenance projects and visitor facilities. The funding announced today is in addition to the 2014 Economic Action Plan to invest $391.5 million in funding for highways, bridges and dams in national parks and along historic canals. Details on this funding will come later.
These investments connect communities and ensure the infrastructure is safe and available to those who need it.
Quick Facts
  • Planning for the Poonamalie Dam Rehabilitation Project has now begun. A contract for the design of this project will be awarded shortly.
  • The Poonamalie Dam, in the Rideau Lakes Township near Smiths Falls, has been continuously maintained and monitored since the 19th century. Parks Canada identified the dam for rehabilitation as part of its ongoing asset monitoring and recapitalization program on the Rideau Canal.
  • The work will be completed by April 2017 and will not affect vessel traffic during the Rideau Canal's navigation season.
  • The reconstruction of the canal cut walls at Minnow Creek Waste Weir will reuse stone facing salvaged from the existing wall to correspond with the current aesthetic look.
  • The Poonamalie Earth Dam retains water from the Big Rideau and Lower Rideau Lakes and contributes to ParksCanada management of the water heading north from Poonamalie Lockstation to Ottawa Locks.
  • Parks Canada is gearing up for a new summer season along its historic canals by offering boaters early bird special rates for their permits, which they can buy on-line until March 31, 2014, at www.parkscanada.gc.ca.
"Our Government has made record investments to canals and we continue to work with our partners and communities to maintain the Rideau Canal as a navigable waterway, providing world-class experiences to visitors, which benefits communities and local businesses. These investments are integral in supporting economic development and families in the region."
Mr. Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville
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