Peterborough, ON – The network of protected areas administered by Parks Canada is a gateway to nature, history, and 450 000 km² of stories from coast to coast to coast. Investing in these locations helps support the protection of natural heritage and our rich history, increases climate resiliency and creates jobs in local communities, while providing visitors with high-quality, safe and meaningful experiences across the country.

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced approximately $74 million over three years for projects related to critical infrastructure improvements along the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site. The Trent-Severn Waterway is Canada’s largest and one of the most visited national historic sites, welcoming more than 1 million visitors each year.

Through this federal investment – part of the $557 million in funding announced by the Government of Canada in late 2022 – Parks Canada will conserve the heritage value of these important cultural resources. Additionally, investments in infrastructure along the Trent-Severn Waterway will enhance Parks Canada’s ability to mitigate flood risks, protect heritage in Canada and strengthen the appeal of this world-class waterway as a destination for visitors and tourists. Once these infrastructure projects are complete, the lifespan and function of these structures will have been extended for decades, continuing to connect and protect local communities. The work supported through this investment includes:

  • repairs to the Kirkfield Lift Lock;
  • recapitalization of the walls, tunnels and valves at Lock 42 – Couchiching;
  • recapitalization of the Little Chute Dam “G” near Port Severn;
  • replacement of the Whites Portage Dam on Six Mile Lake;
  • recapitalization of the valve tunnels for Healey Falls Locks 16 and 17; and,
  • creation of an access road from White’s Falls Road to the Pretty Channel Dam.

Parks Canada has a mandate to conserve and present national heritage places in Canada. More than just supporting visitors as cornerstones of Canada’s tourism industry, Parks Canada’s assets play critical functions, such as transportation, water management, public safety, and services to residents and businesses, while being a source of shared pride for Canadians. These upgrades will help ensure public safety, quality and reliability for visitors, incorporate green technologies and climate resilience, while connecting Canadians with nature and history.

Left image: Current rendering of the Whites Portage Dam. Originally constructed in 1918, the dam regulates the lake’s water level and outflow into Gloucester Pool. Source: Parks Canada. Right image: Rendering of the new Whites Portage Dam design, which will replace the existing dam in the same location and orientation. Source: Parks Canada (CNW Group/Parks Canada)

“The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the sustainability of Parks Canada assets. These national heritage places provide cultural, environmental and economic vitality for Canadians. Parks Canada’s robust dam and lock improvements along the iconic Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site will ensure critical flood mitigation for regional communities and provide for safe navigational experiences for Canadians to connect with nature. From First Nations to fur traders to lumber barons and steamship traffic, the Waterway has linked communities across Ontario for over a hundred years. Investments in the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site’s infrastructure are essential for public safety, preserving natural and cultural heritage, ensuring environmental protection and conservation, and providing benefits for visitors, local communities and the nation’s tourism industry.” – Steven Guilbeault, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

Quick Facts

  • Parks Canada’s wide-ranging infrastructure portfolio includes more than 18,500 built assets such as highways, bridges, dams and other marine infrastructure, historic buildings and fortifications, water and wastewater treatment facilities, campgrounds, visitor centres and operational buildings and compounds.
  • Since 2015, the federal infrastructure investment program has enabled Parks Canada to improve the condition of approximately 5,000 assets across the country.
  • The Trent-Severn Waterway spans over 400 kilometres with 44 locks, a marine railway and approximately 160 water control structures.
  • The Waterway, including its tributary lakes and rivers, is an integral piece of history in Canada, a crucial transportation link for the region, and an important economic, environmental and recreational resource used by thousands of boaters, shoreline residents, businesses and vacationers every year. It also provides water for power generation, municipal water supplies, and agriculture and supports a tremendous variety of fish and wildlife.
  • Parks Canada manages water levels on the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site to achieve a variety of objectives, including safe navigation, mitigation of flooding, and the protection of the environment.


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