Trent-Severn Waterway, Esson Lake Earth Dam Rehabilitation

Esson Lake is controlled at its outflow into Esson Creek by a single sluice gravity dam and by an earthen side dam located 65m away. In May of 2022, the earthen embankment failed allowing the water levels in the lake to drop to below historical levels. To temporarily manage this breach, a bladder dam was placed at the entry point of this outflow.
The upstream dam replacement will be located on municipal land and span the mouth of the outlet, in the approximate location of the current bladder dam. Work is anticipated to commence in October 2022 and be completed in January 2023. The construction site/work zone will be dry based on the seasonal operational lake drawdown levels. Access to the site will be from the west side across the river by using barges to either cross the water or to function as a temporary bridge.
This assessment is being conducted under Parks Canada's Parks Canada Directive on Impact Assessment as a means to meet Parks Canada's legal and mandated obligations to protect Canada's natural and cultural heritage.
The Basic Impact Assessment pathway will be applied as the potential adverse environmental effects are predictable, will be confined to the project site or immediate surroundings and mitigation measures have been demonstrated to be effective.

Latest update

September 8, 2022 – The public comment period on the project is closed. Parks Canada is considering comments received to help inform its determination on whether the carrying out of the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.


Key documents

Key documents
Document Number Document Title File Date
1 New project being assessed by Parks Canada - Public comments invited from August 9 to September 8, 2022 - August 9, 2022


Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site
P.O. Box 567
Peterborough, Ontario K9J 6Z6
Telephone: 705-750-4900 or 1-888-773-8888

  • Location

    • Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site of Canada (Ontario)
  • Nature of Activity

    • Dams and reservoirs
  • Assessment Status

    In progress
  • Start Date

  • Proponent

    Parks Canada
  • Authorities

    • Parks Canada Agency
  • Assessment Type

    Project on federal lands
  • Reference Number


This map is for illustrative purposes. The markers represent the approximate locations based on available data. More than one marker may be identified for a given assessment.


Nearby assessments

...within 200 kilometres
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