Catherine McKenna, Minister responsible for Parks Canada, has announced an investment of over $57 million into the Rideau Canal National Historic Site.
"Through this historic infrastructure investment, the Government of Canada is protecting and preserving the Rideau Canal National Historic Site for future generations, while supporting local economies and the tourism sector,' says McKenna.
According to Parks Canada, this latest infrastructure funding represents the largest investment of its kind in the 184-year history of the Rideau Canal. The funding will be used to rehabilitate and repair bridges, dams, locks and historic masonry structures in communities along the canal, more than doubling previously announced federal funding.
It's Parks Canada's aim to improve the quality and reliability of visitor facilities so Canadians can continue to experience and enjoy the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The following are examples of work that will be undertaken along the Rideau Canal National Historic Site as a result of this new federal infrastructure investment. (Project estimate figures have been rounded off and do not exactly equal the total being invested.) Additional details about previously announced projects included within the five year federal infrastructure investment program visit www.pc.gc.ca/rcinfrastructure.
Project name: Ottawa Lockstation Masonry Repairs
Estimated total: $700 K
Project description: The project will stabilize historic masonry retaining walls at Ottawa Lockstation, specifically the East Retaining Wall at the Commissariat Building, and the large retaining wall on the East side of the locks. Work will include raking, pointing and grouting as required. Work will take place in the fall and winter seasons to reduce the impact on residents and visitors. The goal of this project is two-fold: the preservation of historic structures that make up the fabric of the City of Ottawa, and the remediation of potential safety issues with respect to the stability of the structures.
Project name: Canal Wall Rehabilitation Bronson to Hartwells West
Estimated total: $2 M
Project description: This project will repair canal shoreline walls in Ottawa between Bronson Avenue and Hartwells Lockstation on the west side of the Rideau Canal navigation channel. Repairs will be made to the dry laid stone wall on the north side of Dows Lake, and the canal shoreline will be stabilized between Dows Lake and Hartwells Lockstation on the west side. This work will improve opportunities for visitors in this area by removing tripping hazards, and will improve the overall visual appeal and lifespan of this area of the canal. Work will be completed primarily in the fall and winter seasons.
Project name: Replace Wharfs – Black Rapids and Lower Nicholsons
Estimated total: $1.8 M
Project description: The wharfs at Black Rapids and Lower Nicholsons are well used throughout the navigation season by boaters travelling along the Rideau Canal. The intent of this project is to replace deteriorated wharves at these two locations to ensure the quality and reliability of visitor facilities.
Project name: Rehabilitation of Burritts Rapids Swing Bridge
Estimated total: $1.3 M
Project description: The intent of this project is to rehabilitate the Burritts Rapids Swing Bridge; the oldest bridge along the Rideau Canal. Structural steel repairs will be required, the bridge will be sandblasted and repainted and the timber bridge deck will be replaced. Repairs will also be required on the masonry abutments and pivot pier for the bridge.
Project name: Stabilization of Merrickville Depot Building
Estimated total: $275 K
Project description: The Merrickville Depot is a building located at the lockstation in the Village of Merrickville, Ontario. The building was originally constructed in 1900 and is currently leased by the Friends of the Rideau. The Depot is a wood frame structure on a timber foundation that has reached the end of its lifespan. This project will involve raising the building and reconstructing its foundation.
Project name: Rehabilitation Lock 29a and Smiths Falls Basin Walls
Estimated total: $3.4 M
Project description: This project will rehabilitate a number of components at the Lock 29a site. The upper and lower gates need to be replaced. Both sets of gates will be replaced with the lower set using steel gates and the upper set retaining the wooden stacked timber style of gates which were originally installed in 1972. Hydraulic and electric systems will be enhanced to improve the reliability of operation, repairs will be made to various concrete structures, and public safety elements such as guard rails will also be addressed.
Project name: Rehabilitation of Jones Falls Locks and Arch Dam (masonry)
Estimated total: $10.5 M
Project description: The objective of this project is to undertake major masonry rehabilitation of the historic Jones Falls locks and stone arch dam. The work includes the rehabilitation of all masonry components and will include stone replacement, stone repair, repointing, grouting and repair of the stone arch dam toe drain system.
Project name: Rehabilitation of Kingston Mills Locks (masonry)
Estimated total: $9.5 M
Project description: The objective of this project is to undertake major masonry rehabilitation of the historic Kingston Mills locks. The work includes rehabilitation of all masonry components and will include stone replacement, stone repair, repointing and grouting.
Project name: Repairs to Various Bridges Repairs
Estimated total: $3.9 M
Project description: Rehabilitation and repairs will be completed over a period of three years on the following eight bridges along the Rideau Canal: Long Island swing bridge, Kilmarnock swing bridge, Old Slys swing bridge, Detached swing bridge, Narrows swing bridge, Lower Brewers swing bridge, and Brass Point fixed and swing bridges. This work will improve the overall lifespan and safety of these structures, and may entail structural repairs, repainting, and re-surfacing of bridge decks.
Project name: Replacement of Lock Gates
Estimated total: $2 M
Project description: These new funds will augment Parks Canada's internal capacity for lock gate replacement over the next four years and address a backlog of deferred work related to timber lock gates on the Rideau Canal. Currently, Parks Canada has the internal capacity to fabricate and install approximately three sets of gates per year. This funding will allow Parks Canada to double its gate production capacity over the life of the project.
Additionally, McKenna says Parks Canada will be installing two paddle access points along the Rideau Canal.
"I am thrilled that my family and I, community members and visitors alike, will have safer, easier access points to paddle on the Canal,' says McKenna. "These paddle access points are just one example of how we are making Parks Canada places more accessible to Canadians who want to experience the outdoors and learn about our history.'
The new access points will be located at Clegg Avenue and Patterson Creek in Ottawa. These new access points are being added to offer additional access to the canal for paddlers and their canoes, kayaks and paddleboards.
Parks Canada is investing $3 billion dollars over five years to support infrastructure work to heritage, visitor, waterway and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas across Canada.