Project Overview

The City of Cambridge completed a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) to assess various management alternatives for the Riverside Dam to address concerns related to the deteriorating condition of the dam. The study established a long-list of management approaches and related alternative solutions, and conducted an evaluation of each alternative using appropriate technical, natural, social and economic criteria leading to a short-list of alternatives. Further technical analyses were completed for the short-listed alternatives, including preparation of conceptual designs which considered public and agency input.

A preferred alternative to rebuild the dam was advanced and recommended for implementation. The Project File was completed and the Notice of Study Completion issued. During the Public Review Period the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) received five (5) Part II Order Requests. The Ministry completed their review and the five Requests were denied by the Minister meaning that the City could proceed with implementation of the recommended alternative.

A Consultant was retained by the City to complete the detailed design assignment. Necessary field work and studies were completed and a design was advanced to the 60% level.

In December 2021 Council received a report from staff that provided an update on the project. The report informed Council that additional funding was required to complete the design and also that the estimated total construction cost had significantly increased from the cost estimate provided at the completion of the Class EA. Council had the option of proceeding with the project by approving the additional funding, or a second option was a passive management approach which included not continuing with the current design project. Council endorsed the passive management approach and not continuing with the design of the new dam.

Also, as part of the recommendation, staff will promptly inform Council of any substantive change in the condition of, or short-term risk associated with, the Riverside Dam.

Progress to date
Upcoming work
Documents, reports and updates

Progress to Date

  • Four public information centres were held during the Class EA.
  • Stakeholder Advisory Committee and Technical Advisory Committee meetings took place throughout the Class EA.
  • Staff delivered Report 18-103(CD) to Council June 26, 2018 recommending a preferred alternative to rebuild the dam.
  • Completed the Project File in July 2018.
  • Project File was posted for a 60 day public review period.
  • Five (5) Part II Order Requests were received by MECP.
  • The Minister of MECP denied the five Part II Order Requests (links to the Minister's letter and the decision table are below) meaning the implementation of the recommended alternative could proceed.
  • City completed a Request for Proposal (RFP) process and a Consultant for the implementation phase was retained in February 2020.
  • The design assignment was initiated in March 2020.
  • Some field work for the design was completed and then the assignment was put on hold by Council direction due to the pandemic.
  • Field work and preliminary design was recommenced in September 2020 and is ongoing.
  • Options for the new dam were reviewed and a preferred concept was determined. A 30% design has been completed.
  • Consultation with agencies and indigenous communities has taken place.
  • A virtual public information centre (PIC) is being held from May 17 to May 31 2021.
  • The design was advanced to the 60% design level.

Upcoming Work

  • There is no upcoming work at this time.

Study Area

Riverside Dam study area

Documents, reports and updates

Contact Information

Mr. Scott MacDonald, P. Eng
Project Engineer
City of Cambridge
Development & Infrastructure
50 Dickson Street
Cambridge, ON  N1R 5W8
T.: (519) 623-1340 Ext 4679