Cambridge gets the OK to rebuild Riverside Dam

Ontario's Ministry of the Environment has given Cambridge the go-ahead to begin construction on a new dam at Riverside Park.

Ontario Ministry of the Environment approves construction on new dam at Riverside Park

Cambridge City Council has set aside about $6 million to rebuild the Riverside Dam. (Robin De Angelis/CBC)

Ontario's Ministry of the Environment has given Cambridge approval to rebuild the Riverside Dam. 

City council has set aside about $6 million for the project. 

In June 2018, city councillors voted in favour of rebuilding the dam, but not all councillors were on board.

City Coun. Pam Wolf was the lone vote against the new dam. 

She said the river shouldn't have a dam at all.

"It's better for the fish habitat, wildlife, flooding, many reasons," said Wolf. "It will cost more to rebuild the dam as well as operating and maintaining the dam." 

Wolf, who is a member of the environmental advisory committee, said the money could be spent to enhance the river and include a dock, boardwalk or nature trail area.   

She aid naturalizing the river would also mean less flooding along Riverside Park each spring. 

But City Coun. Donna Reid said the dam will "keep the Mill Pond that residents really enjoy ... that's a signature part of Riverside Park." 

Reid said eliminating the dam entirely would have meant the end of the Mill Pond, with the area returning to its original form.

The process to begin rebuilding the dam gets underway this summer.

Construction is scheduled to begin by 2021.


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