Hi there,
The recent announcement about the operational changes of the Pefferlaw Dam has raised questions we’d like to answer. 

Why can’t a quick fix be found? Can’t we simply add the stop-logs until a further review is conducted?

The short answer is, it’s not safe. The engineering report says so . T here have been issues identified with both the bridge that is used to install the stop-logs, and the dam structure itself

To try and install stop logs would put our staff at risk. Installing stop logs could also put residents at risk should the structure not be able to handle the water load. Imagine what might happen should the dam break and someone is canoeing downstream? We will not put people at risk.

What are the next steps?

Understanding the full extent of the structural issues and associated costs is needed to proceed. We have committed to hiring a consultant to undertake a detailed inspection, including concrete coring and detailed surface mapping.

We are in the process of obtaining estimates to proceed with this work. We will keep you updated on the status. 

For a more detailed report on this issue, read the update provided to the Town of Georgina council here .

Dam Ownership

While LSRCA has been operating and maintaining the dam for the past few decades, there is no clear chain of ownership recorded. We have already drafted a letter to seek clarification and a decision from the Province of Ontario on who owns the dam.  

Who gets to decide the fate of the Pefferlaw Dam? How will the community get a chance to participate?

Once LSRCA staff have gathered the necessary information, a series of options for moving forward will be developed based on a review of associated costs and measurable benefits. Options, ownership and costs will then be discussed with all necessary parties, including the community.    

What about all the animals who live here? What about the exposed banks we’re seeing? 

The animals that live in and around the Pefferlaw Dam are not in danger. The changes have been gradual. Fish have already traveled to areas that are more suitable for them. Ducks and geese who use the pond as stopovers have other bodies of water nearby to use. Birds like Great Blue Herons actually prefer fishing in a stream environment. Turtles and frogs have other nearby options too. And you might begin to see more animals like deer and fox, who travel easier through river ecosystems. The exposed banks, though bare now, will green up very soon with native plants! 

How can we be so sure the ecosystem will remain healthy? 

The Pefferlaw River system is large and healthy. In fact, it starts beyond Uxbridge, far before it makes its way through Pefferlaw, before draining into Lake Simcoe. Along most of its course it is a cool-water system, which means the quality of the water is great, and it supports a healthy diversity of wildlife. This will continue even without the stop logs.

Interested in further reading about the ecology and health of the Pefferlaw River? Read the detailed Subwatershed Plan here .

We'll be in touch again soon,

Susan Jagminas
Senior Communications Advisor
Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
Mobile: 905-836-3469, Office: 905-895-1281, ext. 264
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