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River so low you could scrape your bottom

The bottom of your canoe, that is

The dam is open and the water is down, way down, on the Speed River through Royal City Park.

Last week at this time the levels were high enough for canoeing. Now, the water is at bottom-scraping depths.

The city opened the Wellington Street Dam this week to lower the water levels in preparation for sewer pipe installation under Royal City Park, part of the York Trunk Sewer project. The dam will remain open for two weeks.

While recreational activities on the river have been curtailed, there also appear to be consequences of the natural world.

There is far less room for the population of Canada geese that calls the river home. More of them appear to be taking to the land.  

The city said last week that lower water levels are necessary to increase visibility underground, so that 40 metres of pipe can be safely and accurately installed.

The installation process was described as delicate, due to the proximity of an existing water-main and bedrock obstacles.

The normal water levels will be restored on June 28. 


Rob O'Flanagan

About the Author: Rob O'Flanagan

Rob O’Flanagan has been a newspaper reporter, photojournalist and columnist for over twenty years. He has won numerous Ontario Newspaper Awards and a National Newspaper Award.
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