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Long Term Capital Plan

The following article by Bill Pratt, Chief Engineer of the Rideau Canal, outlines a 3 year capital plan aimed at improving the condition of many of the Rideau Canal's heritage structures. In 2003, the Auditor General of Canada raised the red flag about the condition of many of our heritage sites, particularly many National Historic Sites under the jurisdiction of Parks Canada. The Auditor General noted the lack of legal framework to protect these sites and the lack of capital funding to maintain them. In 2007 the Auditor General noted that "satisfactory progress" had been made. Part of this progress has been to promise additional capital funding, of which the Rideau Canal is anticipating receiving its fair share.

The Auditor General also noted why this is is important: "These places recall the lives and history of the men and women who built this country, and they foster awareness of how Canadian society evolved. They help us to better understand the present and prepare for the future. They contribute in important ways to Canadians' sense of belonging to their community. When important parts of Canada's built heritage are lost, future generations of Canadians are deprived of access to key moments of their shared history."

Overview of February 5th Presentation
to Rideau Canal Advisory Committee
On the Canal’s Capital Program

by Bill Pratt, Chief Engineer, Rideau Canal

Asset Breakdown – Rideau Canal
(not including Fleet /Heavy Equipment)

and Heritage
Heritage % Hertitage
Asset Count 580 175 30
Replacement Value (millions) $470 $260 55

  % Good % Fair % Poor
Contemporary & Heritage 35 58 7
Heritage 30 64 6
  • The Federal Government has just come through an era of tight fiscal restraint, which has affected the Rideau Canal.
  • However, we’re optimistic. For the Parks Canada Agency, Federal Allocations will ramp up to an additional $75 Million for Asset-based Capital expenditures by 2010.
  • The Rideau has a 10 Year Long Term Capital Plan (LTCP) and we anticipate getting our fair share of the additional $75M.
  • Our current LTCP anticipates that we will then be able to invest 1.0% of our Asset base per year versus the only 0.15% that we have been able to invest in recent years.
  • We also have a new Engineering Team of five (5) Engineers and one (1) Technologist with over 100 years of engineering experience. We hope to have two additional staff on board by early in this Operation Season.
  • This Team has experience in Heritage Conservation, Civil, Geotechnical and Mechanical Engineering for Bridges, Buildings, Fortifications and Marine Structures.
The next three (3) years should be our best in a generation and we are cautiously optimistic beyond that time period.

Major Projects, Upcoming 3 Years:

Year 2007:
  • Long Island Swing Bridge Repairs and Paint,
  • Old Slys Swing Bridge Repairs,
  • Poonamalee Earth Dam short term Repairs,
  • Jones Falls Gate Quoin short term Repairs,
  • Kingston Mills Upper Lock short term repairs,
  • Lockstation Water Quality Improvements.

Year 2008:
  • Ottawa Walls Repairs, Bank to Bronson St., East Side,
  • Merrickville Swing Bridge Paint,
  • Edmonds Lock Stabilization (chip, point and grout),
  • Combined Lock Hydraulics Upgrade,
  • Jones Falls Flight Locks long term Repair Design,
  • Kingston Mills Anglin Centre Access Washrooms.

Year 2009:
  • Hogs Back Fixed Bridge concrete curb and apron Repair,
  • Black Rapids Lower Right Wharf Repair,
  • Ottawa Walls Repairs, Bank to Bronson Str., West Side,
  • Poonamalee Lock Stabilization (chip, point and grout),
  • Lower Brewers Swing Bridge Replacement,
  • Kingston Mills Blockhouse exterior Repairs,
  • Wolfe Lake Fixed Bridge Replacement.

As well as the above major Projects the Rideau Canal will be implementing Programs for Dam and Bridge Safety and, Fire Suppression Initiatives for Heritage Assets. The Dam Safety Program will lead to an additional $1.5 Million dollars worth of Dam Repairs in years 2008 and 2009.

Further down the LTCP there is extensive work planned for Jones Falls Lock and Smiths Falls Combined Lockstations in years 2010 and 2011 respectively.

We must remember that the above projects are only in the planning stages and ultimately depend on obtaining the necessary funding; however, we are definitely entering a new era of Heritage Conservation. Parks Canada has the resources, the expertise and the policy framework to conserve its heritage assets for the enjoyment of Canadians now and into the future.

We will continue to keep you posted on significant developments.

Meanwhile enjoy the Canal and our 175th Anniversary Celebrations !

Bill Pratt, P. Eng.
Chief Engineer, Rideau Canal

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