I happened to be in the right place at the right time this year! I’ve always wanted to see the dam go down behind John McCrae School and I happened to be biking by this Monday at 2:00 pm as the dam was lowered. Very cool – very noisy! I came back around 6:00 pm and the pond was about 80% full. I estimate it takes a full 4-5 hours to completely fill, depending on water volume in the river.
According to the GRCA staff on site, the dam is not for flood control – it is solely for the purpose of providing recreational use of the river. Without the dam, the Speed – Eramosa portion of the river would not be navigable by canoe and they get a lot of pressure every year for the dam to be lowered to kick-off the canoeing season. Makes sense. But it would be nice if the dam could be raised for the OPIRG Speed River Clean-Up.
The Speed River Clean Up this year will be Saturday, June 9th. This is always a great family event!