Category Archives: Ottawa River

American Eel Engagement Workshop – Government Response Statement

As a potential next step for the Ottawa River, we recommend assessing a suitable location for a ladder at the Carillon Generating Station over the next 1-2 migration seasons coupled with a commitment to providing passage the following year. Studies conducted by Hydro QC and Milieu Inc. in 2001 and 2010 revealed that more elvers approach the southern turbines than northern ones; however, shorelines, the shipping canal, and the spillway were not assessed. It is reasonable to delay installing a permanent ladder until such assessments are completed; however, free passage should be provided by the 2019 migration season. Consideration should be given to translocating elvers captured during such assessments above the Carillon Generating Station. Continue reading

Take a 3D Fly-over along the Energy East Pipeline route in Ontario

Take a 3D Fly-over along the entire Ontario length of the existing TransCanada pipeline slated for conversion to bitumen transport. Every stream, river and lake that the line bisects is identified and displayed. It certainly provides a birds-eye view of what could be lost should a leak occur.   This will graphically explain why ORA has applied for Intervenor Status in the National Energy Board hearings.

This amazing piece of work was prepared by THeIA GeoAnalytics, out of North Bay. Check it out:


Energy East Pipeline Proposal – ORA meets Petawawa Town Council

On the 13th of April 2015, Dr Alan Hepburn, a member of ORA’s Board of Directors, made a presentation to the Petawawa Town Council to inform them of concerns regarding the Energy East Pipeline proposal.   Dr. Hepburn was very well received and plans to present to other municipalities along the Ottawa Valley pipeline route.

ORA is requesting that municipalities make a formal motion or declaration that they are unwilling hosts to the Energy East Pipeline as it is presently proposed.  You can find more detailed information about our concerns by checking out the presentation below.

A Daily Observer news article is posted here.

Download (PDF, 3.77MB)


Chaudière and Albert Island – Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments – 3 and 4 Booth Street

Victoria, Albert and Chaudière Islands are sacred lands of the Anishinaabe people, and of high spiritual significance. ORA is requesting that this area remain a natural park space where First Nations and the public can gather now and into the future. Chaudière Falls is located on unceded Algonquin land, and the Algonquins of Ontario must provide informed consent before any plans are considered. Continue reading

Free Chaudiere Falls, by Lindsay Lambert


Lindsay Lambert is advocating for the undamming of Chaudière Falls in Ottawa and restoring them to their natural glory as Canada’s project for the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.

Located between Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec, Chaudière Falls were second only to Niagara, and many people once considered them more interesting in their variety and setting. The main feature was the Asticou, or “Big Kettle”, where the waterfall came into almost a full circle. It was once a greater arc than Niagara’s infamous Horseshoe Falls. Over eons, the fierce water flow had worn the stone at the base into a giant bowl. The water would swirl around and bubble up, like boiling water. There would always be a mist, and on a bright summer day one would be sure to see a rainbow. Continue reading

Blue Legacy expedition 2014, by Alexandra Cousteau

Nature’s Course

Ottawa River – Understanding our river

Blue Legacy International, founded and directed by Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of the famous oceanographer, produced 3 short documentaries on the Ottawa River. These films focus on governance, water quality and the impact of dams on biodiversity. The production of these documentaries was made possible through funding from the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation.

Chenaux Generating Station, Ottawa River

Chenaux Generating Station

PLANT GROUP: Ottawa/St. Lawrence Plant Group
RIVER: Ottawa
NEAREST POPULATION CENTRE: Renfrew (16 km (10 miles) south)
UNITS 1-2 – 1950
UNITS 3-8 – 1951
BUILT BY: Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario
Three hundred years ago, intrepid French voyageurs, making their way down the Ottawa River to the flourishing fur markets of Montreal and Quebec, undertook a long portage just above the swift rapids. They gave the rapids the name “Chenaux” plural for “chenal” or “channel.” Fearing the loss of their precious furs in the seething waters, they favoured the safer course offered by the rigorous trail through the wilderness. The arduous portage was called “Portage du Fort” (portage of the strong) from which the adjacent village derives its name. It was at this point that the adventurers shouldered their canoes and began the long trek overland.
The Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario harnessed the Ottawa River to produce more electric power for the homes, farms and industries of Ontario and the Chenaux station was one of the post World War II developments.
Within a short distance of the project, was a well-planned construction camp with accommodation for 1,500 workers. Incorporating the most advanced features of camp design, the well-constructed living quarters, engineering and administrative offices were equipped with modern conveniences.
The bunkhouses were partitioned for greater individual privacy and had hot and cold running water, showers and other facilities. An efficiently operated cafeteria with spacious dining quarters and rapid service distribution provided wholesome, well-balanced meals to hundreds of men engaged on the job.
Other buildings included a camp hospital, a recreation hall and storage quarters.

Chats Falls Generating Station, Ottawa River

Chats Falls Generating Station

PLANT GROUP: Ottawa/St. Lawrence Plant Group
RIVER: Ottawa
NEAREST POPULATION CENTRE: Ottawa (56 km (35 miles) southeast)
UNITS 2-5 – October 1931
UNITS 6-9 – October 1932
BUILT BY: Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario
Early in the 20th Century the Chats Falls Power Company, later known as the Ottawa Valley Power Company, was formed and proceeded with surveys and plans for a development that would place a powerhouse at Egan Chute with a dam along the Ontario shore, upstream from Fishery Pool. This development would use only half of the flow of the river. An agreement was made in 1928 between this company and the Commission for a development of the whole site in one powerhouse. The agreement provided for the organization described later and was followed by the completion of a contract whereby the Commission purchased the Ottawa Valley Power Company’s share of the power. Surveys and engineering studies proceeded and construction started in the Fall of 1929.

The Cradle Rocks While the Grandfather’s of Our Country Tell their Stories

Chaudiere Falls - Circa 1880

Chaudiere Falls – Circa 1880

The Chaudiere Falls in the heart of Canada’s capitol has been harnessed for hydro since 1908, it was a breathtaking work of nature, a sacred and significant place to the first peoples of this land, a setting where the Ottawa River plunged in a spectacular array in the form of a horseshoe. Canadian artist and author of the mid to late 1800’s, William S. Hunter in 1855 wrote that it was only second to Niagara in its extent and in the height and referred to its kettle like appearance with, “seething and frothing of the surface, in its continual whirl, assist in completing the resemblance,” adding that the sun would often produce more than one rainbow over its surface. While some see its likeness as a horseshoe shape, and others a kettle—it’s also viewed as a cradle of Canadian civilization. Continue reading