Town to assume ownership of Pefferlaw Dam

The Town of Georgina is assuming ownership of the Pefferlaw Dam. Council has endorsed the decision that will see the ownership of the dam transition from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority to the Town effective June 30, 2022. 

“The Pefferlaw Dam is an integral part of the charm and heritage of this community. It is a unique feature that is synonymous with its downtown, with deep historical roots. I want to thank all those involved in making this happen with special acknowledgement of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, who has operated and maintained this special landmark for many years and for their collaboration as we worked through this transition,” said Mayor Margaret Quirk.

At the Nov. 17, 2021 Council meeting, Council directed staff to undertake additional technical analysis to assess the full scope of repairs and costs of the Town assuming ownership of the dam structure and adjacent parcels. This also included entering into an operations agreement with the Conservation Authority until such time a final determination was made on the transfer of ownership of the dam structure. This spring, staff from both the Conservation Authority and the Town worked together to install the stop logs and flashboards at the dam, a responsibility now assumed by the Town going forward.

“We are pleased to hand off ownership of the Pefferlaw Dam Conservation Area and the ongoing operations and maintenance of the Dam to the Town,” said Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority Chair, Wayne Emmerson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of York Region. “This transfer of ownership and responsibilities will enhance the Conservation Authority’s ability to manage the right lands for the right reasons. Our focus is on protecting lands that are ecologically sensitive, that help connect and grow the watershed’s natural heritage system and can improve climate change resilience. Best suited to manage this community landmark, this transfer provides the Town an opportunity to maintain the viability of the Pefferlaw Dam into the future.”

Recommendations from the technical analysis include some short-term public safety actions including increased signage and buoys that will be implemented in the coming months, as well as rehabilitation work that would start over the next three years. Further discussions and reports outlining the work to be done with associated timelines will be provided to Council later this year. Costing will not be known until the proposed work is issued for tender.   

To learn more about the Pefferlaw Dam, visit georgina.ca/PefferlawDam. Questions or inquiries relating to the operations or management of the Pefferlaw Dam can be directed to the Town.

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