Pefferlaw Dam


The Pefferlaw Dam and Pefferlaw River are two unique features that gives the area its distinct charm and character.

The Town of Georgina has assumed ownership of the Pefferlaw Dam. Council has endorsed the decision that saw the ownership of the dam transition from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) to the Town, effective June 30, 2022. Read the media release for more information.  

Further details including background information and the Pefferlaw Dam report, can be found on the LSRCA's dedicated Pefferlaw Dam page.

Tree Removals - Spring 2024

The Pefferlaw Dam will be rehabilitated in the summer / fall of 2024. As part of the rehabilitation, some tree removals are required, as directed by an Arborist Report. The trees will be removed as they are in the construction disturbance area. The trees must be removed prior to April 1 to adhere to the Migratory Birds Convention Act. This Act aims to protect bird habitat during the mating season.

Trees will be replanted as part of the restoration works near the end of construction.

Field Investigations - Summer 2023

As part of the engineering design of the project, there was field investigations at the property during summer and early fall 2023. The investigations may have required stop logs to be removed and reinstalled in order to keep workers safe. The water level was temporarily lowered while the stop logs were removed, and were returned to seasonal levels once the stop logs were reinstalled. Typical disturbances will include vehicle traffic and noise.

Award of engineering contract – Pefferlaw Dam rehabilitation and remediation

Council approved the award of contract for engineering design for the rehabilitation and remediation at the Pefferlaw Dam to D.M. Wills Associates Ltd. on July 12, 2023. Ownership of the Pefferlaw Dam and the surrounding Pefferlaw Dam Conservation Area was transferred from the Lake Simcoe Regional Conservation Authority to the Town of Georgina on June 30, 2022. As part of this transfer, it was agreed the Town would assume responsibility for repairs, maintenance and operation of the dam and its surrounding property

Pefferlaw Dam capital works update - May 3, 2023

A briefing note to Council on May 3, 2023, provided an update regarding the environmental site assessment and risk assessment reports prepared by Cambium Inc. in April 2022, December 2022 and finalized in April 2023.

Public Safety Measures

The public safety risk assessment report prepared by D.M. Wills Associates Limited in September 2022 recommended the following capital improvements be undertaken:

  • Install public safety signs upstream of the dam, downstream of the dam and at the pedestrian bridge; and
  • Install floating hazard marker buoys at the head pond area.

The Town’s Operations and Infrastructure Department and Parks Development and Operations Division are currently collaborating to procure and install the above recommended public safety measures. It is anticipated that these tasks will be completed in June/July 2023.

Engineering assessment

Town staff worked in collaboration with the Conservation Authority to complete a technical assessment of the existing conditions of the Pefferlaw Dam. Field crews were on site to undertake these assessments.

The Town retained D.M. Wills Associates Ltd. an Engineering Consultant, to complete field studies that included:

  • Visual inspections
  • Topographic surveys
  • Drill boreholes to investigate current soil conditions
Town staff updated the Town Council on April 27, 2022. The briefing note is available below. The stop log installation was completed in early May 2022.

A letter outlining this assessment was sent to nearby residents, you can view a copy of this letter below. 

Photos and videos


The Pefferlaw Dam in the fall with trees and mist on the water

Public engagement

The Town and LSRCA understand the importance of the Pefferlaw dam to residents and the entire community. Once potential options for the dam are known, residents will be informed what the next steps look like for this popular area.


Letter to residents

Council reports

Briefing Note

May 3, 2023 - Briefing note to council
April 27, 2022 - Briefing note to council

Stop Log Notice

April 19, 2022 - Stop Log Notice

Council Closed Session - reporting out Nov. 17, 2021

That staff move forward as directed, including with regard to the Pefferlaw Dam Conservation Area that:

  1. In collaboration with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, commission additional technical analysis to assess the full scope of repairs and costs of the Town assuming ownership of the Dam structure and adjacent parcels;
  2. Enter into an Operations Agreement with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority until such time as a final determination is made on the transfer of ownership of the Dam structure, wherein the Town agrees to assume responsibility of the installation/removal of the stop logs/flashboards, subject to a satisfactory inspection of the Dam by a third-party expert, and perform regular inspections of the Dam; and
  3. Staff provide an update to Council no later than spring 2022 (Town staff is expecting this update to be April 27,2022)

Council motion – Jan. 27, 2021

Town of Georgina Council approved a motion from the LSRCA and referred it to the Chief Administrative Officer for follow up and reporting back to Council. The motion includes a recommendation the LSRCA work with the Town in 2021 as a transition period for the operation of the dam. This includes developing funding opportunities with the Town for LSRCA staff and Town staff to install the stop logs together in the spring of this year, and providing the Town with the equipment required for the operation of the dam and provide training as required. Read the motion.

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Keswick, ON  L4P 3G1

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