Latchford Dam replacement project

From: Public Services and Procurement Canada

The Latchford Dam, built in 1913, sits on the Montreal River in Latchford, Ontario, about 130 kilometres north of North Bay. It controls the water level of Bay Lake with 11 sluiceways, 10 piers and 2 abutments. Find out about the new Latchford Dam built to replace the old dam.

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Project overview

Latchford, Ontario
Locate the Latchford Dam on a map
Type of project
Replacement of the Latchford Dam
Lead department
Public Services and Procurement Canada
Construction firms
Dessau Inc., now Stantec, and Hydrosys Experts-Conseils Inc. (engineering design contract) Construction Demathieu & Bard Inc. (construction contract)
$34.1 million
Project status
Completed in June 2017

Project description

A new dam was built adjacent to the old Latchford Dam, and then the old dam was removed. The new dam, following the Canadian Dam Association’s Dam Safety Guidelines, has:

This construction project began in 2012 and was completed in June 2017.

View enlarged image of the aerial view of the Latchford Dam

Key milestones

Project background

Find out more about the techniques and methods used for the Latchford Dam replacement project.

Building 2 cofferdams

A cofferdam is a watertight enclosure from which water is pumped to expose the bottom of a body of water and permit construction.

The contractor began construction of the upstream and downstream cofferdams simultaneously in June 2016. Fisheries and Oceans Canada gave their approval to start the downstream cofferdam work at that time.

View enlarged image of the cofferdam for the construction of the new Latchford Dam, close-up aeriel view

Removing water from 2 cofferdams at once

After the cofferdams were built, the contractor removed the water from the upstream cofferdam at the same time as it removed the water from the downstream cofferdam.


Pumping water out of both cofferdams at the same time has many advantages, it:

Environmental considerations

Before the project, we conducted an environmental effect evaluation.

Fish spawning

The natural spawning area and new spawning area for fish are on the north side of the river. The construction took place on the south side of the river and did not affect the spawning area.

Minimizing environmental impacts

The project’s impact on the environment was minimized by:

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