Lake Ontario Flood of 2017: Oakville Update

Erchless Estate, Oakville, Ontario, Lake Ontario Flood 2017 Brian Gray Photography
Lake Ontario Flood of 2017: Oakville Update
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Nolan A Machan

Nolan A Machan

Nolan Machan is the Publisher of OakvilleNews.Org and has over 41 years of local Oakville knowledge. He is committed to providing Oakville residents with the most up-to-date information about our great town.

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The Lake Ontario Flood of 2017 was of historic proportions, and the town of Oakville is moving as quickly as possible to restore full access to the shoreline parks. To-date the town has spent just over $220,000.

At the height of the flood Lake Ontario’s water reached a peak of 1.8 metres above normal levels for a typical May, which is when the Lake is at its traditional highest level. The most recent US Army Corps of Engineers Weekly Great Lakes Water Level Update (August 11, 2017) predicts that Lake Ontario levels will recede by 11 inches as of September 11, 2017. It is unlikely that the levels will be normal before the end of the year.

Gairloch Gardens, Oakville, Ontario, Lake Ontario Flood 2017 Brian Gray Photography

Damage at Gairloch Gardens was extensive. Photographer: Brian Gray

The lake’s water level is receding far slower then anyone expected. Oakville’s boaters were particularly aware of the water levels, as it impeded their ability to launch their boats. The power boat club was likely the worst effected by the Lake Ontario flood. Permits that were issued for wedding photography at Gairloch Gardens, and public events in Coronation Park were cancelled or moved. Wedding parties were redirected to other manicured parks like Shell Park as well as Nottinghill Park.

Several the shoreline restrictions were lifted this week and included: Bronte Pier (night time restrictions were lifted), Bronte West Pier, and Busby Park Boat Ramp.

However, the Lake Ontario Flood still has several areas in town closed off:

  • Coronation Park is partially closed, including the splash pad, volleyball courts and shoreline.
  • Gairloch Gardens – closed area has been reduced but shoreline access remains closed
  • Dingle Park – trail closed from Allan Street to Trafalgar Road
  • Carrington Promenade – westerly portion
  • Bronte Harbour launch ramp
  • Timber Lane – West Street pathway
  • A short section of Water Street adjacent to the Oakville Central Library

Costs are adding up, and will get substantially higher once the full extent of the damage is assessed by the Coastal Engineer Consultant, which is expected to be in mid to late 2017. The current figure spent includes safety fencing, flood mitigation work that has taken place to date, and some preliminary repair work.

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Coronation Park, Oakville, Ontario, Lake Ontario Flood 2017 Brian Gray Photography

Damage of the shoreline trail at Coronation Park. Photographer: Brian Gray

Once the inspections have been completed, maintenance and/or rehabilitation work will be prioritized. In some cases, permits from Conservation Halton and possibly other agencies will be required. Restoration works will include the reinstatement of cobble beaches, replacement or rebuilding of structures including concrete or armour stone walls. In some cases, pathway restoration will also be required to repair or replace damaged trails.

Oakville Staff will continue daily inspections, removal of debris and reopen public spaces when it is safe to do so. A report is scheduled currently to be submitted to Council in October 2017, contingent upon details being available about broader repair costs. We encourage the public to check our website at Oakville.ca regularly for updates on parks and trail closures.

The last issued an update on May 26, 2017: Lake Ontario Flooding causes Oakville Public Space Closures.

The Lake Ontario Flood of 2017 is going to impact Oakville for while to come.

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