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The Weir

As of the fall of 2014, the HLA has been successful in finalizing a solution that will see the Township of Seguin add rock to bring the level of the existing weir up to the agreed upon level. This action will occur either in late fall 2014 or early spring 2015.

History and Status of the on-going program to install a Dam/weir to replace the existing rock weir situated at the lake exit point known as Blackstone Creek:

  • Beginning in the 1960’s rocks had been placed in front of the then exit point of the lake to Blackstone creek in order to keep a little more water in the lake during the prime summer months
  • This was not a formal water obstruction and really not paid much mind by local residents or by any government agency.  The rocks were put in after a new culvert had been put in at a height lower than the previous culvert as part of the re-routing of Hwy 69.
  •  Through the 1980’s and 1990s’s there were significant changes to the lake.  Many more cottages were built complete with bigger boat houses and of course Hwy 400 was extended and the whole culvert system was revamped……again with no particular focus on the pile of rocks.
  •  In the late 1990’s there were periods of significant rain fall and those homeowners  with low properties (which were flooding) prevailed upon the Township to remove the rocks which they did in late 2003 using a back hoe!
  •  Very shortly after that many cottagers complained long and loud to the Township about the “new normal” and the Township recognizing their error in taking out the rocks replaced them all with an even higher pile of rocks in summer 2004. This became known as the weir.
  •  MNR was on the periphery of all of this activity but not a prime mover as the Township had been involved with installing the new culverts and initially thought that they would want to control all of the water level activity.  MNR did issue an official work permit to the Township for the 2004 weir.
  •  It was at this point in the summer of 2004 that the Horseshoe Lake Association (HLA) was formed to address the water level issues; their mandate was to be a non-profit organization representing the lake residents in all matters related to the well-being of the lake.
  •  For a period of two years individual residents took matters into their own hands, putting more rocks in and taking some rocks out, as residents disagreed on the proper level for the rocks.
  •  Mayor Conn was involved as was the MNR and until the Fall of 2008  there were a number of meetings and deliberations resulting in MNR taking over the responsibilities for the rock weir from the Township.
  •  Together with residents and the HLA, the MNR forced the acceptance of a specific height for the rock weir and this height was marked accordingly on the culvert.
  •  The main outcome after the establishment of this new weir by MNR, was a charge to the HLA to come up with a “permanent solution’ to the existing pile of rocks, after polling residents and having a clear understanding of the will of the people.
  •  Since 2008, the HLA has been following a winding road of requirements as “parties” on the lake with some interest or fear, were encouraged by MNR to come forward and table the concern.  Each set of concerns were dealt with and as a result a proper survey was completed, an environmental study commissioned and completed and operating rules around the workings of a permanent timber Dam were discussed and finally agreed upon.
  •  The Dam, (as opposed to the rock weir) was a preferred solution by MNR as it could not be tampered with and hopefully would not always be in need of alteration or adjustment.  MNR also introduced the HLA to TransportCanadaand The Department of Fisheries and Oceans who also need to approve our actions if a Dam was to be installed.  The Township was happy to be on the sidelines as long as the HLA took responsibility for the resulting structure and its operation.
  •  From 2008 until the spring of 2012 the HLA was very busy with these activities and it required all of the funding the HLA had at its disposal in the form of annual dues from cottagers.  In the Spring of 2012 MNR told the HLA that the last step was to get the actual 12-16 inch Dam designed by a Hydrological Engineering firm and the HLA realized that a fund-raising campaign would be necessary.  From this point on the series of information bulletins referenced following will describe the steps taken and the current status of the project.
  • For a copy of each 2012 update on the dam progress, click on the dates below:

  • May 26
  • June 10
  • Sept. 9
  • Sept. 25

Late in the fall of 2012, it became clear that the MNR would not permit the installation of a permanent dam.

A different solution was proposed: Gabion Baskets. For a description, please read the 2013 Spring Newsletter

For a copy of the June 1, 2013 letter to all residents explaining the Gabion Basket Solution, click here.

August 2013: At this time, a final solution has not been reached, and HLA is waiting for the the Township and MNR to discuss options.

The Fall, 2014: A final solution has been reached. The MNR has issued a work permit that allows the Township of Seguin to bring the current weir up to the agreed upon level by adding rock to the weir as required. This will be completed either in the fall of 2014 or in the spring of 2015

Permanent link to this article: http://www.horseshoelakeassociation.org/water/new-dam-progress/