Pretty River Dyke Maintenance

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The Pretty River Dyke was designed to help keep the downtown areas of Collingwood safe from flooding.

In order to make sure it functions properly, some of the vegetation growing along the banks of the dyke must be removed from time to time.

History of Flooding in Collingwood

The Town of Collingwood was built on a shallow floodplain, making it prone to floods. Some of the most notable floods are the 1912 Victoria Day Flood and the 1942 St. Patricks’ Day Flood.

This is a view of Hume Street during the 1942 St. Patrick's Day flood. Photo contributed by the Collingwood Museum Huron Institute 2789; Collingwood Museum Collection X973.523.1, X973.524.1, X973.525.1

This photo was taken near the intersection of Third and Birch streets during the 1912 Victoria Day flood. Photo contributed by Collingwood Museum Huron Institute 148, 150, 164, 165; Collingwood Museum Collection X970.794.1, X969.594.1, X970.783.1, X970.789.1

The Pretty River

The Pretty River is one of four rivers that flow through the Town of Collingwood. It starts on the Niagara Escarpment, and flows through the Pretty River Valley. As it enters the town, it is contained by the Pretty River Dyke as it flows to the Nottawasaga Bay.

The Pretty River Dyke

In the 1970s, the Pretty River Dyke was built to reduce the risk of flooding in the urban areas of Collingwood.

It is designed to contain the floodwaters from the Provincial Regulatory Storm Event — a storm so extreme that the likelihood of it happening is less than 1% chance in any given year. Although these events are rare, the risk to property damage and possible loss of life is high which is why the dyke must be maintained.

This 2 km flood control structure starts at the southwest intersection of Peel Street and Lynden Street, passing the old CN Rail bridge (now the Siding Trail), then Hume Street and the Pretty River Parkway before ending at Oliver Crescent near the shore of Nottawasaga Bay.

This is what the dyke looked like in the 1970s right after it was built. As time went on, vegetation began to grow on the dyke. Taking a closer look, the dyke is covered in 12” to 18” stone which protects the banks from the erosive forces of flowing water.

NVCA removed vegetation on the dyke in 2006 and 2007. However, a recent study found that vegetation such as trees and large shrubs has continued to grow on the dyke, slowing down the flow of flood waters and reducing the capacity of the corridor which in turn could lead to flood waters spilling over the dyke during the Regulatory flood event.


The Pretty River Dyke is divided into five sections.

Section 2: Bypass Weir/Culverts to Nottawasaga Bay

Section 3 Pretty River Parkway to Bypass Weir/Culverts

Section 4: Hume Street to Pretty River Parkway

Section 5: Barrie Collingwood Railway (Siding Trail) to Hume Street

Section 6: Start of Pretty River Dyke to Barrie Collingwood Railway (Siding Trail)

River Trail

The recreational trail will continue to be available to residents and visitors. Most of the vegetation beside the trail will remain with the exception of trees that could impact the stability of the dyke. After the vegetation removal, trail users will have a clearer view of the river.

Portions of the trail will be closed from time to time for maintenance activities for trail users’ safety.


Public Engagement

We encourage residents to reach out to ask questions about the Pretty River Dyke Maintenance Project:

Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority
8195 8th Line, Utopia, ON L0M 1T0
705-424-1479
flood@nvca.on.ca

The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority and the Town of Collingwood will be hosting two Q&A sessions:

Q&A Session 1

The first Q&A Session was held online on Wednesday, September 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to answer any questions or concerns residents had regarding the Pretty River Dyke or maintenance activities. Did you miss the Q&A? Watch the recording here!

Q&A Session 2

Please join us for our second online Q&A session on Monday, October 25, 2021 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. NVCA and the Town of Collingwood will be available to answer any questions or concerns residents have regarding the Pretty River Dyke or maintenance activities.

The Q&A will be hosted through Microsoft Teams. Residents interested in attending the Q&A, please join us through this link. You can access the Q&A through the MS Teams App or on your browser.

Note that the Q&A session will be recorded.

This project is funded by the Town of Collingwood.

The Pretty River Dyke was designed to help keep the downtown areas of Collingwood safe from flooding.

In order to make sure it functions properly, some of the vegetation growing along the banks of the dyke must be removed from time to time.

History of Flooding in Collingwood

The Town of Collingwood was built on a shallow floodplain, making it prone to floods. Some of the most notable floods are the 1912 Victoria Day Flood and the 1942 St. Patricks’ Day Flood.

This is a view of Hume Street during the 1942 St. Patrick's Day flood. Photo contributed by the Collingwood Museum Huron Institute 2789; Collingwood Museum Collection X973.523.1, X973.524.1, X973.525.1

This photo was taken near the intersection of Third and Birch streets during the 1912 Victoria Day flood. Photo contributed by Collingwood Museum Huron Institute 148, 150, 164, 165; Collingwood Museum Collection X970.794.1, X969.594.1, X970.783.1, X970.789.1

The Pretty River

The Pretty River is one of four rivers that flow through the Town of Collingwood. It starts on the Niagara Escarpment, and flows through the Pretty River Valley. As it enters the town, it is contained by the Pretty River Dyke as it flows to the Nottawasaga Bay.

The Pretty River Dyke

In the 1970s, the Pretty River Dyke was built to reduce the risk of flooding in the urban areas of Collingwood.

It is designed to contain the floodwaters from the Provincial Regulatory Storm Event — a storm so extreme that the likelihood of it happening is less than 1% chance in any given year. Although these events are rare, the risk to property damage and possible loss of life is high which is why the dyke must be maintained.

This 2 km flood control structure starts at the southwest intersection of Peel Street and Lynden Street, passing the old CN Rail bridge (now the Siding Trail), then Hume Street and the Pretty River Parkway before ending at Oliver Crescent near the shore of Nottawasaga Bay.

This is what the dyke looked like in the 1970s right after it was built. As time went on, vegetation began to grow on the dyke. Taking a closer look, the dyke is covered in 12” to 18” stone which protects the banks from the erosive forces of flowing water.

NVCA removed vegetation on the dyke in 2006 and 2007. However, a recent study found that vegetation such as trees and large shrubs has continued to grow on the dyke, slowing down the flow of flood waters and reducing the capacity of the corridor which in turn could lead to flood waters spilling over the dyke during the Regulatory flood event.


The Pretty River Dyke is divided into five sections.

Section 2: Bypass Weir/Culverts to Nottawasaga Bay

Section 3 Pretty River Parkway to Bypass Weir/Culverts

Section 4: Hume Street to Pretty River Parkway

Section 5: Barrie Collingwood Railway (Siding Trail) to Hume Street

Section 6: Start of Pretty River Dyke to Barrie Collingwood Railway (Siding Trail)

River Trail

The recreational trail will continue to be available to residents and visitors. Most of the vegetation beside the trail will remain with the exception of trees that could impact the stability of the dyke. After the vegetation removal, trail users will have a clearer view of the river.

Portions of the trail will be closed from time to time for maintenance activities for trail users’ safety.


Public Engagement

We encourage residents to reach out to ask questions about the Pretty River Dyke Maintenance Project:

Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority
8195 8th Line, Utopia, ON L0M 1T0
705-424-1479
flood@nvca.on.ca

The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority and the Town of Collingwood will be hosting two Q&A sessions:

Q&A Session 1

The first Q&A Session was held online on Wednesday, September 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to answer any questions or concerns residents had regarding the Pretty River Dyke or maintenance activities. Did you miss the Q&A? Watch the recording here!

Q&A Session 2

Please join us for our second online Q&A session on Monday, October 25, 2021 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. NVCA and the Town of Collingwood will be available to answer any questions or concerns residents have regarding the Pretty River Dyke or maintenance activities.

The Q&A will be hosted through Microsoft Teams. Residents interested in attending the Q&A, please join us through this link. You can access the Q&A through the MS Teams App or on your browser.

Note that the Q&A session will be recorded.

This project is funded by the Town of Collingwood.

Page last updated: 29 October 2021, 13:06