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Name Letter
Object ID 988.5.595
Date 1916
Dimensions 33 x 20 cm
Description Letter egarding a request from the city of St. Catharines to fill in lands on Old Welland Canal for Park Purposes.

Transcription is as follows:

May 20th/16
W.A. Bowden, Esq.,
Chief Engineer,
Dept. Railways and Canals,
Ottawa, Ont.
Dear Sir:-
In reply to your letter of the 21st of March, 1916, file 12303, in connection with the request received from the Mayor of the City of St. Catharines for permission to fill in and utilize certain lands along the Old Welland Canal for park purposes, I beg to enclose herewith blue print plan which shows the pieces of land desired.
Parcel "A" - popularly known as St. John's pond is on the easterly side of the Canal above Lock No. 2. I understand that this pond is not very deep and that bull rushes, etc. grew there. The water was quite stagnant and was a good breeding place for mosquitoes. This condition was remedied a good many years ago when several quite deep channels were dredged through the pond and teh material deposited alongside, forming long narrow islands, the surface of which being a few feet above water level. In my opinion it would be much against Canal interests to allow any part of said area to be filled in with any material. The quantity of water now normally flowing in the Canal at this point is very large - all of the water discharged by the Cataract Power Company at Decew Falls coming down the Twelve Mile Creek and into the Canal about a mile above. This amount is very materially augumented by the freshets, so much so that at times it takes to the utmost our discharging works in the vicinity of Lock No. 2. The water backs up in Lock No. 2 reachy and on several occasions lately the water came very nearly overflowing the banks and there was very little margin left. The Kinleith Paper Company and the WElland Vale Mig. Co. have complained many times of high water. In 1903, the spillway between the two regulating weirs at the head of Lock No. 2 was built to take care of the additional water sent down by the Cataract Power Company, but since then the Company have been permitted to draw up to 100 cubic feet per second. We need all the pondage we at present have and if the area "A", which is quite large, is allowed to be filled in, it might necessitate our building additional spill-ways to take care of the water. I would beg to suggest that nothing be permitted to be filled in here.
Parcel "B" - popularly known as Shickuluna's Pond, immediately below the low level St. Paul Street Bridge, on the southerly side of the Old Canal. Of course, it also servers as pondage above Lock 2, but I persume the city could fill in their portion of it if they desired, providing they arranged that nothing would be allowed to escape into the Canal at the bridge opening. It would hardly be neccessary grant a least now, as practically all of the pond is owned by the City and this would be filled first. Later on, if the City wished to fill in the low lying lands shown in red hatching, a lease might then be granted, providing the Department saw fit.
Parcel "C" - some low marsh land below Lock 4. This is not used by the city as a general dumping ground. We have notices up prohibiting the dumping of garbage, refuse, etc., but notwithstanding some individuals use it as a dump. At present it is very unsightly and I think it would be advisable to fill this area in. The land is low, but it affords no pondage to Lock 3 level. It would require several years to fill it in. The city should be required to fil it in as quickly as possible and cover the whole with earth. It is doubtfull whether this could ever be used for park purposes as it is not in a very desiriable neighbourhood.
Parcel "D" - Known as Malpass' Pond on the southerly side of the Old Canal above Lock 4. This pond is quite deep and is seperated from the Canal proper by a floating tow-path. I see no cheap way of confining to the pond materials dumped therein. The only access to the pond is along the flost and anything dumped from it would soon fill up the Canal proper. The Canal itself is being filled rapidly enough without any materials being dumped into it. We have a good deal of trouble now with sticks, Logs, etc., getting caught in the weir and lock valves and preventing their operation. If garbage, refuse and street cleanings were allowed to be dumped anywhere in the Canal without being properly confined, we would have no end of trouble. It would require good many years to fill in this area marked "D".
In conclusion, I would suggest that the city be given permission to fill in area "C" on the understanding that it be filled in as soon as possible and covered up with earth. When this is completed other areas might be consiered.
I think that the Provincial Board of Health would probably object to all manner of refuse, street cleanings, etc. being dumped into the Canal which flows into Lake Ontario.
Yours truly,
(no name)
Actg. Superintending Engineer.
People Bowden, W.A.
Subjects Welland Canal
St. Catharines.