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Carleton Place Dam Safety Review

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MVCA owns and operates 11 water control structures within its jurisdiction and performs routine maintenance and inspections on each control structure. The Carleton Place Dam is located on the Mississippi River, downstream of Mississippi Lake within the Town of Carleton Place. The dam maintains recreational levels on Mississippi Lake and provides flood control benefits for Mississippi Lake and downstream municipalities.


The Carleton Place dam was built in 1907 and included a hydroelectric generating station to provide the electricity for the Brown and Sons Flour Mill, located directly across the river from it. The generating station continued to provide power to the town of Carleton Place until the 1970s, when it was demolished. The dam was rebuilt in 1973 by the Mississippi River Improvement Company. MVCA took ownership of the dam in 1975.

Dam Operations

The Carleton Place dam is a run-of-the-river structure that maintains water levels in the Mississippi River in the Town and regulates water levels on Mississippi Lake located approximately 2 km upstream of the dam. The Carleton Place dam is a concrete structure consisting of two major sections: a control section and an ogee (round crested) weir. The control section consists of five sluiceways which contain a total of 48 stop logs. A safety boom extends across the river upstream of the dam to warn boaters and swimmers of the danger.

Next Steps

MVCA is completing a Dam Safety Review for the Carleton Place Dam. The review will be completed in accordance with the Canadian Dam Association (CDA) dam safety guidelines and best practices summarized in the technical bulletins of the Ministry of Natural Resources' Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act. The project is funded through the provincial Water Erosion Control Infrastructure (WECI) Program with a completion date expected in February 2023.

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