Millbrook Dam Reconstruction – October 2019 Update

October 2019

As previously reported, the reconstruction of the Millbrook dam is now completed.

The site was hydro seeded in early July and then over seeded in September. The grass took longer than anticipated to emerge and establish, so to help protect it we kept the security fencing in place a few months longer than planned. The fencing will be removed by the end of October.

Unfortunately, the ash tree at the end of Distillery Street did not survive the construction activity. Some tree roots were cut or otherwise damaged during the required excavation of the site. Root damage is the likely cause of the tree’s demise. Our plan is to have the tree removed in spring 2020. We intend to replace it with a large sized suitable species (2″ to 4″ diameter).

The berm on the east side of the spillway is something new to the site. Its purpose is to stop any water from flowing east of the spillway, should we experience the highest water flow scenario. Under a high flow scenario the water will overtop the spillway and flow over the west berm, which has been specially hardened to withstand the erosion that would occur. We understand that the berm may pose a bit of challenge to accessing the park on the east side of the pond. We are looking at options for adjusting the alignment of the east berm in some way to allow for easier access.

Finally, we will also be constructing a small kiosk with panels containing interpretative information about the history of dams and mills at this location. The kiosk will be placed on the downstream side of the earthen berm adjacent to the Needler’s Mill. Thank you to the Millbrook & Cavan Historical Society for compiling the historical information.


Thank you!

This project has taken many years to come to fruition and we would like to thank everyone who made a contribution towards the success of the project.

We would also like to thank the area residents and neighbours for your patience and understanding through the long construction phase.

Please join us for a ribbon cutting event on November 1, 2019 at 10am. Please see event details are here…


If you have a question, or an observation to share, you may contact Otonabee Conservation by email at

The chronology of the various phases of this project may be found in the Chronology of the Millbrook Dam section.