Christie Lake Water Levels

12 June 2017:  Randy Hillier, MPP and Scott Reid, MP write an Open Letter regarding flooding in Tay Valley Township to Parks Canada:

Parks Canada reply to Open Letter from Randy Hillier, MPP and Scott Reid, MP – 13 September 2017

PC-Response-HillierReidLtr-13Sept2017   – pdf 3.4MB

22 August 2017:   Your CLA directors have established a new committee to be known as “The CLA Water Level Committee”. Its purposes include:

  • Communicating with those Christie Lake residents listed on the Association’s email distribution list for the purposes of providing information to them and obtaining information from them;
  • Communicating with Parks Canada on behalf of the Association  with the aim or goal of obtaining:
  • information as to the policies, procedures and historical records relating to the construction, repair, operation and management of the Bob’s Lake Dam;
  • Parks Canada’s agreement to permit the Association to have input into the operation and management of the Bob’s Lake Dam for the purpose of protecting the interests and rights of property owners on Christie Lake; and
  • Communicating with consultants, stakeholders and other public and private authorities to gather appropriate information and documentation as the Committee deems appropriate.

Bruce McIntyre has been appointed as Chairman of the Committee.Brian Gold, Bruce McIntyre, Dick Wilson, Gordon Hill, Peter Higgins, Paul Jordan and Tom Ozere are the initial members of the Committee

If you have questions or wish to offer constructive comments, please email the Committee at

BTW – Parks Canada has advised that water levels are not expected to go down through the summer into fall as has been past practice.  The reason, apart from a very high precipitation year, is that Parks Canada is trying to lower the high levels on Bobs Lake before winter sets in. 

CLA-WLC – Letter to Minister of Environment and Climate Change

5 September 2017:  the CLA Water Level Committee sent its initial letter to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Minister responsible for Parks Canada (Ltr To Minister(17-09-05) Final).  We shall report further upon receipt of the Minister’s reply.

31 October 2017:  Jewel Cunningham, Director of Ontario Waterways, Parks Canada, responded to our letter of September 5, 2017.   CLA – Ltr frm Parks Canada(17-10-31)J Cunningham for Minister.

15 March 2018:    Bobs Lake Dam Community Update – March 2018  – pdf 319kB

27 March 2018:    Bobs Lake Dam Community Update – April 2018   – pdf 316kB

4 April 2018:   Parks Canada Launches Water Management InfoNet  IBe Trent-Severn Rideau Canal Water MGMT  – pdf 106kB

     Parks Canada InfoNet Link:

Parks Canada Water Levels Page Link:

Bobs Lake Dam Community Update – July 2018 – pdf 420kB

Bobs Lake Dam Community Update – August 2018  – pdf 456kB

Bobs Lake Dam Community Update – February 2019 – pdf 277kB

Bobs Lake Dam Update Presentation – March 2019 – pdf 7MB

Bobs Lake Dam Community Update – June 2019  – pdf 369kB

Bobs Lake Dam Community-Update – November 2019 – pdf 435kB

Drone Photos – Bobs Lake / Bolingbroke Dam

The ‘Friends’ have posted drone (overhead) photos of the present dam site (at July 14, 2020), as an update to Parks    Canada’s November 2019 release, when construction Stage Two was nearing completion.


             Thank you to David Zimmerly for the photos.
              Your Board of Directors
              Friends of the Tay Watershed Association

27 July 2021:  Letter from the Christie Lake Association Inc. to Scott Reid, MP regarding extreme water levels and availability of water flow data:  Christie Lake Association Inc. Letter to Scott Reid, MP – 2021 July 27 – pdf 371kB

24 August 2021:  Email response from Scott Reid, MP to the Christie Lake Association Inc. regarding extreme water levels and availability of water flow data:  Scott Reid, MP – Email Response to CLA Letter – 2021 August 24 – pdf 144kB

22 February 2022:  Presentation – Parks Canada Ontario Waterways – WATER MANAGEMENT – pdf 2.4MB

22 February 2022:  Presentation – Overview of RVCA Flood Forecasting and Warning Program – pdf 3.5MB

March 2022:  Tay Waterway – A 2021 Review by David Taylor , Friends of the Tay Watershed – pdf 99kB


Christie Lake

Christie Lake (a flow through lake) is unique in that its water level is a function of what is happening on Bobs Lake (a reservoir lake). It also has a very shallow outlet which causes a restriction to the flows thereby slowing the passing of water downstream.

Water levels and flow rates on Christie Lake are influenced by this shallow and uncontrolled outlet of the lake (at Jordan’s Bridge) and the water control operation at the Bolingbroke Dam (at the Bobs Lake outlet) by Parks Canada – Rideau Canal System. Balancing flow and water levels is not an exact science and very subject to Mother Nature.

Flushing rates vary from lake to lake. The flushing rate of Christie Lake is ~ 2.7 times per year. This high turnover of water volume means that sediments, nutrients, and pollutants may not accumulate as quickly as in lakes with a lower flushing rate.


Water level is defined as the height (or elevation) of the water surface above the ‘geodetic datum’ (mean sea level), expressed here as Above Mean Sea Level (AMSL). It is usually expressed in metres (m). Note that we have set the following levels:

High water level at >155.0m based on historical water level data back to 1943;

Average level between 154.5m and 155.0m; and

Low water level at <154.5m.

There are three methods to determine water levels for Christie Lake:


  • The most historic readings have been taken, and continue to be taken at Jordan’s Bridge.  Daily readings are recorded by the Jordan family and  provided to CLA which are posted to the CLA website. Thank you to the Jordan family for this important contribution;
  • Parks Canada installed an electronic water level monitoring station in 2016 with access to telephone lines on the north shore of Christie Lake east of Jordan’s Bridge. This station is designed to record water levels every hour with data uploaded to Parks Canada on a daily basis. This will provide more accurate and timely water level statistics to Parks Canada and facilitate decision-making on the flow from Bobs Lake through Christie Lake at the Bolingbroke Dam; and
  • RVCA also collects readings by means of a submerged pressure transducer that logs the water level year around and located in the area of South Bay.  Water Level data is recovered three times per year.

Historic data from Parks Canada for the years 1943 to 2012 indicate the highest level recorded was 155.7m AMSL in 1949, and the lowest was 153.9m AMSL in 1951 – a difference of 1.8m or 5’10”. See historical charts below – last 10 years (2004-2014) plus data in 20 year segments.

water levels 2004-2014












water levels 1983-2003











water levels 1963-1983












water levels 1943-1963