Alton Village, Caledon – On Wednesday, Sylvia Jones, MPP for Dufferin-Caledon and Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) Board Member Crista Renner, stopped in at the Alton Mill Arts Centre for a public meeting held by the Alton Millpond Association. They presented a plaque from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to mark the work being done as a result of receiving a $495,00 OTF Grow grant in 2017.
“I am pleased that the Alton Millpond Association has received an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant to help with the restoration of the millpond,” said Sylvia Jones, MPP for Dufferin-Caledon. “The millpond is a wonderful asset for our community and is enjoyed in all seasons. The restoration enhances the enjoyment of the area, ensuring the millpond is sustainable while improving the eco-system.”
AMA President, Randy Ugolini, outlined the project’s history leading to the completion of the Master Plan in 2015. “This is an innovative proposal that responds to a variety of objectives. These include restoring the natural stream functions and fish habitat of Shaw’s Creek while at the same time retaining the historic millpond feature and making it into a public recreational, educational, and art venue that we can all be proud of,” said Ugolini.
Bill Touzel, the project manager, outlined how the plan responds to the objectives by creating a berm and dam oriented to separate the pond from a restored creek bed that will flow down one side of the site. This will alleviate the warming effect of the pond on the creek and allow fish to travel upstream and sediment to travel downstream.
In order to establish the detailed design parameters, Touzel explained that the necessary background technical work has been undertaken by NRSI for fish habitat, and CIMA+, an engineering firm with a strong presence in the hydraulic structures industry. CIMA+ has completed a geotechnical report to determine the foundation conditions for the new dam, a hydrological report to understand how much water may be flowing down Shaws Creek under various weather conditions, taking into account the impact of climate change, and a hydraulic report to look at dam safety requirements.
Based on this updated technical information, the length and width of the proposed new dam have been defined, including some minor changes to the layout from that envisioned in the 2015 Master Plan report. The planned new dam and the surrounding area have been illustrated by the Landscape Architecture and Art teams. “Alton is blessed by being the junction point of a number of trail systems, and the project will be interlaced with a series of trails linking into the existing network,” said John
Hillier, principal of DTAH – Landscape Architects. “The links have been modified somewhat to respond to concerns raised by some immediate neighbours.”
Tanya Brown, also of DTAH, illustrated a number of interesting features including a raised boardwalk running along the new structure, texturing of the concrete dam and a number of sites built into the landscape as potential venues for public art installations.
Public artist Bill Pechet, illustrated a number of stand-alone art/landscape concepts under consideration including water features, unique boardwalk designs incorporating waterside “nests” or floating gathering places, and en plein air easels. Pechet also elaborated on the idea of a floating performance platform with integrated solar-powered waterfall first proposed by the late Noel Harding.
The AMA is a not-for-profit federally-incorporated association governed by a 10-person board whose sole purpose is to pursue the Alton Millpond project. More information can be found at altonmillpond.org.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded more than $120 million to some 700 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.