Introduction

The Tee Lake dam and a log slide was built in 1880 by the "Gordon Creek Improvement" company founded by JR Booth, Alex Lumsden and Alex Gordon to float logs from the southern part of lake Kipawa to a sawmill in Pembroke on the Ottawa River.

It was built according to the custom of the time - timber cribs filled with rock.

In 1956, the Commonwealth Plywood Company solidified the dam and poured cement in between the rocks in the cribs to create a solid base for a bridge they built to carry traffic to its sawmill. 

While it provided reliable service for many years, the wooden cribs of the dam slowly deteriorated and on August 20, 1983, the engineer Lionel Rainville Ministry from the Quebec Ministry of the Environment declared that "the dam is putting the lives of Temiscaming residents in danger" 

On 6 September 1983, the Attorney General authorized the Ministry of Environment to proceed with the removal of three stop logs in the dam in order to lower the lake level by 1.5 meters and reduce the pressure against the dam. 

This caused a lot of problems for the  residents of the north west bays of the lake. Stumps protruded through the shallow water in the bays and navigation became hazardous. Swimming was no longer possible in the shallow, mud covered lake bottom. 

A committee of local residents chaired by Raymond Moreau was formed and held numerous meetings with the city of Temiscaming, the municipality of Kipawa and the Ministry of Environment of Quebec to repair the dam. 

In 1985, an engineer from the Ministry of Environment of Quebec concluded that the dam could be stabilized by anchoring the two cement bases that were slowly slipping away from the rest of the dam with two steel rebar rods. He also recommended that “calibrated” stones (stones that were big enough so the current would not wash them away) be installed against the stop logs at the discharge of the dam. The steel rods were installed in December 2005 and the three stop logs that had been removed were re installed in May 1986 and the lake returned to its normal level. 

Since the dam in the municipality of Kipawa, the Ministry of Environment asked the municipality in September 1986 to inspect the dam on a regular basis and to remove the logs that may accumulate in front of the dam so they would not exert additional pressure against the dam. After many hot discussions. an agreement was finally reached in March 1987. 

In 1996, heavy rains caused a few older wooden coffer dams in the Chicoutimi area of Québec to fail. Twelve people died 16.000 were evacuated. 

The government then created an inventory of all dams in the province of Québec. They identified … orphan dams (dams with no owners). 

They classified these dams according to the threat posed to the population and on April 11, 2002, they adopted the law of dam safety.

This law stated that all dams classified as Danger Level A must be upgraded to meet government regulations or be removed by April 2006. 

As it turned out, the most dangerous orphan dam in Quebec was the Tee Lake dam. The government informed all interested parties ( the city of Temiscaming, the municipality of Kipawa and the Tee Lake residents Association ) that if nobody came forward to take possession of the dam, it would be removed. 

Thus began the saga of the Tee Lake Dam whose history is reproduced down here below ...


( Most of the meeting minutes are in French. If you need help in understanding the content, call  a member of the committee and we will be pleased to translate it for you. ) 

December 4 2006:  For all practical purposes, the lake has finally regained it's normal level. (photo) Time to party !

November 23 2006:  The water has been flowing over the new dam for two days now. The bypass creek has been sealed (photo) and is dry (photo). The water level of teh lake has been rising slowly and is within 17 cm ( 7 inches) of "normal" level. The final level should be attained by the middle of next week.

November 18 2006:  It's a questions of only a few days days ! The dam is now under pressure is the water is within a few cm of overflowing. (photo) The bypass creek has been partially obstructed with ciment blocks (photo). The lake level has begun to rise and will overflow when the bypass creek is fully blocked up next week.

November 10 2006:  Last cement pour ! The last cement pour was completed today. The water lake level should resume it's normal level next week.

Octobre 29, 2006:  Much progress was made this week Target date to complete the new dam: Mid November 2006. 

October 2, 2006:  Beginning of the end ? Last week, Construction Beaulé poured the first of some 40 pours that will be required to complete the dam. Part of the north wall along with some of the dam foundation has now been poured. (photo)

Sept 19, 2006:  The reconstruction of the dam is at least six weeks behind schedule. The comitte has indicated it's concern with this situation to the contractor and the CEHQ. Although, no guarantees were provided, indications from both parties are that the situation is serious but under control and teh dam should be completed by this winter. 

August 28, 2006: Where the Tee lake dam once stood (photo)

August 21, 2006: The coffer dam is now in place (photo 1) (photo 2). Work to reduce leakage through the coffer dam is ongoing. The removal of the timber cribs has begun. Earth and other loose material are being removed right down to solid rock(photo).   

August 14, 2006: Work on the new dam is progressing.  The coffer dam is now partially in place (photoand water has begun to flow through the alternate route some 300 meters West. The lake level will raise a dozen or so centimeters in the next few days  and it will maintain this level until it returns to it's normal level in September. 

July 17, 2006: The MRC and the ministère du Développement durable have reached an agreement. The construction of the new dam resumes. The bridge over the dam has been relocated 300 meters away where the water flow will be diverted during the construction of the new dam. (photo)

July 12,  2006: An agreement between the MRC de Témiscaminque and the Quebec ministry of environment seems imminent. Listen to the reaction of the President of Tee Lake Association concerning the Town of Temiscaming council meeting last night ( interview in French).

July 7, 2006: At the request of the manager of the CEHQ, the work to rebuild the Tee Lake dam have been suspended until the MRC of Témiscaminque signs a memorandum of agreement with le ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs for the rebuilding, operation and maintenance of the new dam. Seems the municipalities did not react fast enough at the last offer from the government.The subject will be discussed next Tuesday July the 11 th at the regular Town of Temiscaming council meeting to be held at 7:00 PM at the Centre. Lake residents are strongly encouraged to attend.  

June 23, 2006: The reconstruction of the Tee lake dam is underway. Click here  for a few photos of the grounds preparation work. 

May 25, 2006: We have received the autorisation from the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune for work of general nature on Tee Lake. This autorisation is valid for all lake residents. Click here  for a copy of the document ( pdf document and in french). It is recommended that you read it carefully and keep a printed copy on hand.

May 5, 2006: Very encouraging news. The project to rebuild the Tee Lake dam is posted for tender ! The bids will be opened June 2 2006.

April 29, 2006: It's done.  The removal of 6 stop logs at the dam this past winter have caused the lake to drop just over 2 meters. The result: see the two photos above. There is less than a meter of water in the bay. The residents are eagerly waiting the reconstruction of the new dam this summer promised by the goverment last December. Meanwhile, people are bracing for a summer by the "swamp". Today the bay was filled with a stong odor of wet mud. Nevertheless these people are happy. Others in a another nearby bay have practically NO water left !  Click here to see photo.  

March 21, 2006: An information meeting will be held this coming Wednesday, April 26,  7:00 pm in the Community Centre. with representatives of the Québec ministry of "Développement durable, de l’Environnement" and the ministry of "Parcs et  Ressources naturelles et de la Faune". They will be there to answer any questions you may have concerning repairs to your dock or to the beach area this summer while the lake level is low due the reconstruction of the dam. Click here for a summary of the discussion courtesy of the Contact 

To apply for a permit to conduct work on the lake or it's shoreline ( as it used to be with normal water level) contact  Caroline Gagne,  180 Boulevard Rideau, Rouyn Noranda, Québec, J9X1N9 phone no. (819) 763-3333 poste 296,caroline.gagne@fapaq.gouv.qc.ca

March 15,2006: Living with two 1000 litres water reservoirs in the living room - a challenging situation.

March 1, 2006: At a special meeting this evening, the lake residents have agreed to stipulate that the normal lake level will be 47 as per the level gage installed in March 2003 by the CEHQ after the new dam is built this summer. Click here for minutes of the meeting (in french)

February 21, 2006: A sixth stop log was removed this morning. Read article from the Temiscaming newspaper Le Contact

February 15, 2006:  As part of it's engineering work to rebuild the dam, the CEHQ must establish the final lake level. A general meeting of the lake residents will be held in the Temiscaming Community Centre ( Desjardins Hall),  Wednesday March 1 at 7:30 pm to gain consensus on the subject. Click here for a graph showing the historical level of the lake. If you cannot make the meeting please send your comments by email to secretaire@riverainslactee.com or by telephone or in person to any members of the committee.  

February 14, 2006: A fifth stop log was removed around 10:00 am this morning. 

February 9, 2006: More families are now without water. The lake has now reached a critically low level and many families are now without utility and drinking water till the level is restored.  

February 8, 2006: Reconstruction of the Tee Lake Dam. Click here for an article from the Temiscaming community paper "Le Contact".

February 8, 2006: A fourth stop log was removed this morning. The water is now 141 cm ( 4 ft 7.5 inches) below normal

February 1, 2006: The municipality of Kipawa has received a request for a "Certificate of Compliance" to municipal bylaws to rebuild the Tee lake dam this summer from the centre d'expertise hydrique du Québec.

January 31, 2006: A third stop log was removed this afternoon.

January 21, 2006: A family has asked the municipality of Kipawa for a water delivery service similar to the one being offered in Témiscaming. They will lose their water supply when the next stop log is removed. They cannot extend their water pipe deeper into the lake until the 30 to 40 cm of ice now covering the lake has melted.

January 17,  2006: Another stop log was removed from the dam this morning. The lake level will drop approximately 30 cm in  the next 24 to 48 hrs. Check your water pump intake.

January 12, 2006: This evening the Town of Temiscaming has approved funds to assist it's citizens whose permanent homes are on Tee Lake to make through a unique and temporary water problem.  Families wishing to subscribe to a water delivery service are to set themselves up (at their cost) with the necessary reservoirs to receive and store water to be used for hygienic purposes only. For more information, contact the committee members or call Claude Loyer au 627 3827 for water reservoirs.

December 13, 2005: Click here to listen to the association's president reaction to yesterday`s announcement of a new offer by the Quebec governement to rebuild the Tee lake dam ( CKVM radio station - French).  

December 12, 2005: The Governement of Québec has tabled a new offer to rebuild the Tee Lake dam. Under this new offer, the Government would fully pay for the reconstruction of the dam and they would own it . The municipalities would pay up to $7,000 per year for inspections and maintenance. For more information listen to Daniel Bernard on CKVM.( French interview)  The association are very happy with this latest proposal and will work with the municipalities to ensure the full time lake residents have access to water until the lake water level is restored.

December 9,  2005: A stop log has been removed this morning. The lake level will drop 30 cm in the next 24 hours.

December 6, 2005: The Quebec ministry of the Environment has requested that the following french form (click here) be filled in and sent to 180, boulevard Rideau, 1st floor

December 5, 2005: Follow up meeting with the Public Curator: More than 150 persons showed up to meet with personel from the Public Curator's office and the "Centre d'expertise hydrique du Québec". Once again, the Public Curator demonstrated how easy it is to solve complicated issues when you simply chose not to deal with collateral damage. The public curator's response to the attendance's  plea NOT to lower the lake level until they had a chance to organise their water supply for the winter was in effect: Not my problem. Deal with it ! The lake level will begin to drop this Friday. Click here for Luc Blanchette's response on the local radio station CKVM earlier today ( French).

November 30, 2005: It is recommended that all Tee Lake cottage and home owners drawing their water from the lake with through a submersible pump remove them from the lake to prevent damages from freezing later this winter if the Curator goes ahead with the planned removal of 6 stop logs at the dam. Other measures will need to be put in place for the 52 families that are permanent residents.

Follow up meeting with the public curator.

A follow up meeting will be held in Dottori Hall of  the Temiscaming Community Centre next Monday, December 5 th at 8:15 PM with Serge Goulet of the  "Centre Hydrique du Québec" and M. Guy Luc Jacques of the Quebec Public Curator office to answer questions that could not be answered earlier this week.All are invited to participate.

November 29, 2005: This morning, the "centre hydrique du Québec" began the dam stabilisation work required before they begin removing stop logs later in December. 

November 28, 2005: Very disappointing meeting. Close to 200 people showed up only to learn that the engineers from the Centre d`expertise hydrique du Québec were not present to answer their questions. During the meeting it was learned that although much effort was deployed in planning for the removal of the stop logs, NONE had been put deployed to ensure that the drinking water supply of permanent lake residents would not be interrupted. Click here to listen to the reaction of the association president on the local radio station CKVM (French). Click here to read comments from Radio Canada (French).

November 23, 2005: The public curator has indicated he will be removing a stop log every 2 weeks as of November 29 th till the end of February 2006. This will drop the lake level by 1.8 meters !  Click here   to hear the reaction of the association president on the Ville Marie radio station CKVM. 

The town of Temiscaming has passssed a resolution to rebuild teh Tee Lake dam. A joint meeting will be held November 24 th with the municipality of Kipawa to plan the next steps.

November 21, 2005: The water flow from lake Kiapwa will be restored to it's pre October 21 level. Tee lake level should rise approx 20 cm..

November 17,  2005:   The Public Curator of Québec jumps to action ! He will gradually remove  6 stop logs and permantly drop the lake level by 1.8 meters.  Lake residents will lose access to drinking and utility water !  Click here for more details.

November 16, 2005:  The municipality of Kipawa in favor of rebuilding the Tee lake Dam. Click here for more details ( article from community newspaper Contact ) 

November 15, 2005: The first regular meeting of the new Temiscaming Town council was held this today. The association committee requested a special meeting to brief the new council members about the Tee lake dam issue. A meeting has been scheduled for November 28 at 7:00 PM 

October 21, 2005: The water flow from Lake Kipawa to Tee Lake has been reduced to allow Tembec and Hydro Québec to complete some work. The lake water level will drop by 20 cm. The water flow to Tee lake and it's level will be restored by November 18 2005 at the latest.

September 13 and 14, 2005:  The municipalities of Temiscaming and Kipawa held their regularly scheduled meetings. Association Committee members attended. It was agreed to hold a second inter-municipal meeting on the subject of the Tee Lake Dam Sept 20.  

September 6 2005:  The municipalities of Temiscaming and Kipawa are meeting to discuss the solution offered by the CEHQ this past May 24 th 

July 15  2005:  The water flow from Kipawa Lake into Tee Lake will return to the rate it had before Hydro Quebec began it's work last June 21. As a result , Tee Lake level should rise by about 20 cm and return to it's pre June 21 height. Discussions of the Temiscaming - Kipawa municipalities with the Québec government to permanently resolve the dam situation are ongoing.

June 29 2005:  The water flow from lake Kipawa has been increased to 11 m3/sec this morning. Tee Lake level should recoup some of the 33 cm drop experienced recently.

June 28 2005:  The lake level has dropped 33 cm since Hydro Quebec began the repairs to the Lumsden dam and the temperature at the west end bay is now up to 28.3 deg C (83 F). According to Hydro Quebec, the water flow from Lake Kipawa will be increased to 12 m3/ sec this coming Thursday and the lake water level will be partially restored. The water flow will be fully restored by July 14 ands the lake level should return to the level observed before they began their work on Lumsden dam. 

June 25 2005:  The lake level continues to drop and the water temperature of the shallow bays continues to climb. The lake level according to the gage at the dam is now 10 ( instead of the normal 47 ) and the lake water temperature at the west end bay is now 22.2 deg C ( 72 deg. F).

June 23 2005:  A representative from Hydro Québec observed first hand, the devastating impact of the drop in the lake water level resulting from the almost 50 % reduction of water flow from Kipawa Lake earlier this week. The flow will be partially restored by next Tuesday to attenuate the Tee Lake water level drop while maintaining a safe working environment for the contractors at the Lumsden dam.

June 22 2005: Work at the Temiscaming, Lumsden dam causes the  Tee Lake level to drop ! The water flow from Kipawa Lake to du Moulin / Tee lake has been reduced to approximately 8 m3/ sec at the request of Hydro Québec while contractors carry out their work on Lumsden dam. As a result, the west end of Tee Lake has dropped by 17 cm and lake du Moulin has dropped by over 30 cm. The quality of drinking water of many residents is threatened. Hydro Quebec has been informed of the situation. More news tomorrow.

June 14 2005: The municipality of Temiscaming confirms that in collaboration with the municipality of Kipawa Tee Lake, it will pursue discussions with the government to resolve the Tee lake dam problem. 

June 12  2005: General Meeting of the association members: The offer made to permanently resolve the Tee dam problem was presented and discussed. Working together, the municipalities will take the lead role in negotiating an agreement with the government    

June 8 2005: The municipality of Kipawa Tee Lake confirms that in collaboration with the municipality of Kipawa Tee Lake, it will pursue discussions with the government to resolve the Tee lake dam problem. 

May 24 2004:  A meeting was held today between the general manager of the "Centre Expertise Hydrique du Québec", the mayors of Temiscaming and Kipawa-Tee Lake and three members of the Tee Lake Cottage and Home Owners Association to discuss a plan to permanently resolve the Tee Lake Dam situation. An information meeting of the association members will be held on Sunday, June 12, 10:00 AM at 308 chemin du lac Tee and you are strongly urged to attend or have someone represent you. More details are available from any member of the association committee.

December 22 2004:  A teleconference was held between the Quebec Public Curator, the"Centre d'expertise hydrique (CEHQ)", the provincial member of parliament, Daniel Bernard and two members of the Tee Lake Association. The CEHQ have received the results of studies conducted for them in November and they have begun to analyse them. They will be providing medium and short term recommendations to the Public Curator by January 31, 2005. They will also discuss the type of permanent solution to the Tee Lake dam problem that would be acceptable to them. A follow up meeting of all participants and the Temiscaming and Kipawa municipalities on or before January 31. 

November 4 2004 : The "Centre d'expertise hydrique du Québec (CEHQ)"  (hydro dam experts) is conducting an under water inspection of the dam today. This work will be followed by core drilling and seismic studies  in the next few days. The CEHQ will then be better positioned to make recommendations as required in the future.

October 28 2004: Alert - the lake water level will NOT return to it's normal level for the winter. According to our latest information , the stop log removed in July to drop the lake level will not be re installed. For more information click here (French letter)  

July 21 2004:  Alert:  At 2:30 PM today the Public Curator has removed one stop log from the Tee Lake Dam. The lake water level will drop by 30 cm. For more details contact one of the Committee members. Click here for memo from public curator ( pdf document - French) 

July 3 2004:  General meeting of the association members ( Meeting was held - details in a few days) 

June 21 2004:  Meeting of the Association committee with the mayors of Temiscaming and Kipawa. More details at the general meeting July 3.

June 9 2004:  Meeting of the Association committee with the Municipal council for the town of Kipawa. Following the meeting, the council appointed two of their members to works with the Association committee on the Tee lake dam problem.

May 28, 2004:  Association committee meeting minutes. For more details click here ( French Document)  

July 16,2003:  Association committee meeting minutes. For more details click here ( French Document) 

March 26 2003:  A level gauge was installed by the Ministry of the Environment and the Association Committee have been asked to read the lake level daily during the spring runoff period. 

March 12  2003:  The March 19 meeting has been postponed and will be rescheduled in April 2003 (  Exact date to be announced ) 

February 19, 2003: The next meeting with the Public Curator is scheduled for Wednesday, March 19, 2003 at 1:00 PM in the Desjardins Hall of the Temiscaming Centre. The meeting is open to the general public and a particular invitation is extended to the cottage and home owners of Tee Lake, du Moulin Lake and Coal Pit Bay.  

February 12, 2003: The mid February meeting with the curator has been rescheduled to mid March - ( Exact date to be announced )

February 5, 2003: New bridge at the dam. Click here for more details

January 13, 2003: Association committee meeting minutes. For more details click here ( French Document) 

January 12, 2003: The mid February meeting with the curator has been rescheduled to mid February - ( Exact date to be announced )

December 17, 2002: Next meeting with the Public Curator is scheduled for mid January 2003

December 7, 2002: Pictures of the rock reinforcement work done on the Tee Lake dam in November 2002

December 4, 2002: Article published in the Temiscaming community newspaper "Contact" 

November 27, 2002: The stop log removed in August 2002 was re installed this morning. The water level should return to it's normal level over the next 4 days. Click here for photo 

November 23, 2002: Work to temporarily repair the dam and restore the lake water level till the spring 2004 will be carried out before the end of this month. 

November 6, 2002: The Regional Municipality and the Association commits to inspecting the dam on a weekly basis. For more details click here ( French Document) 

November 2, 2002: Winter is quickly approaching. The water lines of some Home owners are exposed to freezing. A meeting of the association committee was held to reply to the Curator's request for weekly inspection of the dam. Click here for minutes of the meeting ( French Document)l

October 17, 2002 : The public curator has proposed to re install the stop log that was removed in August in order to restore the lake to it's normal level for the coming winter in order to ensure the water supply of the residents is not affected when the lake freezes over. Some further re enforcement of the dam will be required and the work could begin if  an  inspector can be officially designated to inspect the dam once a week. For more details see report click here ( French only )

September 29, 2002 : A meeting of the association committee was held. Click here fore minutes of the meeting (French only at this time)

September 24, 2002 : A meeting was held with the Public Curator of Quebec to discus the Tee lake dam. Click here for details

September 22, 2002 : A meeting of the association committee was held. Click here  for minutes of the meeting (French only at this time)

September 9, 2002 : The association committee meets with the council of the town of Temiscaming. Temiscaming and obtain official support for discussions to settle the Tee Lake water level problem.