SCC Position on Daylighting Sawmill River

The concept of daylighting Sawmill River is an interesting one that requires further study. However, the Shubenacadie Canal Commission (SCC) does not support daylighting routes that are too close to the historic marine railway and infrastructure.

Recent concept plans for daylighting will interfere with this site and are not feasible.

The Canal Greenway, and the excavation and representation of the historic marine railway system have been under development for over 10 years and are finally being designed and slated for construction in 2015.

Dartmouth Cove and the water flowing into it was used by the Mi’kmaq and was the site of the original European settlement. In 1827 what is now Sullivan’s Pond was excavated by the Canal workers to provide a head water for the five locks which would be built between the Pond and Halifax Harbour. In 1859 work began on a Marine Rail system which would replace the Locks and transport boats across this terrain.

Elements of these structures were later incorporated into the Starr Manufacturing facility. Parts of these structures still remain below the surface and it is these which the Shubenacadie Canal Commission wishes to protect and promote because they have heritage and cultural significance.

They are also integral to the revitalization of the canal system which could have significant impact on recreation and tourism in the area.

The Shubenacadie Canal Commission takes the firm position that the daylighting must not adversely affect any of the historical features of the Shubenacadie Canal within the Greenway, including the Inclined Plane/Marine Railway, the Power House/Turbine Chamber and other assets

We would be pleased to work with the proponents of the Sawmill River daylighting project to clarify our concerns and to assist in proposing workable solutions, if they exist.