25 May 2023

You will find attached an important motion adopted by the Aylmer Heritage Association on May 24, 2023, in order to preserve the remains of the Deschênes Dam. If you haven’t done so yet, we invite you to sign the petition you will find at the following address, but one can sign it only once: https://www.assnat.qc.ca/fr/exprimez-votre-opinion/petition/Petition-10179/index.html

The deadline for signing is June 7.





Whereas the Aylmer Heritage Association has, for nearly 50 years, had the mandate and the role of overseeing the preservation and the enhancement of local heritage, both built and natural;
Whereas the Association has intervened on several occasions in this dossier over the last few decades;
Whereas the Deschênes dam is of major importance in the hydroelectric development of Aylmer and the entire region (one of the first hydroelectric power plants in Quebec), notably by supplying Aylmer and, for a time, Hull, with electricity;
Whereas this 1895 major feat of engineering of the Conroy brothers of Aylmer and Deschênes brought to the territory the first streetcar service between Ottawa, Hull, Aylmer and the famous Queen’s Park amusement park, at the western end of Aylmer;
Whereas the proposed demolition of the dam will inevitably have negative, if not disastrous, ecological consequences, and the preservation of natural heritage is also the focus of the Aylmer Heritage Association;
Whereas archaeological research on the site has revealed artefacts that bear witness to an ancestral aboriginal occupation;
Whereas the Quebec government designated this section of the Ottawa River as a historic site in 2017;
Whereas the site is part of a ZICO (Zone importante de conservation des oiseaux) [Important Bird Area] and is home to the greatest diversity of bird species in the Outaouais with more than 266 species already recorded;
Whereas Deschênes Rapids Park is part of the Chemins d’eau [Water Ways], a Quebec tourist route that runs along the Gatineau and Ottawa Rivers;
Whereas Deschênes Rapids Park is listed as a potential development site in the Urban Outdoor Plan adopted by the City of Gatineau in 2019; and
Whereas the community is committed to the preservation and development of the site to protect its heritage, archaeological, identity, ecological, recreational and tourism values;
Be it resolved that the Aylmer Heritage Association strongly opposes any project to demolish the remains of the Deschênes dam and joins all groups wishing to maintain it as a major heritage and tourist site for the region.