Advocacy Program

Whitewater Ontario is deeply concerned about the erosion of the rights of paddlers and other users of the province's waterways. Whitewater Ontario is and has been involved in river access and preservation through such projects as the Minden Wild Water Preserve on the Gull River, negotiating with land owners to provide access to the Crowe Bridge play spot, and keeping involved in the struggle over the Petawawa hydroelectric project.

If you are interested in helping please contact Whitewater Ontario at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

See the Advocacy news section for current information or the Advocacy Issues section for ongoing issues and access agreement testimonials.

Minden II GS-July 16.2105, Public Community Meeting Summary Report

As you are aware, Orillia Power Generation Corporation is proposing to desing, build and operate a 3.0 MW generating station on the Gull River just below the Horseshoe Lake Dam approximately 5 km north fo the Town of Minden. As required under the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) Orillia Power Generation Corporation held a Public Community Meeting on July 16, 2015 at the Minden Hills Township Office. Attached is a copy of the Summary Report of this meeting.

Please see the attachment below - Orillia Power Jun.16 Public Meeting Summary Report for the complete document.

If you can't see the attachment, please click below to download directly.


Orillia Power Generation Proposal: July update part 2

Here is a more detailed update on the current Orillia proposal. If you have any questions or would like to be involved in the WO Advocacy Committee around this project, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you can't see the attachment, please click below to download directly:

Download this file (WO Update_July2015_150727.pdf)WO Update_July2015_150727.pdf[ ]663 kB

Orillia Power Generation Proposal: July update part 1

Whitewater Ontario (WO) has been approached by Orillia Power to consider a proposal to install a generating station at the preserve. Updates were posted here in the spring and fall of 2014 to advise members that these discussions were occurring but were very preliminary.  We remain in discussion with Orillia Power and this Spring they formalized a proposal.

Throughout discussions, WO has emphasized that this is a unique paddling resource and one we wish to protect for all paddlers. WO is continuing discussions with Orillia Power, as opposed to rejecting the proposal outright because Orillia Power owns the land which WO leases from them to create public access. The preserve covers only the upper section of the river. All land below horseshoe falls is owned by Orillia, and leased back to WO. Diversion of water can only have a negative impact but losing access to the river will also have a negative impact. WO does not want to jeapordize paddler access by rejecting the proposal outright as this might lead to termination of the lease, loss of access, or a large increase in annual lease payment (currently $200/yr).

In addition, Orillia Power has fully acknowledged the importance of the paddling use and has given a commitment to finding a solution that would benefit both parties. This would not only preserve access to the river but could provide more predictable control over flows during the paddling season to benefit the paddling community as well as some financial support to help sustain WO activities. Orillia would divert flow only overnight and outside of the paddling season and in some instances divert some excess water during extremely high flows.

At this point WO has not signed any form of agreement. We have retained legal counsel and are exploring options with Orillia around an initial application that they are making as a first step in applying to generate power.  

Any formal proposal will be subject to a full environmental assessment process which will be open to all views and perspectives and may impose certain conditions such as paddler rights on Orillia, regardless of any agreement between WO and Orillia Power.

WO is preparing more detailed background information which will be posted here and distributed to all members shortly. Stay tuned for Part 2.

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