Phase 1 – Public Engagement

Our online public comment period for our interim public-facing alarm system is now closed. We would like to thank everyone who provided feedback, your feedback is appreciated and we will share the engagement summary in September 2021.

We will consider public feedback along with our ongoing work with dam safety experts to develop additional proposed long-term enhancements. There will be additional opportunities to share your input in the second phase of engagement, which is tentatively scheduled to take place in 2022.

For ongoing updates on the Cleveland Dam Safety Enhancements Program, please sign up for email and SMS notifications here.

 Discussion Guide



On Thursday, October 1, 2020, the spillway gate at the Cleveland Dam released a large volume of water into the Capilano River while it was undergoing maintenance. We recognize the impact that this has had on everyone involved and are committed to ensuring this never happens again. As part of our commitment to make improvements to our system we are enhancing our public-facing warning systems in two phases.

In the first phase, we will install an interim public warning system that includes audible and visible alarms and additional public warning signage and begin the first of two-phases of engagement to help inform the long-term solution for the enhanced public warning system. In the second phase, we will share what we learned through the public engagement process and how we have combined that with the expertise of third-party engineer consulting firms to inform long-term public warning system enhancements.

  Location: Capilano River Regional Park

Interim updates to our public warning systems:

Construction of this system includes installing public-facing alarms and sirens on wooden poles at seven locations along the Capilano River: (1) Cleveland Dam Screen Room, (2) Capilano River Hatchery, (3) Trans-Canada Highway Bridge, (4) Fullerton Bridge, (5) Marine Drive Bridge, (6) Taylor Way Bridge, and (7) Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant (please see map below for the public warning system locations).

  • What to expect during construction

    Construction will take place from Monday to Friday between the hours of 7 AM and 8 PM.

  • What to expect during alarm system testing

    To ensure the alarms function properly, the system requires testing. During testing you’ll hear verbal confirmation, followed by the alarm sounding for up to two minutes. The verbal instructions will be:

    “This is a TEST. This is a TEST of the Cleveland Dam emergency warning system. This is ONLY a TEST. To respond to an actual emergency, you should evacuate the Capilano River and Canyon immediately. This is ONLY a TEST. NO ACTION is required.”

    Upcoming Testing Dates

    • Thursday, October 21, 2021, 12 noon
    • Thursday, November 18, 2021, 12 noon
    • Thursday, December 16, 2021, 12 noon
  • What to expect from the alarms

Public Warning System Locations Map

Public Engagement Process

Feedback gathered through the public engagement process will be combined with the expertise of third-party engineer consulting firms who we have brought on board to help us design the long-term public warning system.

Learn more about our commitment to public engagement and our guiding principles here.

Phase 1: The first phase of engagement ran from May 13 to July 31, 2021. During this engagement, we shared early options for what could be possible to enhance the public-facing warning system along the Capilano River and listened and learned about how people access and interact with the river. We would like to thank everyone who provided feedback, your feedback is appreciated and we will share the engagement summary in September 2021.

During this phase, we engaged on:

  • Potential new dam “no access” boundaries
  • Additional public safety information signs
  • Locations of audible and visible public alarms
  • Opt-in SMS/text notification service for notifications about alarm testing and dam-related emergency events
  • Ongoing communication and education

Phase 2: In the second phase of engagement we will share the draft design for a long-term system and reflect back how we have integrated ideas generated through public engagement. Once complete, we will integrate any final changes before installing the long-term system.

If you are interested in receiving project updates, including notice when public engagement begins, please subscribe to our email list in the “Stay Connected” box on the right hand side of this page.

Cleveland Dam SMS Notification System Sign Up

The SMS text message notification system is part of a suite of tools to support public communication about the Cleveland Dam enhanced public warning system. SMS notifications will help subscribers know if the lights and sirens indicate an alarm testing situation or an actual dam-related emergency.

To sign up to receive SMS text message or email notifications about audible and visible alarm system testing or use, please read the following information and complete the online form.

Messages contain information to confirm why the audible and visible alarm system has been activated.

This system will be used to send messages related to the following two situations:

System Alarm Testing Alert:

  • In the event of a system alarm test, sirens and lights will activate, followed by a verbal warning indicating a test is underway.
  • Individuals who subscribe to the Cleveland Dam SMS Notification System will receive a message indicating that a test is underway and no action is required.

Emergency Alert:

  • In the event of an emergency alert, sirens and lights will activate.
  • Individuals who subscribe to the Cleveland Dam SMS Notification System will receive an emergency alert message indicating that anyone in the area or downstream of the Cleveland Dam should evacuate the river area immediately. An alert will also be sent when the event has ended.

To subscribe, please read and acknowledge the disclaimer:

The river and shoreline present inherent dangers, hazards and risks to those who enter, including but not limited to changes in water levels, risk of hypothermia, unexpected surges and waves, fast flowing water, rocks, branches and the risk of personal injury, death or loss of property. PERSONS USING OR ENTERING THE CAPILANO RIVER(S) AND SHORELINE AT ANY TIME DO SO AT THEIR OWN RISK.

Stay Connected

Sign up to be notified of public engagement opportunities and SMS notifications for our public warning system.


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Upcoming Testing Dates

  • Thurs, Oct 21, 2021, 12 noon
  • Thurs, Nov 18, 2021, 12 noon
  • Thurs, Dec 16, 2021, 12 noon




April – May 2021False1April – May 2021<div class="ExternalClass2865E8B96FEF491897EB5492B3124D61">Installation of interim public-facing alarms<br></div>
May – July 2021True2May – July 2021<div class="ExternalClass17CF718F7BDE47D6AD158F274FAE658F">Phase 1 engagement<br></div>
2022False42022<div class="ExternalClassF2B864F149704B0B91014F97B17E11E9">Phase 2 engagement<br></div>
June 2022False5June 2022<div class="ExternalClass51C4EE426D384061B9098F3ABB84DBEE">Final engagement report <br></div>
Fall 2022 – Early 2023False6Fall 2022 – Early 2023<div class="ExternalClass7B4BC854EC4F4C96A6C6FF3F63699192">Long term public warning system construction <br></div>


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Email: Information Centre

Cleveland Dam Updates

Read statements and updates related to the Cleveland Dam event and the Cleveland Dam Safety Enhancements Program.