Cleveland Dam Updates


On Thursday, October 1, the spillway gate at the Cleveland Dam released a large volume of water into the Capilano River while it was undergoing maintenance.

Our deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences go out to those affected by this event and for the loss of life.

We recognize the impact that this has had on everyone involved. We have commenced an urgent and comprehensive review that will look at everything from programming, operations, and internal protocols. We are one hundred per cent committed to determining the cause, making improvements, and taking all necessary action to ensure this never happens again.

We will provide updates as the review and information unfolds.


Friday, October 30, 2020 – Cleveland Dam Event Update

On October 8, 2020, Metro Vancouver reported that the tragic event at the Cleveland Dam during drum gate maintenance work on October 1 was due to human error.

Today, Metro Vancouver further reports that three employees have been dismissed from employment with Metro Vancouver.

Metro Vancouver continues to cooperate fully with external agencies in their investigations, and will not be providing further comment at this time.


Friday, October 9, 2020 - Cleveland Dam Operational Update In Anticipation of Heavy Rainfall

 Cleveland Dam Operational Update In Anticipation of Heavy Rainfall



Thursday, October 8, 2020 - Preliminary Review Findings Of Cleveland Dam Event

 Metro Vancouver Releases Preliminary Review Findings of Cleveland Dam Event of October 1, 2020



Monday, October 5, 2020 - Statement from Jerry Dobrovolny, Commissioner, Metro Vancouver

We continued to work through the weekend on an urgent and comprehensive review that has been looking at everything from programming and operations to internal protocols. We activated our Emergency Operations Centre to enhance the efficiency with which we can get answers on what happened and we are working collaboratively with other agencies such as the RCMP and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on their investigations.

The review is still underway, and there are some questions for which we are still confirming answers, however, we are confident at this point that the event did not involve terrorism, sabotage, or malicious intent. We are committed to providing updates as information becomes available.

In addition to supporting emergency responders, our first priority was to secure the dam and ensure that it was safe. The structural integrity of the dam remains intact, and there is no safety concern regarding the dam. One of the first steps we took was to lock out the spillway gate to prevent any further release over the spillway and give us a stable environment in which to conduct the review.

A key function of the dam is to ensure that both the lake levels and river levels remain safe. Because we are now into autumn and expecting heavy rainfall this weekend, we have been assessing the appropriate release of water, and beginning this evening we will be lowering the level of the lake below the elevation of the spillway gate so that the gate can be lowered and taken out of service by the end of the weekend. We are adding additional staff to monitor our operational practice during this activity. Once the spillway gate is fully open, we expect it will remain so through the winter.

Residents will continue to see fluctuations in the river throughout the fall and winter, both from natural weather patterns and from updated operational requirements for the dam.

We have heard very clearly from the public an interest in understanding the nature of alarm systems on dams. The two dams that we operate, Seymour Falls Dam and Cleveland Dam, do not have external, public-facing alarm systems. As part of our review and assessment, we are exploring options to improve our system, including the possible addition of alarm systems.

The first priority of the emergency response was to respond to people impacted by the surge of water. Following that, we conducted an environmental survey to identify possible impacts to fish. As part of this, our fisheries consultant surveyed sensitive stranding sites along the Capilano River and found no stranded or isolated fish or notable concerns. This information has been provided to the Province.

Naturally, the thing we are first and foremost concerned with is the impact of this event on human life and the fear and anxiety this has caused those who regularly use the park. The recommendations that result from our review will have this at the front of mind, as we want to be able to ensure that we have taken every available step so that this does not happen again.



Friday, October 2, 2020 - Statement from Jerry Dobrovolny, Commissioner, Metro Vancouver

On Thursday, October 1, the spillway gate at the Cleveland Dam released a large volume of water into the Capilano River while it was undergoing maintenance.

Our deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences go out to those affected by this event and for the loss of life.

We recognize the impact that this has had on everyone involved. We have commenced an urgent and comprehensive review that will look at everything from programming, operations, and internal protocols. We are one hundred per cent committed to determining the cause, making improvements, and taking all necessary action to ensure this never happens again.

The structural integrity of the dam remains intact, and there is no safety concern regarding the dam. We have physically locked the gate of the dam to control the water level to expedite the review, have activated the Emergency Operations Centre and continue to support the RCMP and other agencies in their investigation work.

We will provide updates as the review and information unfolds.



Friday, October 2, 2020 - Media Briefing on Cleveland Dam Event