Thank You for Participating in Our Engagement Survey!

Metro Vancouver conducted an online engagement survey for the Rice Lake Dams Maintenance Program from July 7 to September 7, 2022. Thank you for taking the time to help us plan how to repurpose the new, open spaces that will be created next to the north and south dams. Your input is important to us and will be used along with the advice of technical experts, to help us refine the final designs for these areas.

We have an idea board where you can continue to share what you love most about Rice Lake. Share your photo and story and your entry could be featured on construction signage around the Rice Lake Dams in 2023.

In Fall 2022, we will be sharing a summary of what we heard from the community through email and on this webpage. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments about this project, please contact our community liaison at 604-432-6200 or icentre@metrovancouver.org.


​Overview


Rice Lake, located in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, has two dams that Metro Vancouver has owned and operated since 1983. As owners of these dams, Metro Vancouver follows provincial regulations for inspection and maintenance to keep them in good working order.

A recent review of the Rice Lake dams has led to a higher classification under the BC Dam Safety Regulation. This review also identified the need for a new provincial water licence that better reflects Rice Lake’s function as a recreational lake.

To assist in preparing the new water licence application, in spring 2022 Metro Vancouver began inspection and maintenance activities at the two dams, located at the north and south end of the lake. To complete this work, vegetation and trees next to each dam will be removed. This will support effective regular inspections and monitoring of the dams and prevent roots from causing damage that would require increased maintenance.

Rice Lake Dams Assessment Area Locations

Public Warning System Locations Map


  • Tree Clearing – What To Expect
    • Crews will work to minimize the number of trees that need to be removed. It is anticipated that about 200 trees will be cleared. Most of these are small (less than a 30 cm diameter), and about 10% are dead and must be removed for public safety reasons.
    • Clearing work is scheduled to begin in early 2023.
    • Metro Vancouver is working with the District of North Vancouver and Indigenous partners to develop an appropriate tree replacement/replanting plan.
  • Engagement

    Thank You for Participating in Our Engagement Survey!

    Metro Vancouver conducted an online engagement survey for the Rice Lake Dams Maintenance Program from July 7 to September 7, 2022. Thank you for taking the time to help us plan how to repurpose the new, open spaces that will be created next to the north and south dams. Your input is important to us and will be used along with the advice of technical experts, to help us refine the final designs for these areas.

    We have an idea board where you can continue to share what you love most about Rice Lake. Share your photo and story and your entry could be featured on construction signage around the Rice Lake Dams in 2023.

    In Fall 2022, we will be sharing a summary of what we heard from the community through email and on this webpage. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments about this project, please contact our community liaison at 604-432-6200 or icentre@metrovancouver.org.

  • History of the Rice Lake Dams

    Rice Lake is a popular recreational spot with beautiful walking trails that connect visitors with other trail networks of interest within the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve.

    Rice Lake has a rich history, including a drinking water source for North Vancouver, as a logging operations site in the early 1900s, and as the recreational area it is today. While a natural lake has always been there, the current dams at Rice Lake were not constructed until the late 1950s.

    The original, smaller Rice Lake was located roughly where it sits today. An original dam was constructed at the south end of Rice Lake in the early 1900s and used to support logging operations. In the summers between 1906 and 1912, loggers from the Hastings Shingle Manufacturing Company used Rice Lake to stockpile cedar logs from surrounding forestry operations. In the fall, the dam was used to raise the lake level nearly three metres to float the logs from the lake into a flume line that transported them to Moodyville on Burrard Inlet where they were processed as cedar shingles.

    Between 1913 and 1928 an improved concrete and timber dam and tunnel were constructed providing interconnection with the City of North Vancouver water supply system, continuing to advance water infrastructure. The work was temporarily postponed due to the outbreak of World War 1, resulting in the 15-year construction timeline.

    Rice Lake was drained in the late 1940s to facilitate construction of a new water main from the Seymour reservoir, which still runs directly underneath Rice Lake today. In the late 1950s, the current earth embankment dams were constructed at the north and south ends of Rice Lake above the new water main. Rice Lake was refilled and was once again used by the City of North Vancouver as a backup reservoir for Lynn Valley’s drinking water supply.

    Flooding from heavy rains in 1981 destroyed water intakes located on Lynn Creek, reducing the recharge rate for Rice Lake. Shortly after this, the City of North Vancouver elected to end the use of Rice Lake as a supplemental water supply reservoir.

    Ownership of Rice Lake was transferred to the Greater Vancouver Water District in 1983. Metro Vancouver still maintains the lake for recreation, public education, and natural habitat preservation.


 

 

History of Rice Lake and Lower Seymour Conservation ReserveHistory of Rice Lake and Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve720458967

Timeline

 

 

Geotechnical Site InvestigationTrue3Geotechnical Site Investigation<div class="ExternalClass264B98B5AD544346B4D7A997E6784895"><p>September 2022​</p></div>
Public Engagement - Report Out on Feedback & Enhancement UpdatesFalse4Public Engagement - Report Out on Feedback & Enhancement Updates<div class="ExternalClass1380BD4385534CFEA357660086304F36"><p>​Fall 2022<br></p></div>
Tree RemovalFalse5Tree Removal<div class="ExternalClass2DE1ECD6DDF34D54AD0153E598784EA6">January 2023 – February 2023<br></div>
Dam RestorationFalse6Dam Restoration<div class="ExternalClassEDC61CCBCEF54329863EF3F8F09D6C32"><p>Spring 2023​</p></div>
Rice Lake Enhancement WorkFalse7Rice Lake Enhancement Work<div class="ExternalClassD8EEC9A06FCA437D9C5BD2A5E40777B9">Spring 2023 – Summer 2023</div>

Contact Us


Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Phone: 604-432-6200
Email: Information Centre

After Hours Emergencies:
Phone:
604-451-6610

Stay Connected


Subscribe to our mailing list to receive e-newsletters about the Rice Lake Dam Maintenance Program and other water projects.

 

Sign up