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This beautiful stretch of whitewater has been scheduled to be the venue for the whitewater events at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Games. It is located just below the dam at Horseshoe Lake, where the Trent Severn Waterway holds back large amounts of water in order to prevent flooding of Minden. Unfortunately, this past spring the 100-year flood levels were just too much for the dam, and many areas in Minden have been flooded.

Usually suffering from low water volume in the summer, this year the water levels and volume are still at record levels. All the rain has kept the Horseshoe Lake water levels above the dam very high and the river continues to run strong. There were still sandbags on the concrete walls on both sides of the river, as the evidence of the recent flood.

Sand bags on the concrete walls above the dam

The spring flooding of the Gull River has damaged infrastructure at the Minden Wild Water Preserve. Just below the dam, you can see the toppled wall, part of the engineered whitewater course, built in 1972 from heavy concrete blocks. The heavy and long wall was installed to funnel water onto the side of the main channel. When the large blocks gave in, water rushed in and opened another river arm on the left side, creating an island. The problem is that if left this way, the main channel wouldn’t get in the summer months enough water. In addition, the erosion in the left channel might continue, altering significantly the entire course.

Damaged concrete block wall below the dam

Kayaker coming down from the upper part of the river

 

There was a kayak race in the morning, which I regrettably missed, so the following photos are from the afternoon after the slalom gates have been taken down.

On the top of the chute

Coming Through, one way or another!

Nothing will stop this fellow

Looking ahead to the next set of rapids.

Planning the next step

If you don’t feel like paddling, you can enjoy the spray of the whitewater in a more leisurely way. Not recommended for people who tend to roll in their sleep.

Woman On The Rocks

The bottom portion of the course is very popular, especially at high water levels. The last few rapids are not dangerous, but still fun to play in.

Perfectly synchronized team in an inflatable kayak.

Two men in a tandem kayak

In the calm water below the course

 

In closing, it was the strongest summer flow I’ve seen on this river in thirty years. A few years back, I used to run it in my Mad River Explorer canoe myself, but having seen that recent power of the river, from now on, I think, I’ll stick just to photographing others.

 

For more pictures from the whitewater course, you can visit my FAA Gallery at http://les-palenik.artistwebsites.com/art/all/whitewater2013-07-13/all

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Open Canoe Slalom Race – Minden 2011
This small book showcases the Open Canoe Slalom Race that took place on the beautiful Gull River in Minden Wild Water Preserve on September 10-11, 2011.

This is a “print-on-demand” book in 8″x10″ landscape format that can be ordered from Blurb or directly from Advantica.

Click here for more information or view the online version

Canadian Whitewater Slalom – Minden 2010
This small book captures events at the Canadian Whitewater Kayak Slalom Championship that took place on the beautiful Gull River in Minden Wild Water Preserve on August 1, 2010.

This is a “print-on-demand” book in 8″x10″ landscape format that can be ordered from Blurb or directly from Advantica.

Click here for more information or view the online version

Ontario Cottage Country Panoramas

Our new book Ontario Cottage Country Panoramas just arrived from the printer. The book has been designed and printed in the same style as our previous three panoramic books – 9″x6″ in size, with 64 glossy pages, and a glossy laminated hardcover.

This time, we combined four regions in the same book – Muskoka, Georgian Bay, Haliburton, and Algonquin Park. Most of the places shown in the book can be reached by car in a few hours from Toronto. Some are slightly more remote and can be reached only by a boat or small airplane.

All photographs are new – unpublished before. Some of the photographs spread over two pages, others fit one page and there are a few pages with 2 or 4 images. The books are now being distributed to the local bookstores and can be ordered also directly from Advantica.

Click here for more information

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