Town of Canmore

Cougar Creek

Construction on the long-term mitigation work in Cougar Creek will be starting soon. This page contains information on the Debris Retention Structure and will be updated on a regular basis during construction - keeping you up to date on impacts in the area.

Construction Timelines - Updated March 27, 2020

At this time we are still moving ahead with capital projects, this project is a key piece of infrastructure for the safety of the community. We are following the direction of the provincial health authority and working with contractors to adjust their health & safety plan accordingly. Things are changing on a daily basis and we will adjust our projects as needed.

  • Tree clearing work near the debris net has started and will be complete prior to April 15. Please expect minor disruptions in the area
  • The main contractor should begin work this spring/summer
  • Construction will be completed in 2022, with final landscaping complete in 2024
  • Trails in the area will be impacted in the following way:
    • Cougar Creek Canyon will be closed during construction
    • The two multi-use pathways on either side of the creek will remain open - short closures may be necessary
    • Montane trail and the Horseshoe trail systems will remain open - short closures may be necessary
    • The Lady MacDonald Trail will remain open - short closures may be necessary

Long-Term Mitigation: Debris Flood Retention Structure 

What will it look like?

  • 34m high rock-filled embankment dam (not constructed out of concrete)
  • Upstream and downstream faces covered by soil and seeded
  • 20m wide rock-cut spillway on the east abutment that includes wildlife egress areas

What will it do?

  • Existing channel and downstream culverts can accommodate 50-60 m3/s, but a natural event on the creek could easily reach 80 m3/s peak flow with 20% debris (fine sediment to large boulders, including gravel and woody debris)
  • The Structure reduces peak flow to 45 m3/s. It further reduces quantity of debris and removes the larger debris
  • The risk to downstream private and commercial properties, as well as infrastructure, is therefore reduced to an acceptable level
  • There is no water retention during regular operation (dry dam) – water flows freely through a low level outlet
  • A high capacity spillway is required to ensure flows can bypass the structure during an extreme flood event

Contact Us

For more information on the project email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or sign up to our mailing list below

Subscribe to Cougar Creek Mailing List

* indicates required
For more history on Cougar Creek visit the Creek Resources Webpage
Website Security Test