Central Area (Bethune Street) Flood Reduction Project

busy downtown square

Protecting the central area from flooding

The Bethune Street Flood Reduction project was one of the top priorities that came out of the Flood Reduction Master Plan process after the flood in July 2004 that caused significant damage valued at more than $100 million, with substantial flooding in the central area (downtown). While the City of Peterborough has been doing flood reduction projects throughout the community, creating a major storm sewer that would divert storm water from Jackson Creek around the downtown to Little Lake was the largest single project in the recommendations from the Flood Reduction Master Plan.

In July 2015, it was announced that we were successful in our application for $15.9 million in federal and provincial funding from the Small Communities Fund for the climate adaptation project that will include the construction of the Jackson Creek storm water diversion sewer as well as reconstruction of the sanitary sewer along Bethune Street from Dalhousie Street to Dublin Street.

The project will create new storm and sanitary infrastructure, increased capacity, and enhanced storm water diversion to help protect the community's central area from the effects of significant flood events.

The project helps the City adapt to climate change-related events. Installing new and larger capacity infrastructure ensures a much more resilient community.

The project includes:

  • Installing a major storm sewer to divert high water flows from Jackson Creek to mitigate potential flood damage in the central area
  • Reconstructing Bethune Street from Dublin Street to Townsend Street
  • Increasing the sanitary sewer capacity to support growth in the north end of Peterborough


The project is going ahead in two phases.

In September 2019, we awarded the contract for the first phase for the construction of the diversion sewer outlet at George and Townsend streets as well as the rehabilitation of the bridge under George Street at that location. That work was completed in 2020.

The second phase is beginning in early April 2021 for the installation of a large box culvert under Bethune Street that runs from Jackson Creek at McDonnel Street at the north end to the newly constructed outlet to Little Lake at Townsend Street at the south end. The construction is expected to be done by late fall 2022. The project also includes work on sanitary and storm sewers, the water main, curbs and gutters, sidewalks, streetlights, and road reconstruction on Townsend and Bethune streets.

Project area

Map of project area


 Studies and reports