Time-Out (Waterloo, Ontario)

In 1966, to prevent flooding, a dam was built across Laurel Creek in the northwest part of the city of Waterloo. At the same time, a 101 hectare section of forested land, immediately upstream from the dam, was clear cut. As the dam became operational in 1967, the cleared land was flooded and became known as the Laurel Creek Reservoir.

Each fall, the reservoir is emptied to make room for the spring melt waters, thus taking on the appearance of an enormous field of black soil, empty, except for many large tree stumps scattered throughout. Some of the stumps are firmly anchored in the ground, others only partially, and still others are fully exposed. But, all are only visible for a short window of time, until the snow falls, a “time-out” from their routine underwater existence.

These stumps are the remnants of the trees that were clearcut in the formation of the reservoir, some 50 years earlier. With annual cycling in and out of the water, their appearance has changed considerably over the years. In fact, some of them now look more like finely-sculpted works of art than the original stumps!

This set of photographs was taken during the 2017/2018 “time-out”.

To view image gallery: Click here.