Cleveland Dam, North Vancouver

Depending on the weather, the water flow from the dam can either be large or low - spring ushers in large volumes of water being released from the dam, while in the summer and fall, it is remarkably less. This amazing dam provides 40% of the drinking water for all of Vancouver and between its scenic mountain views and amazing canyon, is a great place to take in some of the more unique sights on the dividing line between North and West Vancouver. CREDIT: Venture Vancouver, SOURCE:

In the spring, Cleveland Dam has its highest output of water to keep its levels from overflowing. Large volumes of water spill down the concrete Dam and into the Capilano River, winding through the canyon and eventually into the ocean.





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Water is an important part in the basic needs for all humans, in realizing the few options avaliable to Vancouver that is surrounded by the Ocean, the Cleveland Dam was built in 1954 to create a reservoir for the population. An amazing sight to see when the water levels are high and the water is pouring from the dam, it is a good starting point for a hike or for a picnic or even just to see the Cascade mountain range to the North or the winding canyon of the Capilano River to the south.

Cleveland Dam at the headwaters of the Capilano River was first conceived when the region was first settled and there was a need to ensure the surrounding population had a dependable water supply. With a booming population, it was apparent that a large scale project needed to be undertaken to provide the surrounding residents with a clean and plentiful supply of water from a nearby source.

In 1954 the Cleveland Dam was successfully completed six kilometres up from the mouth of the Capilano River, named for the first Chief Commissioner of the Greater Vancouver Water District, Ernest Albert Cleveland.

This tall concrete monolith has since then served to hold 40% of the water used by the city of Vancouver, relying on water from mountain rivers and streams that run into the reservoir above the Capilano River. The Dam allows foot traffic which provides and amazing view on both the north and south face, seeing the immense water system held back by the dam as well as the thundering falls (or trickling depending on weather and rainfall) with a four story drop to the river below.

The dam can also be viewed from Capilano River Regional Park from below or via the stair system that offers amazing views of the water being released from the dam at multiple levels. Informational boards are found at the observation deck at the foot of the falls as well as the top that outline the history behind its creation. As well as being a popular site for tourists and locals, Cleveland Dam has also been featured in films and locally made TV series such as Smallville.

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With water pouring from its release, the Cleveland Dam in the upper portion of the Capilano Regional Park is an awesome sight. Retaining the reservoir used by the lower mainland, it is a functional and interesting place to witness where the Capilano River begins.
The picturesque reservoir behind Cleveland Dam which was created during its construction is filled with adjoining streams, rainwater and melt from the glaciers and annual snowfall occurring in the mountains above is North Vancouver, British Columbia locale.
The Cleveland Dam in North Vancouver, British Columbia is named for Ernest Albert Cleveland, the first Chief Commissioner of the Greater Vancouver Water District. A plaque inscribed with this is located on the bridge deck.

Location of Cleveland Dam

Use the interactive map below to locate and explore the areas around Cleveland Dam

Head north on Capilano Road, the Dam will b across from a baseball diamond in a large open area toward the west.
Capilano Drive North Vancouver

Map of North Vancouver

Click the brown GEMS on the map to navigate to the other activities within this region

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