Public Service Announcement: Winter Safety Message: Be Safe Near Waterways, Unsafe Ice

January 17, 2024 – Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) reminds residents of the dangers near streams, rivers, ponds and lakes this time of year. CVC urges people to exercise caution and keep family and pets away from the edges of all waterways.

While temperatures have declined since December’s unseasonably warm weather, we are experiencing frequent freeze-thaw cycles and winter storms bringing wet and mixed precipitation. We expect this to continue throughout the coming winter months.

Fluctuations of temperature and precipitation types can increase runoff and contribute to higher water levels and faster flows in local watercourses. Once rivers and waterbodies become ice covered, periods of rainfall and snowmelt can result in the weakening, shifting, and melting of that ice cover, making it unsafe.

Residents living next to watercourses are encouraged to secure loose objects, such as lawn furniture and watercrafts, that are in the floodplain in preparation for the spring snowmelt and rains that can increase the risk of flooding downstream.

Be safe this winter and remember the following tips:

  • Keep family and pets away from all bodies of water
  • Avoid all recreational activities in or around water, including skating in unsanctioned areas
  • Tailor your winter outdoor activities to trails at local parks and conservation areas
  • Stormwater ponds/facilities were not built for ice skating. Water levels on these ponds can change due to road salt, snow melt and changing temperatures causing cracks and dangerously thin ice.
  • Rescuing another person or a pet from ice is dangerous. If you see anyone that has fallen through the ice, call 9-1-1 for help immediately.

For more information, contact your local conservation authority:

  • Credit Valley Conservation – (905) 670-1615
  • Toronto & Region Conservation Authority – (416) 661-6514
  • Conservation Halton – (905) 336-1158
  • Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority – (905) 895-1281
  • Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority – (905) 579-0411
  • Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority – (905) 885-8173
  • Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority – (705) 424-1479
  • Kawartha Conservation – (705) 328-2271

Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) is a local conservation authority established by the Ontario government in 1954 to protect, restore and enhance the natural environment of the Credit River Watershed. Our watershed is defined by the area of land where all rainfall, snowmelt and runoff drains into lands and waters flowing into the Credit River. CVC creates connections between people and nature, knowledge and action. We inspire a deep appreciation for the role of nature in keeping people connected, healthy and happy. CVC is a member of Conservation Ontario.


Media contact:
Sophia Maio
Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications
Credit Valley Conservation
M: 437-240-4801

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