McIntosh Perry is proud to announce that it has won the Ontario Engineering Project Award (OEPA) from the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Ontario (ACEC -Ontario) for Ducks Unlimited Canada Project Infrastructure Inspections for 250 Sites in Ontario.

About The Project

McIntosh Perry completed the Project Infrastructure Inspections for 250 wetlands across Ontario, which provided crucial habitats and benefits to local wildlife.

The objective was to classify each dam’s condition and potential hazards, and large-scale analysis required the coordination of multiple departments to conduct field and desktop investigations. Our team confirmed that the existing infrastructure is safe through engineering analysis and effective project management techniques. 

Project Highlights 

The main objective was to assess and classify the condition of the 250 wetlands’ infrastructure across Ontario including assessing the physical condition of the dams, conducting cost estimates, and prioritizing the structures in need of rehabilitation. Confirmation of the hazard potential classification (HPC) as “low” was required to ensure that the dams would have minimal impacts on the downstream area if they were to fail.  

A high-level assessment was first conducted to determine which wetlands have little to no impact on the downstream surroundings in the case of a dam breach and which required further investigation to confirm their HPC. Due to the project’s large scale, multiple team members were involved in this stage to increase efficiency and provide additional internal review, quality control, and quality assurance.  


  • Site Accessibility: Often due to remote locations of the wetlands, or if access roads and foot trails to the dam structures were found to be damaged or overgrown with vegetation.  
  • Scheduling With Landowners: The private and/or public landowner(s) were consulted to gain permission to access the site. Interactions with landowners were conducted in accordance with health and safety guidelines due to COVID-19 restraints.   
  • Internal Coordination of Site Visits: Several of the field investigations were grouped based on their proximity to one another, and frequent communication between field inspectors helped to ensure that there was consistency among the site reviews. 
  • Outdated Information: Many of the design drawings provided were scans of the original plans made in the 1970s and 1980s and could be difficult to read finer details. Some standards at the time of the original design vary from current standards.  
  • Limited Information: While analyzing the potential for property damage caused by wetlands in the northern region, allocating reasonable cost estimates was challenging since information on existing northern infrastructure was not always readily available. 
  • Budget Constraints: DUC is a non-profit organization, and funding for projects is usually sourced from public donations and is not always guaranteed on a yearly basis. Therefore, a list of wetland locations that should be prioritized over the coming years based on the existing conditions of the dams was necessary due to the anticipated limited budgets. 

Meeting Our Clients Needs

Our team made the best use of the digital online software SharePoint, which enabled efficient document sharing with DUC, allowed multiple staff to use the same documents simultaneously, and permitted quality control on the document in real-time. 

Moreover, a master spreadsheet was used to organize the compiled information used in the HPC analysis. The task was divided among multiple team members to increase efficiency and provide an additional level of internal review, quality control, and quality assurance. The wetlands with higher hazard potentials were identified and provided to DUC to help prioritize future rehabilitation projects. 

McIntosh Perry would like to thank all who worked with us on this project, especially the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Ontario (ACEC -Ontario) for this opportunity. And, a big thank you to the McIntosh Perry team for their outstanding performance on this project!

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