The Thames River: a Canadian Heritage River
The Thames Rivers was formally designated a Canadian Heritage River on August 14, 2000. The designation was announced by the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Sheila Copps and Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable John Snobelen.
The Thames River designation was several years in the making. The effort began in 1996 when Dr. Douglas Bocking, retired Dean of Medicine at UWO and a Member of the Order of Canada, assembled a group of interested individuals and agencies who shared his vision of seeing the Thames and its tributaries designated a Canadian Heritage River. Since that first meeting, over 75 people have volunteered their time and expertise to this project.
Canadian Heritage Rivers are recognized for their outstanding contributions to the country’s cultural heritage, natural heritage, and recreational opportunities. For four years, the volunteers worked with the community to document and publicize the significant features of the Thames watershed. This information formed the basis of the river’s nomination in 1999.
10 Year Monitoring Report
The Thames River, Ontario: Canadian Heritage Rivers System 10 Year Monitoring Report, 2000-2012 collects and analyses the events, studies and any improvements or threats to the river and watershed for the 10 years after designation (2000 to 2012).
Thames River Heritage Landscape Guide
In June 2009, the Thames Canadian Heritage River Committee and Carolinian Canada launched a new book, thanks to a $35,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). Entitled The Thames River Watershed: A Heritage Landscape Guide, the book was written by Michael Troughton and Cathy Quinlan.
The Thames Strategy
The final step leading to designation was the writing of a strategy for the river’s future. The Thames Strategy: Managing the Thames as a Canadian Heritage River (2000) outlines how the watershed’s natural, cultural and recreational features and values will be conserved and interpreted for the future. The strategy provides an opportunity for river managers, stakeholders and residents to work together to continue to conserve and revitalize the river’s many values.
Thames River Background Study
The Thames River Watershed: A Background Study for Nomination under the Canadian Heritage Rivers System (1998) – The Thames River CHRS background study is an excellent reference document that describes the river from the time of its formation to early settlement periods to modern day recreational uses.
Other Heritage River Information
Thames Topics Booklets – These eight booklets, produced by Celebrate the Thames, provide an excellent introduction to life on the Thames over the centuries. The Thames Topics booklets are copyright © 1999 by the Urban League of London. These booklets and the information in them may be redistributed, copied or reproduced for educational purposes with acknowledgement to Celebrate the Thames. For any other use, prior written consent of the Urban League of London and/or the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority is required.