Cleveland Dam

Cleveland Dam

A bridge to understanding the Man behind the stunning location, photo hot spot and source for Greater Vancouver’s water supply.
Narrated by Cam Cleveland. Read the story here or click on the book below…

“The Cleveland Dam was named in honor of my Grandfather.

Ernest Albert Cleveland was born in Alma, New Brunswick in 1875 and passed away in North Vancouver in 1952. He was an engineer by trade as was my Father, and now my Son.

After obtaining a formal education at the University of Washington, Dr. Cleveland went on to a private engineering firm in Vancouver. From 1919 to 1926 he was Comptroller of Water Rights for the Province of British Columbia. In 1926, he became the chief commissioner of the Greater Vancouver Water Board.

Dr. Cleveland was a man of vision. Through his careful managing and leadership, the drinking water supply for Greater Vancouver became, and still is, one of the finest in North America. Way back in 1950, when the Dam was developed, he already had his sights set on on watershed to supply a million and a half people!

Dr. Cleveland was a well known but very humble person. He preferred to do his work behind the scenes, and was not known to seek attention. He was a lifetime member of First Baptist Church in Vancouver and a 33rd degree Mason in the Scottish rite.

Dr. Cleveland and his wife, Catherine, had four children; Hester, Ernest, Howard and Courtney, my Father. All are deceased now.
I never met my Grandfather. He died the year I was born, 1952. He did leave behind a rich legacy of hard work, quiet accomplishment, and integrity. My Father spoke of him often.

I visit the Dam with my family now. There is a plaque on the roadway dedicated to my Grandfather with a profile view of him. My kids laugh when they see me stand by it. “Dad he looks just like you!”

Standing on the top of the Dam we can see the quite mountain vistas with the “Lions” jutting up. And then turn to look over the awe inspiring spillway leading to the Canyon. We walk among the the many trails that have been developed around the Capilano River below the Dam. There is a fish hatchery and many crystal clear pools teaming with fish, and rushing rapids in a deep canyon. All this in highly populated urban area.

The natural beauty is astounding, and yet the technology that is the Dam and all of its components sit in perfect harmony with its surroundings.

Sixty three years later, if my Grandfather was able to accompany us on a walk, I am sure he would agree.

Cam Cleveland”