Brooks Aqueduct

The Brooks Aqueduct, located about 8 km southeast of Brooks, Alta, is considered by many to be one of the most significant engineering feats in Canada. It has been declared both a national and a provincial historic site. As part of the Government of Canada's support for the construction of railways, the Canadian Pacific Railway acquired 1.2 million ha of land between Calgary and Brooks. Much of this land was arid and had little value as farmland so the CPR began a massive irrigation and colonization scheme throughout what is now known as the Eastern Irrigation District. In 1914, when the Bassano Dam was completed on the Bow River, water began to be diverted through a complex system of canals and aqueducts to area farmers. That same year CPR engineers completed a huge aqueduct across a 3.2 km wide valley. An interesting feature of the aqueduct is its siphon which carried water under the CPR main line. Tours and other interpretive programs are offered at the site from mid-May to early September.