Kawartha Lakes (Ontario)

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The Kawartha Lakes (/kə'wɔrθɐ/) are a chain of lakes in south-central Ontario, Canada that form the upper watershed of the Trent River. The lakes are located on the boundary between the Paleozoic limestone regions of the Golden Horseshoe, and the Precambrian granite Canadian Shield of northern and central Ontario.


"Kawartha" is an anglicization of the word "Ka-wa-tha" (from "Ka-wa-tae-gum-maug" or Gaa-waategamaag), a word coined in 1895 by Anishinaabekwe Martha Whetung of the Curve Lake First Nations. It was hoped that the word, which meant "land of reflections" in the Anishinaabe language, would provide a convenient and popular advertising label for the area, much as "Muskoka" had come to describe the area and lakes north of Gravenhurst. The word was subsequently changed by tourism promoters to Kawartha, with the meaning "bright waters and happy lands." [1]

Though the city of Kawartha Lakes is named for them, more than half of the Kawartha Lakes are in fact located in Peterborough County. The Trent-Severn Waterway makes its way through many lakes in the main chain; many cottages dot the lakes' shorelines some of which are quite large in size, and the region is most known for its recreational tourism.

Primary chain

The Kawartha lakes. Lakes are identified in the text of this article, while 1 marks the community of Lindsay and 2 marks the city of Peterborough Kawartha Lakes w legend.png
The Kawartha lakes. Lakes are identified in the text of this article, while 1 marks the community of Lindsay and 2 marks the city of Peterborough

Lakes considered to be among 'The Kawarthas' include (letters in parenthesis refer to the satellite image):

Some additional lakes are sometimes included:

Kawartha Highlands

A system of interconnected lakes lies to the north of the main chain. Due to an artificial dam placed at the south end of Mississauga lake in the mid-20th century, these lakes have equal levels and are inter-navigable. They consist of Catchacoma Lake, Beaver Lake, Mississauga Lake, Gold Lake, McGinnis Lake, Cold Lake, and Cavendish Lake.

Also nearby, but not reachable by boat without portage, are Gull Lake, Anstruther Lake, Bottle Lake, and Sucker Lake. The area is partially enclosed by Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Trenton is a large unincorporated community in Central Ontario in the municipality of Quinte West, Ontario, Canada. Located on the Bay of Quinte, it is the starting point for the Trent-Severn Waterway, which continues northwest to Peterborough and eventually Port Severn on Georgian Bay.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Golden Horseshoe</span> Secondary region in Ontario, Canada

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Peterborough County</span> County in Ontario, Canada

Peterborough County is located in Southern Ontario, Canada. The county seat is Peterborough, which is independent of the county.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kawartha Lakes</span> City in Ontario, Canada

The City of Kawartha Lakes is a unitary municipality in Central Ontario, Canada. It is a municipality legally structured as a single-tier city; however, Kawartha Lakes is the size of a typical Ontario county and is mostly rural. It is the second largest single-tier municipality in Ontario by land area.

Norland is a small rural community located within the city of Kawartha Lakes, in the Canadian province of Ontario. It is located in a scenic spot on the Gull River at the north end of Shadow Lake, the northernmost Kawartha lake in the Trent River chain. Here, a series of three waterfalls reflect the change in elevation of the land leading north to the Haliburton Highlands.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trent River (Ontario)</span> River in Ontario, Canada

The Trent River is a river in southeastern Ontario which flows from Rice Lake to empty into the Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario. This river is part of the Trent-Severn Waterway which leads to Georgian Bay. The river is 90 kilometres (56 mi) long. The Trent drains a large portion of south-central Ontario, including most of the Kawartha Lakes and their supplying watersheds.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lake Scugog</span> Lake in southern Ontario, Canada

Lake Scugog is an artificially flooded lake in Scugog, Regional Municipality of Durham and the unitary city of Kawartha Lakes in central Ontario, Canada. It lies between the communities of Port Perry and Lindsay. The lake has been raised and lowered several times over its history. Though not technically part of the Kawartha lakes due to its shallow depths, it is often geographically linked to them. Its sole outflow, the Scugog River, connects to Sturgeon Lake. Lake Scugog is in the Great Lakes Basin and forms part of the Trent–Severn Waterway.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trent Lakes</span> Municipality in Ontario, Canada

The Municipality of Trent Lakes is a lower-tier township in the rural, mostly wooded northern section of Peterborough County, Ontario, Canada. The municipality has a primarily cottage and tourist industry based economy but has grown year round residency due to its commute distance to the Greater Toronto Area.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fenelon Falls</span> Village in Ontario, Canada

Fenelon Falls is a village in Ontario, Canada, part of the city of Kawartha Lakes. Nicknamed the "Jewel of the Kawarthas," it has a population of 2,500 permanent inhabitants, which swells in the summer due to tourism and holiday cottages. Fenelon Falls is home to lock 34 on the Trent-Severn Waterway between Sturgeon Lake and Cameron Lake. It is primarily a tourist town and therefore is most active during the summer season. The main street of Fenelon Falls is called Colborne Street.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bobcaygeon</span> Community in Ontario, Canada

Bobcaygeon is a community on the Trent–Severn Waterway in the City of Kawartha Lakes, east-central Ontario, Canada.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kinmount</span> Unincorporated community in Ontario, Canada

Kinmount is a village with a population of approximately 500, located on the Burnt River in Ontario, Canada. The village is apportioned by three municipalities, they are, City of Kawartha Lakes, Minden Hills and Trent Lakes. The village's hinterland covers large sections of both Haliburton and Peterborough counties for which it is a shopping and cultural centre. Prior to the formation of the City of Kawartha Lakes, Kinmount was the seat of Somerville Township.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Verulam Township</span> Former township in southern Ontario, Canada

The Township of Verulam was a rural municipality within the former Victoria County, now the city of Kawartha Lakes. It was bounded on the north by the geographic township of Somerville, the south by the geographic township of Emily, the west by the geographic township of Fenelon, and the east by the County of Peterborough. For the purposes of government, land surveying and reference, it is now properly referred to as the "Geographic Township of Verulam".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kirkfield</span>

Kirkfield is a village located in the city of Kawartha Lakes, in the Canadian province of Ontario. The unincorporated village was named in 1864 after the initial name, Novar, was rejected by the government. A list of 8 possible choices was then offered. The village, being predominantly Scottish at the time, chose Kirkfield, after Kirk' o' Field in Edinburgh. It is home to Lock 36 of the Trent-Severn Waterway, a hydraulic lift lock which connects Canal Lake and the artificially flooded Mitchell Lake. Travellers and commuters pass through Kirkfield regularly while travelling on Highway 48 west towards Highway 12 and east towards Highway 35.

Bolsover is a village in Canada, located in the city of Kawartha Lakes, west of the village of Kirkfield at the junction of Kawartha Lakes Road 48 and Kawartha Lakes Road 46. The village is located to the south of Canal Lake. The community is likely named for Bolsover in Derbyshire, England.

Silver Lake is a small lake in the city of Kawartha Lakes in Central Ontario, Canada. Located near the community of Coboconk, it is the lowest lake on the Gull River, a drainage basin that supplies water at its mouth to Balsam Lake at the top of the Trent-Severn Waterway. Like many other lakes in the Kawarthas, Silver Lake lies in a depression formed between the Precambrian granite to the north, and the Ordovician limestone to the south.

St. Mary's was the site of a planned village within early Victoria County, in the Canadian province of Ontario. The site was laid aside in the surveying of the county in the 1830s, but was later found to be unusable when limestone was discovered two inches below the ground. Today its site marks one end of a man-made canal between Balsam Lake and Lake Simcoe, part of the Trent-Severn Waterway.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Peterborough—Kawartha (provincial electoral district)</span> Provincial electoral district in Ontario, Canada

Peterborough—Kawartha is a provincial electoral district in Ontario, Canada, that has been represented in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario since 1934.

King's Highway 36, commonly referred to as Highway 36, was a provincially maintained highway in the Canadian province of Ontario. The highway connected Highway 7 and Highway 35 in Lindsay with Highway 28 in Burleigh Falls, providing access to recreational cottages along the northern shore of several of the Kawartha lakes as well as to multiple communities, including Bobcaygeon. Today it is known as Kawartha Lakes City Road 36 and Peterborough County Road 36.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Burleigh Falls</span>

Burleigh Falls is both a geological feature and a small community in Peterborough County, Ontario, Canada. The falls form the boundary between the municipality of North Kawartha to the north and the municipality of Selwyn to the south.


  1. Rayburn, Alan (1997). Place names of Ontario. Toronto, Buffalo: University of Toronto Press. p. 176. ISBN   978-0-8020-0602-8. OCLC   36342881.

Coordinates: 44°29′57.84″N78°26′27.60″W / 44.4994000°N 78.4410000°W / 44.4994000; -78.4410000