- Lake Simcoe
lake_name = Lake Simcoe
image_lake = Simcoe 79.40W 44.47N.png
caption_lake = satellite view
coords = coord|44|26|12|N|079|20|21|W|type:waterbody_region:CA-ON|display=inline,title
catchment = 2,840 km²
basin_countries = Canada
length = 30 km
width = 25 km
area = 744 km²
depth = 15 m
max-depth = 41 m
volume = 11.6 km³
elevation = 219 m
Georgina Island, Thorah Island, Strawberry Island, Snake Island, Fox Island, Grape Island
cities = Orillia Barrie
Lake Simcoe is a
lakein southern Ontario, Canada, the twelfth-largest lake in the province. [ [http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/learningresources/facts/lakes.html#ontario Ontario - Lake Areas and Elevation (lakes larger than 400 square kilometres) at the Atlas of Canada] ] It is also one of the world's largest freshwater lakes to freeze over completely in the winter. [ [http://www.400eleven.com/lakesimcoe.html Lake Simcoe Ontario Resort Destination Lake Simcoe Ontario North ] ] At the time of the first European contact in the 17th century, the lake was called "Ouentironk" ("Beautiful Water") by the Huronnatives. In 1687, Lahontan called it Lake Toronto, an Iroquioan term meaning gateway or pass. Since then, many subsequent mapmakers adopted this name for it.
The name 'Toronto' found its way to the current city through its use in the name for the
Toronto Carrying-Place Trail(or Toronto Passage), a portagerunning between Lake Ontarioand Georgian Bay, that passed through Lake Toronto, which in turn was used as the name for an early French fort located at the foot of the Toronto Passage, on Lake Ontario. The Severn River, its outlet stream, was once called 'Rivière de Toronto' which flows into Georgian Bay's Severn Sound, then called the 'Baie de Toronto'.
The later French traders referred to it as "Lac aux Claies", meaning "Lake of Grids (or Trellises)" in reference to the Huron
fishing weirs in the lake.
It was renamed by
John Graves Simcoe, the Lieutenant-Governorof Upper Canada, in 1793, not in honour of himself, but in memory of his father. John Simcoe was born on 28 November 1710 in Staindrop, in County Durham, northeast England. Captain Simcoe, an officer in the Royal Navy, died of pneumonia aboard his ship, HMS Pembroke, on 15 May 1759. The lake is about 30 km long and 25 km wide. Its area is roughly 725 km² [ [http://www.ilec.or.jp/database/nam/dnam42.html Data summary at the ] ] . It is shaped somewhat like a fist with the index finger and thumb extended. The thumb forms Kempenfelt Bayon the west, the wrist Lake Couchichingto the north, and the extended finger is Cook's Bayon the south. Couchiching was at one time thought of as a third bay of Simcoe, known as the Bristol Channel; however, the narrows between the two bodies of water separate them enough to consider this to be another lake. The narrows, known as "the place where trees grow over the water" was an important fishing point for the First Nationspeoples who lived in the area, and the Mohawk term "toran-ten" eventually gave its name to Torontoby way of the portage route running south from that point, the Toronto Carrying-Place Trail.
Lake Simcoe contains a large island, Georgina, on which there is a
First Nationsreserve. The lake is dotted with several smaller islands, including Thorah Island(a cottage destination), Strawberry Island (a Basilican retreat), Snake Island, and Fox Island. Pope John Paul IIstayed on Strawberry Island for four days just before World Youth Day 2002in Toronto. [http://www.remedyandcrew.com/rxcruises/cruise2002/strawberry02/strawberry.html]
A number of southern Ontario rivers flow, generally north, into the lake, draining 2581 km² of land. From the east, the Talbot River, part of the
Trent-Severn Waterwayis the most important river draining into Lake Simcoe, connecting the lake with the Kawartha Lakessystem and Lake Ontario. From its connection to Lake Couchiching, the Severn River is the only drainage from the lake to Georgian Bay, part of Lake Huron(Simcoe itself is not a Great Lake). The canal locks of the Trent-Severn Waterway make this connection navigable.
The lake is bordered by
Simcoe County, Durham Region, and York Region. The city of Barrie is located on Kempenfelt Bay, and Orillia is located at the entrance to Lake Couchiching. The watershed draining into the lake contains a population of roughly half a million people, including the northern portion of the Greater Toronto Area.
The northern shore of the lake contains thousands of cottages and is one of the most popular vacation areas in Ontario.
The Town of
Georgina(the northernmost part of York Region, about a one-hour drive from Torontoto the south), lies along the entire south shore of Lake Simcoe and contains smaller residential towns and communities, including Keswick, Sutton, Jackson's Point, Pefferlaw, and Udoraamong others.
Ecologically, there has been some concern regarding Lake Simcoe. Although it is sometimes known as Canada's
ice fishingcapital, the lake no longer supports a naturally breeding coldwater fishery. Phosphorusemissions from both urban and rural sources have upset the lake's ecosystem and fostered excessive aquatic plant growth, raising water temperatures, decreasing oxygen levels, and thereby rendering limited breeding grounds inhospitable. Several initiatives, such as the Lake Simcoe Environmental Management Strategy (LSEMS), the Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation, and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, are making efforts to rectify some of the lake's environmental woes. Several towns and communities on the lakeshore depend on Lake Simcoe for their drinking water.
Lake Simcoe is a remnant of a much bigger,
prehistoriclake known as Lake Algonquin. This lake's basin also included Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Nipigon, and Lake Nipissing. The melting of an ice dam at the close of the last ice agegreatly reduced water levels in the region, leaving the lakes of today.
A number of creeks and rivers flow into the lake:
* Bluffs Creek
* Beaver River
* Holland River
* Maskinonge River
* Peferlaw River
* Black River
* Talbot River
* White's Creek
* [http://www.lsrca.on.ca/sow04.html State of the Lake Simcoe Watershed 2003]
* [http://www.lsrca.on.ca/Foundation/index.html Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation]
* [http://www.lsrca.on.ca/ Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority]
*commons-inline|Lake Simcoe|Lake Simcoe
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