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Drainage Basin Diagram

Lake Simcoe is a Drainage Basin

Lake Simcoe and its Watershed are so diverse and beautiful. Lake Simcoe is made up of 22 subwatersheds which have now become the basis for planning the rehabilitation and protection of the Lake. It’s no secret that Lake Simcoe is ailing because of the impact of human activities. Why? Because Lake Simcoe is a basin.

The shape of Lake Simcoe is bowl-shaped, as opposed to flat-bottomed. Because of its shape, those of us situated around the Lake and its Watershed need to be extra vigilant about the things we do and the products we use, as our activities have the potential to impact the Lake in negative ways.

Simple things like washing your car or clothes with harmful chemicals can lead to those very same chemicals draining into this precious resource and affecting its ecosystem. Do your part by choosing environmentally safe and responsible products and practices.

Interesting Facts & Tidbits << prev     next >>

Acorns are all about balance

Acorns were the first spinning tops used by Aboriginal people, and they are a symbol of balance. Check out the Acorn Action cards on this site for ideas about living in balance with the environment of the watershed.

Jackson’s Point has famous history

Jackson's Point calls itself "Ontario's first cottage country." In the early 1900s the Metro radial rail line connected it and many other hamlets on the east side of Lake Simcoe to Toronto. The "Point" was also home dry dock for one of the most famous ships in Canadian literature, the steamer "Enterprise", later to be known as Stephen Leacock's "Mariposa Belle".

Roches Point (in Georgina) was almost Toronto

Major General Sir Peregrine Maitland purchased this land for £450 in 1822 and suggested the site as the capital of Upper Canada. Lake Simcoe must sigh relief every day that Toronto was the final choice!

Newmarket Development (Hwy 9) was actually a “new market”

Newmarket was originally settled by a group of Quakers led by Timothy Rogers in 1800. Being the site of historic trading between settlers and natives, it became a natural “new market” for the farmers who no longer wished to travel to Toronto's Kensington Market.

The history of the name

Lake Simcoe was named for the father of Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe. An even earlier name reflects its history - to the Huron it was Ouentaron—the beautiful lake.

Farmers can help too

Farmers in the watershed are helping the Lake by using buffer strips along riparian areas, improved manure storage facilities, and technologically advanced cropping systems.1

Water isn’t only in the Lake

35 rivers flow into Lake Simcoe, comprising almost 4,000 kilometres of streams.1

Ecosystem species aren’t necessarily healthy

65 species in the watershed ecosystem are rare and 33 of these are at risk, including the Jefferson salamander and the spotted turtle.1

The watershed is filled with nature

47% of Lake Simcoe’s watershed land area is currently agricultural and about 35% of the watershed is woodlands and wetlands. Developed lands, non-agricultural lands and roads only make up around 18%.1

Not all species are good for the Lake

Invasive species in Lake Simcoe include common carp, rainbow smelt, Eurasian watermilfoil, curly-leaf pondweed, black crappie, zebra mussel, spiny water flea, bluegill, quagga mussel, rusty crayfish, Eurasian amphipod and round goby.1

The Lake Simcoe watershed is the place to be in the summer!

In addition to the 250,000 permanent residents in the Lake Simcoe watershed, there are more than 12,000 cottages on the lake, which increases the population by 50,000 during the summer months.1

1Ministry of the Environment Lake Simcoe Protection Plan. http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/water/lakesimcoe/index.php