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Lake Simcoe Showing Signs of Recovery

News Release

Lake Simcoe Showing Signs of Recovery

Ontario and Partners Taking Action To Protect and Restore Lake Simcoe

Today Ontario released a five year report back that shows that the health of Lake Simcoe is improving.

In 2009, the province launched the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan - the most comprehensive watershed-based legislated plan in Canada to reduce phosphorus pollution and improve water quality and fish habitat in Lake Simcoe. Ontario's five year report back shows that long-term spring phosphorus concentrations - which cause blue-green algae - in the lake have improved, and that some native fish are showing signs of recovery.

Ontario will continue to work with its partners to implement the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan by:

  • taking further action to deal with poor water quality caused by excessive phosphorus
  • protecting and restoring shorelines and wetlands
  • restoring the health of coldwater fish and other aquatic life
  • setting strict phosphorus limits on waste-water treatment plants
  • controlling and preventing invasive species
  • undertaking monitoring and analysis to understand the effects of climate change.

Protecting Lake Simcoe and its watershed is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic and innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • Lake Simcoe is the largest inland lake in southern Ontario outside of the Great Lakes. The watershed is home to more than 435,000 people.
  • The lake covers 722 square kilometres in surface area and is fed by 35 major streams and rivers. The watershed is 2,899 square kilometres in area.
  • Partners in the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan have completed more than 1,500 environmental stewardship projects across the watershed; planted more than 181,000 trees; and stabilized over 10,000 metres of shoreline/stream bank.

Additional Resources


“Lake Simcoe is a vital natural resource — a jewel that all Ontarians take pride in. Our five-year report shows our collaborative efforts to protect and restore the health of the lake are working, but we know there’s more work to do. I look forward to working with our many partners to address emerging issues such as encouraging low-impact development in the watershed, and climate change.”

Glen Murray

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

“The Lake Simcoe Protection Act and Plan represent a global best practice in integrated watershed management. The release of the five year report is a milestone of significance and the members of the Coordinating Committee, representing a variety of stakeholders, applaud the Minister and the province on this leading edge initiative.”

Gayle Wood

Chair of the Lake Simcoe Coordinating Committee

“We congratulate the Minister and our Ontario government for their steadfast commitment to protecting Lake Simcoe. Their five year report demonstrates that progress can be made and we look forward to continuing our relationship and ensuring we remain focused on protecting and restoring the health of the Lake Simcoe watershed.”

Geoffrey Dawe

Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority Chair, Mayor of Town of Aurora

“Lake Simcoe is Barrie’s most important asset. It’s great to see the progress that has been made in protecting the lake. With the province and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, the City of Barrie has made it a commitment to preserve the quality of our lake for future generations to enjoy.”

Jeff Lehman

Mayor, City of Barrie, member of the Lake Simcoe Coordinating Committee

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