Explore Kawartha Lakes town, Ontario

The city of Kawartha Lakes is in the southeast of Ontario, Canada. In 2001, the old town of Lindsay and the other communities that made up what used to be Victoria County merged to form the new county. It was named after a group of lakes called the Kawartha Lakes.


The town is 21 miles (34 km) west-northwest of Peterborough and is on the Scugog River. It was first built in 1825 as Purdy's Mills, after the man who built the first mills, William Purdy. Later, it was changed to Lindsay in honour of one of the first land surveys. 


The town has grown partly because of the Trent Canal (1833) and the new locks at Kawartha Lakes that improved the route between Sturgeon and Scugog Lakes. 


The area is a gateway to the Kawartha Lakes recreation area and has light businesses, farms, and people who work in the lumber industry.


History of Kawartha Lakes town, Ontario, Canada

The history of the City of Kawartha Lakes in Ontario, Canada, is deeply rooted in its indigenous heritage and early European settlement. 


The area, situated on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Huron-Wendat, and Haudenosaunee peoples, was named after the Kawartha Lakes, with "Kawartha" meaning "land of reflections" in the Anishinaabe language. 


European settlers arrived in the early 19th century, establishing a thriving logging industry and recognizing the recreational potential of the lakes and rivers.


In 1818, the government of Upper Canada purchased land from the Anishinaabeg, leading to the influx of Scottish and Irish settlers who relied on lumbering and agriculture. 


The region quickly became a popular vacation area, especially for sport fishermen. Steamboats ferried visitors to luxurious resort hotels. 


The lakes saw significant development in 1920, when dams and locks for the Trent Canal (now the Trent-Severn Waterway) were completed, expanding their volume and area.


Today, the City of Kawartha Lakes reflects a blend of urban and rural communities. Its diverse economy encompasses dairy, cattle, mixed farms, manufacturing, and tourism. 


Major communities like Lindsay, Fenelon Falls, and Bobcaygeon, now part of the city, continue to thrive alongside the Kawartha Lakes region's natural beauty and recreational opportunities.


Geography of Kawartha Lakes town, Ontario, Canada

The Kawartha Lakes are a chain of interconnected lakes in south-central Ontario, Canada, forming 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.


The main chain of lakes includes:

  • Lakes on the Talbot River: Canal La00ke and Mitchell 0Lake
  • Lakes on the Trent River: Balsam Lake, Four Mile Lake, Cameron Lake, Sturgeon Lake, and Pigeon Lake
  • Other lakes: Buckhorn Lake, Lake Chemong, Lower Buckhorn Lake, Lovesick Lake, Stony Lake, Clear Lake, Katchewanooka Lake, and Lake Scugog


The lakes range in size from 2 to 83 km2. Lake Scugog is located to the southwest of the main chain.


To the north of the main chain, a system of interconnected lakes, including Catchacoma Lake, Beaver Lake, Mississauga Lake, Gold Lake, McGinnis Lake, Cold Lake, and Cavendish Lake, lies. Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park partially encloses this area.


The Trent-Severn Waterway, a historic canal system, runs through the Kawartha Lakes, connecting Georgian Bay in Lake Huron with Lake Ontario. The lakes are a popular destination for recreational activities such as canoeing, boating, and fishing.


Demographics of Kawartha Lakes town, Ontario, Canada

The City of Kawartha Lakes in Ontario, Canada, has a diverse demographic profile. According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Kawartha Lakes had a total population of 79,247 living in 32,708 of its 38,947 total private dwellings. 


This represented a 5.1% change from the 2016 population of 75,423. With a land area of 3,033.66 km2 (1,171.30 sq mi), the city had a population density of 26.1/km2 (68/sq mi) in 2021.


The population of Kawartha Lakes is a mix of various ethnic backgrounds, with Scottish, French, German, Dutch, and First Nations populations among the notable groups. 


The city's demographic composition reflects a blend of urban and rural communities, with various age groups and family structures contributing to its vibrant social fabric.


In terms of specific communities within Kawartha Lakes, areas like Manilla and Oakwood exhibit unique demographic characteristics. 


For instance, Manilla has a population density of 82/sq km and a median age of 37.7. In comparison, Oakwood has a higher population density of 979/sq km and a slightly older median age of 46.6.


Overall, Kawartha Lakes' demographics showcase a dynamic and diverse population, contributing to the region's rich cultural tapestry and community life.


Economy of Kawartha Lakes Town, Ontario, Canada

The City of Kawartha Lakes's economy is diverse, with key sectors including tourism, retail, healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, and natural resources.


Tourism is a major driver of the local economy, particularly in communities like Bobcaygeon, which has a lively main street with boutique shops and cafes catering to visitors. The area's natural beauty, lakes, and recreational opportunities attract tourists year-round.


Manufacturing and healthcare are also important economic contributors. The city has several manufacturing facilities and is a regional healthcare hub.


Agriculture and natural resources have historically been significant parts of the economy. The region has fertile farmland supporting dairy, cattle, and mixed farming operations. Logging and mining were once important industries as well.


Other notable aspects of the Kawartha Lakes economy include:

  • A growing retirement and seasonal resident population
  • Retail and service industries concentrated in urban centers like Lindsay
  • Small businesses and entrepreneurship across various sectors


While the economy has evolved, the City of Kawartha Lakes continues to leverage its natural assets, location, and community strengths to support economic development and prosperity for residents.


Education in Kawartha Lakes town, Ontario, Canada

Education in the City of Kawartha Lakes in Ontario, Canada, is characterized by a commitment to quality education and a range of family options. The region values both education and affordable childcare, reflecting its family-friendly nature.


Local School Boards:

  • The Trillium Lakelands District School Board and the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board are the primary public and Catholic school boards offering elementary and secondary programs in the area.


Private Education Options:

  • Families in Kawartha Lakes can access private education options such as The Heritage Christian School and the Lindsay Montessori Preschool, providing additional choices for tailored educational experiences.


Childcare Options:

  • Recognizing the importance of early childcare, the City of Kawartha Lakes and the County of Haliburton Child Care Registry offer licensed childcare and recreation programs to support working families. This registry allows families to review available services and apply for childcare programs.


Kawartha Farm School:

  • The region is also home to the Kawartha Farm School, a private elementary school that offers a unique farm-based education experience. This school focuses on providing a balanced curriculum that integrates core academic subjects with life skills, independence, and leadership development. Students at the Kawartha Farm School can interact with animals daily, learn practical skills, and contribute to food security by growing food on the farm.


Education in the City of Kawartha Lakes is diverse, offering a mix of public, Catholic, private, and specialized educational opportunities to meet the needs of families and students in the region.


Transport System of Kawartha Lakes Town, Ontario, Canada

The transport system in the City of Kawartha Lakes in Ontario, Canada, is diverse and caters to the needs of residents and visitors. Here are some key components of the transport system based on the provided sources:

  • Air Transportation: The Kawartha Lakes Municipal Airport is a key transportation hub, providing access to various points throughout Ontario.
  • Public Transit: Lindsay Transit operates within the City of Kawartha Lakes, offering multiple bus routes in the town of Lindsay. The service includes charters and specialized transit options, like LIMO Specialized Transit, for individuals with physical or functional disabilities.
  • Community Care: Community Care provides transportation services for older adults and individuals with special needs and physical disabilities.
  • GO Transit: The region is connected to the GO Transit network through a GO Bus Terminal in Peterborough and a GO Bus stop in Clarington North, providing train and bus services to residents.
  • TOK Coachlines: TOK Coachlines offers transportation services with a pick-up location in Lindsay, catering to the local community's transit needs.
  • Taxi Services: Several licensed taxicabs operate in Kawartha Lakes, providing additional transportation options for residents and visitors.
  • Waterway Cruises: The Kawartha Lakes region is known for its scenic lakes, rivers, and locks, which attract boaters and offer recreational waterway experiences. The Trent-Severn Waterway, with its locks and dams, provides a unique way to navigate central Ontario by water.


The transport system in Kawartha Lakes encompasses a mix of air, land, and water-based transportation options, ensuring connectivity and accessibility for the local community and tourists alike.


Living in Kawartha Lakes town, Ontario, Canada

Living in the City of Kawartha Lakes in Ontario, Canada, offers a unique blend of natural beauty, small-town charm, and a high quality of life. Here are some key aspects of living in Kawartha Lakes:


Natural Environment

The city is named after the Kawartha Lakes, a chain of interconnected lakes and rivers that provides ample outdoor recreation opportunities, such as boating, fishing, and swimming5. The region also has several provincial parks that offer hiking trails and camping facilities5.


Community Life

Kawartha Lakes is a mix of urban centers and rural communities, each with distinct character and amenities. The main population centers, such as Lindsay, Bobcaygeon, and Fenelon Falls, offer a range of shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions. The city also has a strong sense of community, with various events and festivals.



While public transportation options are limited, the city is well-connected by road, with several highways passing through the area. The Kawartha Lakes Municipal Airport provides access to key points in Ontario. The Trent-Severn Waterway also serves the region, a historic canal system connecting Georgian Bay to Lake Ontario5.


Education and Healthcare

Kawartha Lakes offers a range of educational options, including public and Catholic schools and private schools like the Kawartha Farm School. The city also serves as a regional healthcare hub, with several medical facilities and services available to residents.



The local economy is diverse, with key sectors including tourism, manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, and natural resources. The city's natural assets and recreational opportunities attract visitors year-round, supporting local businesses and employment.


Living in Kawartha Lakes provides a high quality of life, access to nature, a strong sense of community, and a diverse economy. The city's unique blend of urban and rural elements makes it an attractive place to live, work, and raise a family.


Healthcare in Kawartha Lakes town, Ontario, Canada

Healthcare in the City of Kawartha Lakes is provided by a network of organizations and professionals working together to meet the community's needs. Key aspects of healthcare in the region include:


Family Health Team

The City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team (CKL FHT) is a collaborative team of family doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, and respiratory therapists. They work together to provide comprehensive primary care to patients.


Ross Memorial Hospital

The Ross Memorial Hospital is an acute-care facility serving residents and visitors in Kawartha Lakes. It offers a range of inpatient and outpatient services.


Community Care

Community Care provides clinical services through a team of healthcare providers caring for children, families, and seniors. They offer affordable dental care and services that support aging in place.


Ontario Health Team

The Kawartha Lakes Ontario Health Team (KL-OHT) is a group of healthcare providers, organizations, patients, families, and caregivers working together to improve health outcomes in the region. They focus on supporting people in living their healthiest possible lives.


Public Health

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit serves the Kawartha Lakes area, promoting and protecting the community's health.


Healthcare in Kawartha Lakes is a collaborative effort involving various organizations and professionals who work to provide high-quality, patient-centred care to residents and visitors alike.


Tourist places in Kawartha Lakes town, Ontario, Canada

Some of the top tourist places to visit in the City of Kawartha Lakes in Ontario, Canada, include:

  1. Balsam Lake Provincial Park: A scenic park offering opportunities for camping, hiking, swimming, and picnicking amidst beautiful natural surroundings.
  2. Emily Provincial Park: Another picturesque park with trails, beaches, and camping facilities, ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
  3. Fishing in Kawarthas and Northumberland: The region is renowned for its excellent fishing opportunities, attracting anglers looking to catch bass, northern pike, walleye, and muskie.
  4. Houseboating in Kawartha Lakes: Experience the unique adventure of houseboating on the interconnected lakes and rivers, offering a relaxing and scenic way to explore the area.
  5. Kawartha Lakes Arts and Heritage Trail: This trail explores the region's rich cultural heritage through art galleries, museums, and historic sites.
  6. Kawartha Trans-Canada Trail: A popular trail for hiking, cycling, and enjoying the natural beauty of the Kawartha Lakes region.
  7. Kawarthas Northumberland Butter Tart Tour: On this tour, indulge in a delicious culinary experience by sampling butter tarts from various bakeries.
  8. TPS Equine Services - Small Hooves Big Hearts: For horse enthusiasts, this equine service offers unique experiences and interactions with horses.
  9. Trail Tours: Guided tours that allow visitors to explore the diverse landscapes and attractions of Kawartha Lakes.


These attractions offer a mix of outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and culinary delights, making Kawartha Lakes a vibrant and appealing destination for tourists.


Local food of Kawartha Lakes town, Ontario, Canada

The City of Kawartha Lakes in Ontario, Canada, offers various local food experiences that showcase the region's culinary diversity and agricultural heritage. Here are some highlights of the local food scene in Kawartha Lakes based on the provided sources:

  1. Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream: A visit to Kawartha Lakes is complete with savouring the farm-fresh dairy goodness of Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream. This iconic treat is a must-try for visitors exploring the region.
  2. Kawarthas Northumberland Butter Tart Tour: The region is famous for its butter tarts, and the Kawarthas Northumberland Butter Tart Tour offers a delightful culinary adventure with over 50 stops. This self-guided tour allows visitors to taste some of the best butter tarts in Ontario, making it a popular foodie experience in Kawartha Lakes.
  3. Local Food Wholesale Project: The Kawartha Region Local Food Wholesale Project aims to support expanded production, wholesale marketing, and local food purchasing within Kawartha Lakes. This initiative promotes the availability of locally grown produce, baked goods, and preserves, fostering connections between local food producers and buyers in the region.
  4. Community Food Programs: Organizations like the Kawartha Lakes Food Source run community programs that provide residents in need with access to fresh and healthy food. These programs include initiatives like the Lindsay Community Food Market, Summer Lunch Program, Open Gardens, Milk & Eggs Program, and Emergency Relief Bags, highlighting the community's commitment to food security and support for those facing food insecurity.


Overall, the local food scene in Kawartha Lakes is characterized by a vibrant mix of farm-fresh dairy products, culinary tours, community food initiatives, and a focus on supporting local producers and businesses.


You can also check the information regarding Kapuskasing, Ontario

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