Lake Simcoe

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Lake Simcoe is a lake in southern Ontario, Canada, the fourth largest lake in the province. At the time of the first European contact in the 17th century the lake was called Ouentironk ("Beautiful Water") by the Huron natives. It was also known as Lake Toronto, and it was known by this name until it was renamed for John Graves Simcoe, the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada in the late 18th century.

The lake is about 30 kilometres long and 25 kilometres wide. It is shaped roughly like a fist made with the left hand, with the index finger and thumb extended. The thumb forms Kempenfelt Bay on the west, the wrist Cook's Bay to the south, and the extended finger is Lake Couchiching on the north. Couchiching can be considered a third bay of Simcoe, but the narrows between the two separate them enough to be considered two lakes. The narrows, known as "the place where trees grow over the water" was an important fishing point for the First Nations peoples that lived in the area, and the Mohawk term, toran-ten eventually gave name to Toronto by way of the portage route running south from that point, the Toronto Carrying-Place Trail.

Lake Simcoe contains a large island, Georgina Island, on which there is a First Nations reserve. The lake is dotted with several smaller islands including: Thorah Island (a cottage destination), Strawberry Island (a Basillican retreat), Snake Island and Fox Island. A number of major rivers of southern Ontario flow, generally north, into the lake, draining almost 3000 square kilometres of land. The Trent-Severn Waterway is the most important river system draining into Lake Simcoe, connecting the lake with the Great Lakes Lake Huron and Lake Ontario (Simcoe itself is not a Great Lake).

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 northern shore of the lake contains thousands of cottages, and is one of the most popular vacation areas in Ontario.

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