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15 Amazing Facts About Lake Ontario that You Didn’t Know

15 Amazing Facts About Lake Ontario that You Didn’t Know

Despite being one of the biggest lakes in the world, Lake Ontario is considered a small lake in Canada . It is the smallest in the surface area in comparison to the other 4 great Lakes. 

You may think that you know it well or have enough information about it. But in this article, we will provide you with some of the least known, and in some cases, funniest facts about Lake Ontario.

We also keep track of the Lake Ontario Shores and what enjoyable possibilities it can bring us. So, get ready to start a fun and enjoyable journey to this lake.

History of Lake Ontario

Let’s start from the relative beginning of human civilization in the area. Lake Ontario functioned as a border between Huron and the Iroquois people who lived on the north and south shores of Lake Ontario with some quarrels from time to time. However, finally, in the year 1649, the latter drove the first group out of the area and settled on the northern shores of Lake Ontario; the current area of Toronto. 

Meanwhile, the first European nations that came to the area and intervened in the events were the French. Time went on and the French raised their influence while the British Empire wanted to be part of the game as well. This eventually caused wars between the two nations. 

The winner of this war was The British Empire which guaranteed them control of Lake Ontario. 

After the independence of The United States, the possession of the forts along the American side of the lake was assigned to the USA at the signing of the Jay Treaty in 1794. Permanent, non-military European settlement began during the American Revolution. However, during the War of 1812, many battles occurred between the United States and the British Empire over the control of Lake Ontario which ended with the Rush-Bagot Treaty in 1818 which terminated military actions on Lake Ontario. This treaty made it possible for Lake Ontario and its neighborhood to flourish without the fear of endless wars. 

One of the fun facts about Lake Ontario is that its main function as the border between nations remains. Nowadays, we have the Province of Ontario of Canada in the northwest and southwest and New York State in the east and south.

Top Activities on The Shores of Lake Ontario 

Before getting to the facts about Lake Ontario, let’s talk about the enjoyable things you do on the shorelines of Lake Ontario.

When you are in Toronto – one of the shoreline cities around Lake Ontario – and enjoying the Nightlight of Toronto by attending Harbourfront Centre Events or Cherry Beach Parties, keep in mind that there are lots of other activities waiting for you on the beaches of Lake Ontario.

Lake Ontario is more enjoyable in summer. The warm weather allows you to do most of the following activities. 

1. Take a Kayak Session

Deep dive in a breathtaking view of the waterfront while paddling a tandem kayak from Toronto Kayaks. The imaginary experience with the lighted LEDs after dusk.

Visit the sandy Woodbine Beach on Toronto’s east end, one of the city’s most well-known swimming spots.  

Here are some of the other places around Lake Ontario in Toronto you can go for paddling:

  • Cherry Beach.
  • Hanlan’s Point Beach (Toronto Islands).
  • Toronto Harbourfront.
  • Humber River.

2. Embrace the Sunset

Being able to watch and embrace an incredibly colorful sunset is one of the many things that Lake Ontario will provide you. Imagine walking on the beach and the sun slowly goes down. The view and peace that you would experience is unimaginable. 

3. Cruise on a Powerboat

If you are one of the fans of more rush and power, be sure to rent a mini Powerboat and cruise the inner harbor. All you need is to be over 21 and have a valid driver’s license. You can bring up to 5 adults and enjoy the inner harbor at your pace.

4. Race in the Lake Ontario

If you are a swimmer consider participating in the events that occur in the summer on Lake Ontario. You can take part in any one of the distances that are provided for racing and show your skills and have fun at the same time. 

5. Enjoy Blue Flag Beaches

Now that you have done all the exciting and rich adrenaline-based activities, maybe you want to chill out a little. The city of Toronto is the home of eight public blue flag beaches. 

These beaches meet the highest international standards for cleanliness, safety, and accessibility. 

Blueflag beaches in Toronto

15 Facts About Lake Ontario

After all those relaxing walks and beach time on the shores, let’s get to the Lake Ontario facts that we promised you from the beginning:

1. Border of Two Countries

Lake Ontario is the border between Canada and the USA, the Ontario province, and New York state.

2. Basin Old as Ice Age

The lake basin was carved out of soft, weak Silurian-age rocks by the Wisconsin ice sheet during the last ice age.

3. Small in Surface, Big in Deep

One of the Interesting facts about Lake Ontario is that it has the deepest point in all the Great Lakes with about 802 feet (244 meters). This makes it unique despite being the smallest of them all.

4. Home of Lots of Fish Specimens

The freshwater of Lake Ontario makes it possible for lots of fish to exist and endure there. However, it has been negatively affected by overfishing, water pollution, and so on. 

5. Hard to Swim Across

You must think it’s an easy job to overtake. However, of all the Ontario interesting facts this one is outstanding. Only 2400 people have swum across Lake Ontario. 

6. Frozen in 1934

In winter usually, the edges of the Lake freeze, somewhere between 10 to 90 percent. However, The last time Lake Ontario was fully frozen was in 1934. This is because of the depth and size which keeps the water temperature at a higher level.

7. In the top 15

With a shoreline of 712 miles (1,146 km) long, Lake Ontario is the 13th largest lake in the world. However, it is the smallest in the Great Lakes. 

8. Home of Many Treasures

Because of the wars between the USA and The British Empire in the 18th century, Many sunken ships await to be discovered in the deepest parts of the Lake. 

9. One-Quarter of Canada’s Population

One of the facts about Lake Ontario is that its shores are home to about one-quarter of Canada’s population which is about 9 million people.

10. Average Water Retention of 6 Years

The Lake Ontario water retention is 6 years. It means that it takes 6 years for the water to completely replace and renew. 

11. Marilyn Bell Swam Across Lake Ontario at Age 16

In 1954, Marilyn Bell became the first person to swim across Lake Ontario, despite facing challenging conditions. There is also a small park named after her on the shore of Lake Ontario.

12. Over 100 Beaches 

There are over 100 beaches across Lake Ontario including Kew-Balmy Beach in Toronto which truly is one of the mindblowing facts about Lake Ontario. 

13. Most Downstream Lakes of the Great Lakes

Being Downstream of Lakes or rivers means that the stream will carry all the pollution and external objects with it. This fact makes Lake Ontario vulnerable to pollution and must be monetized constantly. 

14. Loch Ness Monster

In the 17th century, there were reports of an animal in the shape of a famous Loch Ness monster in the lake

15. Perfect temperature for Bear

A funny fact about Lake Ontario is that the temperature of the water is cool enough to keep a can of bear cold and refreshing.

Where to Stay Near Lake Ontario?

If you are in Toronto and would like to be close to this lake, you have great choices in wonderful neighborhoods of Toronto

You can choose to stay in any of these neighborhoods, from Harbourfront to Toronto the beaches. Both areas are close to the lake and have great and unique characteristics that may suit you well. 

However, being near the main water road of the city comes with prices, too. Therefore, it might be costly to rent a house, or book Toronto luxury hotels with lake views. 

Are there any better options? The good news is that you can always enjoy being close to the lake while staying in a high-quality apartment at the same time. 

Do you want to stay in an accommodation as good as 4-star hotels, close to Ontario Lake, with a great view of the Toronto skyline? You are at the right place. You can rent one of our affordable modern studio apartments in downtown Toronto and enjoy your short-term stay in this city. 

All the studios are furnished with high-end furniture and modern facilities. They all come with a well-equipped kitchen, where you can cook your daily meals and a well-decorated bedroom area.


Lake Ontario is a remarkable wonder of nature. There are many more facts to learn and activities that can be performed alongside this huge and beautiful Lake. There is much more depth to it as well. It can be the subject of much research due to the important role that it plays in about 9 million people. These are all to remind you of the magnitude of its beauty and importance. 


1. Why is Lake Ontario Famous?

It is the main resource of water for about 9 million people and an important trade corridor because of being close to the Atlantic Ocean.

2. How Old is Lake Ontario?

One of the amazing facts about Lake Ontario is that its basin goes back to the last Ice Age around 14000 to 10000 years ago. 

3. How Big is Lake Ontario?

Lake Ontario has 18,960 km2 of surface (10,000 km2 in Canada), a depth of 86 m (max 244 m), a length of 311 km, and a width of 85 km.

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