Kawartha & Trent Lakes
The Kawartha Lakes
The Kawartha Lakes are a chain of lakes in south-central Ontario, Canada that form 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.
“Kawartha” is an anglicization of the word “Ka-wa-tha” (from “Ka-wa-tae-gum-maug” or Gaa-waategamaag), a word coined in 1895 by aboriginal Martha Whetung of the Curve Lake First Nations. It was hoped that the word, which meant “land of reflections” in the Anishinaabe language, would provide a convenient and popular advertising label for the area, much as “Muskoka” had come to describe the area and lakes north of Gravenhurst. The word was subsequently changed by tourism promoters to Kawartha, with the meaning “bright waters and happy lands.”
Though the city of Kawartha Lakes is named for them, more than half of the Kawartha Lakes are in fact located in Peterborough County. The Trent-Severn Waterway makes its way through many lakes in the main chain; many cottages dot the lakes’ shorelines some of which are quite large in size, and the region is most known for its recreational tourism.
Trent Lakes identifies three wards within the municipality; Harvey Ward, Galway Ward and Cavendish Ward. The three wards are based on traditional geographic boundaries and for election purposes there is still Municipal Council representatives for Harvey and Galway-Cavendish. This was a result of the 1998 amalgamation of the townships of Galway-Cavendish and Harvey.
The municipality has many community subdivisions concentrated around the many lakes. Several of the communities were originally intended for cottage use but today many of the subdivisions contain year round residents. There are two municipally-owned drinking water supply systems. One in the Buckhorn Lakes Estates subdivision and the other servicing the Pirates Glen and Alpine Village subdivisions. Other residences must rely on private wells.