5 Lakes in Ontario that Completely Freeze Over in the Winter

The Great Lakes and the United States are shared by the east-central Canadian province of Ontario. In 2023, 15.5 million people will live there in an area of 415,600 mi2 (668,848 km2). The provincial capital and location of the CN Tower is Toronto. In actuality, this free-standing, 1,815-foot (553.2-meter) tower is the highest in the Western Hemisphere. In addition to being a telecom tower, it has a rotating restaurant with breathtaking views. This province’s industries include manufacturing, technology, mining, and agriculture. Large woods, parks, and an abundance of lakes are just a few of Ontario’s many natural beauties. But the region’s appeal is enhanced by its cultural diversity in addition to its natural diversity.

Since most of the province experiences temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or 0 degrees Celsius, winters here can be chilly and snowy depending on region. The days get shorter in December and March, and the occasional burst of wind makes it feel even colder. However, this doesn’t stop the residents from enjoying themselves!

Here, winter sports enthusiasts enjoy cross-country skiing, also known as ski loppet, forest fat bike freewheeling, and ski-shoeing, a combination of backcountry skiing and snowshoeing. In addition, there’s dog sledding, horseback riding, snowshoeing to ice caves, climbing frozen waterfalls, and seeing the Northern Lights! Winter festivals, ice skating, winter camping, and downhill skiing and snowboarding are some other activities. This province has more than 250,000 lakes, but not all of them entirely freeze over. Here is an overview of five lakes in Ontario that freeze over entirely throughout the winter. An illustration of what happens in Ontario when the winter season starts!

Lake Simcoe

This lake, which has an area of 287.3 miles (744 km2) and is 40 miles (65 km) north of Toronto, is situated between Georgian Bay and Lake Ontario in the southern part of the province. It is situated at a height of 719 feet (219 m) above sea level. It is 135 feet deep and the relic of the ancient lake known as Lake Algonquin. Known as the epicenter of ice-fishing in North America, the lake freezes entirely, though not every winter. Indeed, yellow perch, small-mouth bass, whitefish, and lake trout are among the species that have been caught here.

For those who don’t fish, there are also cross-country skiing, ice hockey, snowshoeing, ice skating, and bird viewing to enjoy. Among the species observed by birdwatchers are the common loon, which is the province bird, white-breasted nuthatches, American goldfinches, blue jays, Northern cardinals, house and purple finches, and black-capped chickadees. Skunks, opossums, raccoons, muskrats, beavers, porcupines, river otters, fishers, martens, mink, and weasels are among the area’s wintertime fauna. There are also wolves, foxes, bears, and deer.

Wawa Lake

One of the most photographed landmarks in North America, the Wawa Goose Monument, is located near this Northern Ontario Lake. The closest town is Wawa. The lake is located on 1,261 acres (510 hectares) and spans 14.7 miles (23.5 kilometers) in depth. This area saw the discovery of iron and gold in the 1800s. In actuality, the Helen Mine produced the most ore of any Canadian mine between 1900 and 1918.

Here, ice fishing is a popular winter activity on the frozen lake. Lake trout, Northern pike, and lake whitefish are among the species harvested. The locals take their fishing very seriously, as evidenced by the ice fishing competition they conduct, which offers cash awards! Snowmobiling and taking part in their winter carnival are two other wintertime pastimes. This secluded but easily accessible area has an incredibly gorgeous terrain, making it a popular wintertime vacation. Wolves, moose, and black bears are among the area’s fauna as well.

Lake Muskoka

This lake, which is situated between Gravenhurst and Port Carling, typically freezes over in the middle of January and completely in March. With a surface size of 34.36 mi² (55.29 km²) and an elevation of 738 feet (224.9 m) above sea level, it is 220 feet (67 m) deep. It is referred to as the “Hamptons of the North” and is dotted with affluent people’s mansions and country clubs. Because of this, there are many things to enjoy in this stunning area throughout the winter, like:

Hanna Park Skating Trail
Ice skating
Cross-country skiing
Ice fishing
Here, you can find rainbow, lake trout, whitefish, and northern pike. Birdwatchers can spot black-capped chickadees, pileated woodpeckers, common loons, Great blue herons, osprey, and blue jays. Moreover, sightings of black bears, moose, white-tailed deer, North American elk, snowshoe hares, red foxes, and white-footed mice are common during the winter.

The Woods Lake

This lake, which is home to walleye, musky, lake trout, smallmouth bass, trout, whitefish, and pike, is referred to as the “Walleye Capital of the World.” Yes, it’s one more of the province’s well-liked ice-fishing lakes! This shallow long lake, which stretches 85 miles (136.7 km) in length and 56 miles (90.1 km) in width, is situated on the border between Manitoba and Minnesota in the United States. Its size is 1,727 mi2 (4,572 km2), and its depth is 310 feet (94.4 m). Yes, the lake has 14,522 islands, and it’s one of the biggest in North America with 25,000 miles of shoreline. What makes it special is that it flows north!

During the winter, this lake freezes over completely, with an average ice thickness of 25 to 30 inches. The outcome is that the villagers make ice roads out of the frozen lake. Snowmobiling is another pastime that is popular here. There are wolves, black bears, moose, woodchucks, snowshoe hares, and lynx in the area. A few examples of bird species are the bald eagle, pileated woodpecker, hooded merganser, ruffed grouse, herring gull, and turkey vulture.

Lac des Mille Lacs

This lake, which covers 94 square miles and has a 20-foot depth, empties into the Hudson River. The French name Lac des Mille Lacs, which is located in northwest Ontario, means “Lake of a Thousand Lakes.” This picturesque location is close to the town of Upsala, 72 miles (117 km) northwest of Thunder Bay. Islands, peninsulas, and bays dot the terrain.

Discover the history of the lake through old indigenous pictographs and archaeological sites. When the lake freezes over by mid-December, ice fishing becomes a favorite activity here; on occasion, the ice can get as thick as three feet! Walleye, northern pike, and smallmouth bass are among the fish species found here. Observing species like bald eagles, common loons, ospreys, and great blue herons is a pleasure for birdwatchers. Sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling are among the winter sports available here. Moose and Northern elk are among the wildlife that can be observed nearby.