Lake Ontario. Where is located on the map, photo

There are amazing places on every continent of our planet. In North America, such a place is considered a chain of five Great Lakes. Ontario is the smallest lake of this chain, which is lower than the rest, but for the two states it is of great importance. It is interesting for shipping and trade routes. It is also of considerable value as a tourist attraction.


Translated from the language of the Huron Indian tribe, the name means “Lake of Shining Waters”. In the system of five Great Lakes, it is considered the smallest body of water, the volume of water is 19,500 km². By world standards, this is the 14th place among the lakes.

Lake Ontario is located on the eastern border of the United States and Canada. In America, the border of the lake is considered the southern part of the state of New York, in Canada it is located in the state of the same name. On the map of the "Great Lakes" Ontario is the lowest, located at an altitude of 75 meters above sea level.

The geographic coordinates of Lake Ontario are considered to be: 43°42'16 north latitude and 77°57'57 west longitude.

To get to the lake in Canada, you can leave Ottawa on the Trans-Canada Hwy direction ON-7 to the city of Toronto, and on the direction ON-407 W to the city of Hamilton.

The distance to the lake on both sides is about 450 km. From the American side, you can get there by transport from the city of Syracuse, which is 65 km from the coastal borders of the lake. Or from the New York port of Oswego by sea, the Great Lakes Waterway route, which passes through the waters of Ontario.

Historical facts

Scientists have established that the lake was formed as a result of the Silurian period, when the rocks of the Wisconsin glacier displaced a large piece of ice, which melted in the warm waters of the St. Lawrence River.

At that time, the surface of the water was at a higher level, covered by an ice sheet holding rocks, which later retreated north. When the valley began to fill with water, the coastline of the reservoir began to change. The Indian tribes that settled on the shores of the lake called it "Shanadario".

The first European to reach the water line was the Frenchman Etienne Brule, who studied the life of the Indians of the Huron tribe. He was the translator of Samuel de Champlain, a famous traveler and chronicler of that time. Among his studies in 1632 was mentioned the bay of Lac de St. Louis, located on the borders of the Huron settlements.

In 1673, on the borders of the bay, the French established the first Fort Frontenac. After the French and Indian War (in 1750) all the forts around the lake came under British control. The American Revolution took place between 1765 and 1783, after which Britain lost control of the thirteen American colonies. The United States of America was founded.

By that time, the easternmost lake on the coast of Canada was beginning to be settled by a people who established commercial activities using the waters of the lake. By the middle of the 19th century, Kingston and Ontario became the centers of settlements on the territory of the Great Lakes, were considered the capitals of the southern borders of Canada.

Steamboat traffic began on the water, the St. Lawrence sea route was opened, connecting the water system with the Atlantic Ocean.

Characteristics of the lake

Ontario is not included in the TOP-10 largest lakes in the world, however, its characteristics are very impressive.

Area, depth, extent, bottom topography

Lake Ontario is located on the territory of two neighboring states: America and Canada. It occupies an area of ​​about 20 thousand km², the length of the lake is 311 km, the width is 85 km. The volume of water is almost 19 thousand km³. The coastline is 1146 km long. The shallowest depth was recorded at 86 m, the largest reaches 244 m.

Salinity and composition of water

Research data indicate that the lake is more than 2 times more polluted. The mineralization of the water mass of the lake is the largest of the Great Lakes, it is 233 mg / l.

The chemical composition of water contains (in mg/l):

Component name Content (mg/l)
Carbon dioxide ions113.2

Relationship with the World Ocean

The Great Lakes are a system of freshwater lakes in North America. The main inflow of water into Ontario goes through the river. Niagara, which carries the waters of the Great Lakes. From the south of the lake there are three large rivers: Jenshi, Black and Osuigo and 14 small tributaries, pour from the north. Trent.

The flow of water is carried out through the p. St. Lawrence, which flows out of the lake in the East. The contribution of atmospheric precipitation is the smallest compared to other lakes of the Great System and is only 7%.

Ontario Lake

Due to the development of navigation, Ontario is connected by the Canal with the Hudson River. In the XX century Ontario became the most important transport artery of the United States and Canada. The aqueous chain of the Great Lakes carries its waters to the Atlantic Ocean.

Climate, water temperature

Ontario is located in a temperate climatic zone with harsh winters and a short summer season. The Lake Valley surrounds the mountains, thanks to which there is a small amount of winds and there are no strong frosts.

In winter, the reservoir does not freeze, the largest ice cover (it is no more than 15% of the entire aquatic mirror) is formed by the middle of January only off the coast. The temperature of the water in the lake, depending on the season from 6 to 22.8 ° C.

Moderate climate is favorable for life and rest, there are few rains here, on average 4 days per month. Spring on the coast of the lake comes in March, since April is a stable temperature of + 20 ° C.

In July, August air warms up to + 30 ° C, these are the best months for the tourist season. Nights cool from +10 to + 18 ° C. The temperature of the water during the summer period does not rise above 23 ° C.

In September, the weather is soft, suitable for recreation. October brings coolness, air decreases on average to + 17 ° C. Winter: December, January, February.

Flora and fauna

The territory of the Great Lakes is considered the zone of the National Reserve, Flora and the Fauna of the coastal is under the protection of the state. The water of the lake is abundant by the presence of algae and phytoplankton: a rogue, a floating ride, auction.

The water of the lake is sicked by fish of different breeds:

  • Skipper light;
  • Kizhuhu (American name "Silver Salmon");
  • Mikija (Foreign Family);
  • Koryushka (small snacks);
  • Yellow perch;
  • alose (Family).

The fishing season is short here: from June to August. In the waters of the lake there is a fish that local fishermen consider prehistoric. This is a Gaspar shelter. The fish is considered inedible because it has an unpleasant smell. From the usual pike is distinguished by a long, sharp nose and very dense scales.

The shores of the Great Lakes are rich in representatives of the animal world.

In the forests of these places live:

  • wolves;
  • bears;
  • coyotes;
  • moose;
  • Cougars;
  • red and common lynx;
  • Vergina deer;
  • Florida rabbits;
  • red proteins;
  • Canadian beavers;
  • muskrats.
Canadian beaver

The number of bird species living in the Great Lakes region reaches 496. Of these, 108 are considered rare. Among the birds there are species that are characteristic only for the North American zone.

These are:

  • blue herons;
  • horned owls;
  • American woodcocks;
  • black troupial.

Of interest to ornithologists is the critically endangered yellow-nosed albatross. Hunting for birds and chicks is considered a violation of the law on the conservation of rare species. Vessels passing through the waters of the lake have an obligation to use illuminating lights at night to scare away birds.

Environmental situation

Lake Ontario is currently on the list of sites subject to environmental disaster. This is evidenced by the conclusions of international ecologists. Once these territories had stocks of fish, an abundance of animal species. Now the situation has changed for the worse. The government is making a lot of efforts to improve the situation.

The fact is that for 200 years the reservoir was used for sewage and industrial waste. This has led to serious environmental problems. Ontario, like other lakes, was polluted with mercury, phosphates, heavy metals (waste from industrial activities).

In 1970, the level of pollution reached a critical level, the surface began to overgrow with algae, and fish began to die en masse. Rare species of the Newfoundland wolf, sea minks, Labrador eider, passenger pigeons have completely disappeared. Due to deforestation, much of the natural habitat has been destroyed.

The governments of the United States and Canada in 1974 adopted programs to treat wastewater and industrial emissions into Lake Ontario. Now there are organizations that control the implementation of the program, the safety of the ecological system.

Use of lake waters

The Great Lakes are considered the main source of drinking water in Canada. Programs to clean up the ecological zones around the lake, adopted by the government, are producing results. According to recent studies, water quality is improving every year.

A navigable waterway runs through the waters of Ontario, linking the cities of Canada and America. The ports of Hamilton and Toronto provide the movement of tankers with cargo, as well as pleasure, tourist boats.

There are large deposits of peat in the province of Ontario, which are sold on the mainland. Of industrial interest is ferrous metal ores, which are mined in the vicinity of the lake.

Due to water pollution, fishing is allowed only privately. At the moment, the authorities of Canada and America are trying to restore the population of many species of fish, annually releasing millions of fry into the Great Lakes.

Recreational resources

Despite the severe environmental consequences of human activity, the lake is one of the main natural attractions of the North American continent.

Entertainment and recreation

One of the main attractions of Ontario is its unique, picturesque nature. There are nature reserves and national parks that attract the interest of many tourists.

The most popular entertainment is fishing tours. In Canada, they are very sensitive to fish, many species are banned from catching. Fishing tours are equipped with everything you need and are supervised by professionals. The cost ranges from $250 to $600, depending on the place of fishing, the duration of fishing and the number of people. The main types of fish allowed to be caught: salmon and trout, coho salmon.

Another type of recreation that is in demand among tourists is scuba diving. Here this sport is popular due to the fact that the fresh, cool water of the lake has well preserved the remains of sunken ships of the 19th century. Most dive sites are located in the coastal areas of Lake Ontario. Diving accompanied by a professional diver will cost from $80 to $200 per person.

On the shores of the lake there are beaches for lovers of passive recreation. Of greatest interest is the city beach Cobourg, located on the coastal strip of Ontario.

The coast and bottom are white sand. Here, every vacationer will find entertainment to their liking: picnics, barbecues are allowed, there are attractions for children, volleyball, frisbee. Contests of sand figures are actively in demand, in which everyone can take part. The best time to relax on the beach is July, August.

A guest room in an economy house (for example, Don Mills Guest House) will cost from $35 per night. More comfortable apartments (for example, Entertainment District Stunning Views Apartment) from $95 per night.


The rich nature of Ontario is protected by both states. The main attraction of the province is Niagara Park, where the world's most famous waterfall is located.

Among the cascade of waterfalls of various sizes, the most spectacular is the one that connects Lakes Ontario and Erie. A natural break in the earth's crust 1000 m wide, through which water falls from a height of 50 m, is considered a truly unique creation of the nature of North America.

For tourists wishing to view Niagara Falls, viewing platforms have been created, on some of them the view of the waterfall passes behind a wall of seething water. Thousands of cubic meters of seething moisture will make an indelible impression.

At night, the waterfall is illuminated by powerful multicolored spotlights. From the Canadian and American coasts every 30 minutes. departure ships Maid of Mist with tourists, accommodating 600 passengers. The price of a Canadian ticket is $14.50; American — $8.90.


Lake Ontario is located in amazingly beautiful places where you can see reserved places untouched by human hand, incredible landscapes. National provincial parks are the pride of local residents. A favorite place for tourists is St. Lawrence Islands National Park. It was founded in 1904 and is located on 24 km².

It is interesting because its territory consists of a chain of 21 large and hundreds of small elevations, which the locals call the "Thousand Islands". Once there was no water here, only a hilly terrain. But with the melting of the glacier, the area was filled with water, the hills turned into islands. You can take a boat trip on a rented boat or ship, the payment will be $ 20-50.

There are many places of interest that are located in the coastal zones of Lake Ontario.

Locals advise to visit:

  • Canadian provincial Sandbanks Provincial Park, which is famous for its picturesque white sand dunes. The territory is equipped with 3 beaches and more than 600 campsites for recreation;
  • American Southwick Beach State Park, located on the east coast of Ontario, an area of ​​464 acres, most of which is considered a wilderness area;
  • Scarborough Bluffs, Toronto County, Canada. Coastline 15 km, elevation above sea level 90 m. Inspection is carried out from pleasure boats;
  • Scales Nature Park, a science project created in 2010. Wildlife Center, where tourists can live to touch the numerous amphibious reptiles;
  • Rattlesnake Point Preserve is considered the most beautiful place in Ontario by tourists. More than 100 km² of communication with nature, hiking, horse riding, cycling, many caves and rocks.

Interesting facts

  • Ontario lake is first described in the book of J. F. Kuper "Last of Mogican". The writer lived in the tribe of the Indians for a long time to explore the life and customs of the aborigines.
  • The system of the Great Lakes carries 21% of fresh water in the world.
  • The ferry message operating since 2004 between Toronto and Rochester is called "Ontario Spirit".
  • Scientists are alarming: one of the links of the environmental system (volatile mice) threatens the extinction, and the reason for the death of the population was the fungus, because of which the nose of an animal becomes white.
  • In 1954, the Canadian schoolgirl Marilyn Bell swam Lake Ontario. She was 16 years old. Since then, another 50 people Twisted through the lake.
  • Lake relief is constantly changing. Each year, the lake is replenished with water by 3 cm.
  • Sometimes water in the lake is painted white. This contributes to the high content of calcium carbonate, exceeding the norm 3 times.
  • Ontario is located on one parallel with Russian. Sochi.
  • The shores of the lake are covered with small sand, which contributes to the development of recreation areas. To date, tourists have chosen 100 beaches.

Of course, Lake Ontario is a stunning creation of nature. Here are the territories of nature reserves and national parks, uninhabited wild territories and land treated by the hands of people where fruit gardens are planted. There are 11 million people around the reservoir.

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