Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Johanna Powell is a journalist who fell in love with Lake Simcoe while bouncing across her waves in a sailboat. She is the founder and publisher of Lake Simcoe Living, a magazine and website that together celebrate life on the Lake Simcoe Watershed. The Lake Simcoe Living blog delivers additional news and comment about this beautiful and...

Johanna Powell is a journalist who fell in love with Lake Simcoe while bouncing across her waves in a sailboat. She is the founder and publisher of Lake Simcoe Living, a magazine and website that together celebrate life on the Lake Simcoe Watershed. The Lake Simcoe Living blog delivers additional news and comment about this beautiful and exciting area.

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Lake Simcoe needs its own RTO

For some reason that I will never understand (Oh, to save money...?), when the Ontario government sliced up the tourism pie a few years back, parts of the Lake Simcoe Watershed were put into three different RTOs - Regional Tourism Organizations.

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Recent Comments
Guest — Marj Mossman
What a terrific idea Johanna! Good for you for thinking of it. Of course Lake Simcoe deserves its own RTO. There are so many touri... Read More
Monday, 24 February 2014 03:48
Guest — Beverley Else
You are so right, Johanna. Lake Simcoe is huge and is often viewed as a barrier between communities within the watershed. For th... Read More
Friday, 07 March 2014 10:56
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The first sounds of Spring

Did you hear birds singing today?

With the sun shining most of the day, birds seemed to come out of their hiding places to start singing and looking for food.

So many days this year have been cold and windy — and bereft of any wildlife. The only sound for many days was the wind howling mournfully through bare tree branches.

Even the fields where I walk with the dog, there were no tracks for the longest time.

Now there are tracks from the occasional rabbit, squirrel and even what appeared to be a mouse. There are tracks outside the beaver den. And there's something that appears to be a dog roaming on its own, so more likely is a coyote.

In the March-April issue of Lake Simcoe Living Magazine, Ron Fleming talks about the first bird songs of Spring.
Which bird "confirms that Winter is leaving and Spring is on its way?" I'm sure most of us will think of the red-breasted robin.

Not so, Ron says. It's the red-winged blackbird.

You can read more about the birds of Spring in the March-April issue. We're working on that issue now, and it should be available the first week of March.

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Where do Trumpeter swans spend the winter?

I learned this week that a Trumpeter swan has about 35,000 feathers and 2.5 centimetres of down. That's how Trumpeter swans get through the winter — even the severe temperatures and heavy snowfall we have had this winter.

Where they spend the winter is another question, and Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration, an organization started in 1982 to restore the majestic birds to their former range, would like anyone who sees a Trumpeter swan to help with the answer.

Please report the sighting by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre website — http://www.wyemarsh.com/conservation/swansightings.php, or on the Facebook group page Ontario Trumpeter Swans. Please include the date, location (GPS co-ordinates), wing tag number or leg band number.

Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration was initiated by retired Ministry of Natural Resources biologist Harry Lumsden. He began a captive breeding program that has since released 584 captive-reared swans in 54 locations around Ontario. There are now an estimated 800 to 1,000 birds in the province.

The Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration says if swans need to maintain a diet of natural wild forage. If you do feed them, provide clean, "untreated" dry corn — not bread.

Anglers are asked to help in swan restoration by using lead-free tackle so swans do not ingest a lead sinker while feeding, and by retrieving any lost lures so these are not accidentally ingested by swans and other wildlife.

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Recent Comments
Guest — Al Johnston
We've had a trumpeter pair visit the patch of open water in our pond in Whitchurch-Stouffville for a few years now -- they seem to... Read More
Sunday, 16 March 2014 18:54
Guest — Johanna Powell
Al, it must have been an amazing sight to see five trumpeter swans flying overhead! We'll have a story about the return of the swa... Read More
Sunday, 16 March 2014 21:17
Guest — Christine mcdonald
Just noticed our pair returned a couple days ago on the north end of lake Simcoe in Orillia Love them....looking forward to their ... Read More
Sunday, 12 April 2015 18:43
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Cannington Dog Sled Races and Winter Festival

Cannington Dog Sled Races and Winter Festival

There's more fun in Cannington this weekend than you can throw a snowball at, as the town hosts the 10th Annual Cannington Dog Sled Races and Winter Festival.

In addition to the dog sled races both Saturday and Sunday, there is competitive skijoring — competitors wearing cross-country skis are pulled along by their dogs — and a full slate of fun, family-oriented activities, from Metis music and dancing to ice carving, an outdoor marketplace and horse-pulled wagon rides.

On Sunday there's a pancake breakfast, beer garden with live entertainment and spaghetti dinner.

Simply follow the signs when you get to Cannington, just east of Highway 12.

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Hybrid, electric, or... what do you recommend?

One of my greatest pleasures is driving around Lake Simcoe, and as publisher of Lake Simcoe Living, I get to do that quite a bit - meeting people, going to events, delivering magazines, and taking photos are just some of the activities my role requires.
But increasingly I am aware that my trips around the lake come at a cost to the environment.
I drive a small, energy-efficient car, but it burns gasoline. And the more I learn about the detrimental effects of capturing, transporting and burning fossil fuel, the less I enjoy my time on the road.
So it's time to find a vehicle that will do less harm to the environment. At the same time, it should be easy to load and be able to carry a few hundred magazines.
Do I look for a hybrid? Or an electric car? What is going to do the least harm, and still allow me to do my job?
Do you have any recommendations to help in my search?

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Something fishy

Something fishy

Have you been to the new Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, next to the CN Tower in Toronto?

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Life along the dead end

Life along the dead end


There is a dead end street near my home in Bradford that has provided a series of wonders through the\is spring, summer and fall.

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1499 Hits
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Look who's here!

Look who's here!

These are exciting times in the Lake Simcoe area... You never know what names are going to show up!

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Guest — Guest
There has been so much change over the years....I hope the planners protect our Lake for generations to come.
Friday, 05 July 2013 07:43
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Community Association for Lake Simcoe?

Many people from outside the Lake Simcoe area are surprised when they learn there is no association encompassing our entire lake... no community or cottagers' or property owners' association.

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Congratulations, Neil Kinnear and Lesley Chung!

Sunday, April 1, was the official opening of "Where We Live and Play," a photographic exhibit by Neil Kinnear and Lesley Chung at the Georgina Arts Centre and Gallery, 149 High St., Sutton.

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LSRCA Media Award Winner

As publisher of Lake Simcoe Living, I recently received the 2011 Media Recognition Award from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority.

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Who will you vote for in the Ontario Election on Oct. 6, 2011?

Did you watch the Ontario Election Debate? Who won the debate? Who is going to win the election?

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Wear your lifejacket on the water

I am writing this with much sadness. Fraser Rennie, a father, devoted grandfather, owner of York Durham Sign, member of the Kinsmen Club of Sutton and a fellow sailor, died on Lake Simcoe on Sept. 10, 2011. A robust man, full of spirit and crazy about sailing, he is mourned by the Lake Simcoe racing community.

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It's Spring!

As I write this, it looks more like Winter outside -- but I know that Spring is on its way, along with the Spring issue of Lake Simcoe Living! The magazine is available across the Lake Simcoe Watershed. If you can't find a copy, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Recent comment in this post
Guest — Gloria
Hi Johanna! It`s my first time on your blog and I have to say congratulations and good for you for having a dynamic website. I lik... Read More
Thursday, 31 March 2011 20:00
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New Lake Simcoe science committee named

Dr. Peter Dillon, an internationally renowned research scientist and expert in the chemistry of lakes and watersheds, has been named chair of the new Lake Simcoe Science Committee.

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