Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

On April 21, 2019, when most of us were most concerned with keeping the fireplace stoked, Kate Steels, from the UK, swam one mile in Lake Simcoe, just after the ice broke up – although large chunks of ice were still floating nearby.

Steels belongs to an exclusive group of world athletes who take part in the extreme sport of ice swimming, and the Lake Simcoe swim was her North American qualifier for the Ice 7s Challenge. The Ice 7s Challenge requires a thoroughly-documented, one-mile swim in water that is less than 5C on seven continents -- Africa, Asia (including Russia), Europe (excluding Russia), North America, South America, Oceania, and one polar continent (south of 60S or north of 70N). Also, one of the seven ice mile swims must be in water under 1C.

In November 2021, Steels completed her Ice 7s Challenge, becoming only the third person in the world to complete all of the required swims. 

When Steels did her swim near Beaverton in a time of 0:31:42, the average water temp was 4.13C. The sun came out and warmed the air to 7.9C, making conditions ideal for swimming – at least for ice swimming.

Steels chose Lake Simcoe for her North American swim “because I thought Ontario would be a fantastic place to come. You’ve got so many lakes and they get really nice and cold. I did some research online and I learned there is ice-fishing on Lake Simcoe, so I knew it definitely would get cold enough.”IMG 6953

She stayed at Moorelands Station B&B, operated by Judi and Dave Forbes and located right on the lake at Beaverton. Steels got out of the lake and into a neighbour’s sauna, which helped with the recovery process.

To see her final results, go to ICE 7s – Records | IISA (

To read more about Kate's personal challenge to finish the Ice 7s in memory of her son and to support the suicide counselling charity Samaritans, go to: My goal - Charity Challenge by Kate Steels – SELKIE (

Home page photo by Ali Greene,



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