Welcome to Lake Ontario

Click here to jump down to the many ports around Lake Ontario OR

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Lake Ontario takes its name from the Huron or Wendat language meaning 'large lake' or possibly 'lake of shining waters'. It is the most easterly of the Great Lakes. It receives its water from the Niagara River in the southwest corner and empties into the St. Lawrence River in the northeast angle of the lake. Here are some facts about this Great Lake:

  • Length: 193mi / 311km
  • Width: 53mi / 85km
  • Depth: 283ft / 86m
  • Deepest: 802ft / 244m
  • Surface Area: 7,340sq mi / 18,960sq km
  • Coastline: 712 mi/1,146 km (incl islands)

Although slightly smaller than Lake Erie surface-wise, by volume, Ontario is about 3 times larger. Its coastline is the shortest.

The effect of the water inflow in the southwest and its outflow in the northeast is to set up a counter current along the north side of the lake. This current can run from less than 1/4 knot to over 2 knots.

There are two groups of islands in the lake - the Toronto Islands and a group of islands at the eastern end of the lake.

The Toronto Islands help form Toronto Harbour. Left over from a long-eroded sand spit, they contain parklands, beaches, yacht clubs, a unique small residential community (no vehicles!) and an airport.

At the eastern end of the lake, lie several large islands such as Amherst and Wolfe islands and many more smaller islands such as Main Duck and Simcoe.

Ringing the lake are dozens of ports and harbours offering everything from big city attractions to quiet villages and snug harbors to still, silent anchorages. All are easy to reach. And, there is a full range of services available in most areas around the lake.

Check out these port reviews of great destinations and begin to plan your exploration of this great lake!


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The Complete Log Book For Cruising Sailors

written by a sailor for sailors

a practical, easy-to-use yet thorough format to record all of the necessary information about your boat and any cruises you take – whether exploring home waters or voyaging to distant ports across the Great Lakes.

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