Lake Simcoe Canals, Rivers and Waterways Management

Learn about surface water quality concerns along Georgina's waterfront

Occasionally, the Town receives questions and concerns from residents regarding the surface water quality adjacent to their properties, whether directly or indirectly on Lake Simcoe, including along the various canals and the Town’s three navigable rivers. This page exists to provide links and resources to access more information in relation to these concerns.   

Understanding and identifying responsibility around water resources can be complex because it involves various levels of government and agencies, including the following:

Federal government

Responsible for managing navigable waterways and shares significant responsibilities for agriculture and supporting aquatic research and technology. It also ensures national policies and standards are in place with reference to the environment and health-related issues.

Provincial government

Responsible for source water protection, water quality, long-term planning and resource allocation (conservation authorities) through various entities such as the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA)

The LSRCA is responsible for protecting and restoring the Lake Simcoe watershed with innovative research, policy and action.  It regulates approximately 29% of the Lake Simcoe watershed, overseeing several natural hazards, including flooding, steep slopes, erosion-prone areas and wetlands. Please visit the LSRCA Regulation Maps to see the boundaries of the regulated area.

Local government (Town of Georgina)

See our Frequently Asked Questions below.

Private property owners

Responsible for well testing and inspections, adhering to the septic inspection program, local lakebed raking and overall environmental conscientiousness (i.e., preservation and planting of native trees, shrubs and grasses and mindfulness when building structures.)

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Town support Lake Simcoe's water quality?

By collecting and disposing of top-water weeds annually in the southeast corner of Cook's Bay, beginning in June each year and ending in late August.

Through working with the LSRCA on watershed health, including improving stormwater management to reduce pollutants entering Lake Simcoe.

By advocating for the advancement of the Council's 2023 resolution to support and identify funding priorities for Lake Simcoe under Canada’s Freshwater Action Plan Fund.

By providing education and awareness around the protection of Georgina’s natural environment, including Lake Simcoe.

The Town of Georgina Council has also adopted several relevant motions supporting Georgina’s natural environment. Please visit Council Agendas, Minutes and Meetings to stay informed of decisions that impact the environment.

Who should I contact if I have concerns about water quality and/or potential invasive species near my property?

If you would like to find out more about your local subwatershed conditions, please contact the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) by phone (905-895-1281) or email.

The LSRCA also provides information to help residents understand the impact of invasive species, including what to do to prevent and deal with the issue. Please visit its Invasive Species information page. 

Ontario encourages residents to report invasive species sightings through its Invading Species Awareness Program.  

What actions can I take as a property owner to support the health of Lake Simcoe?

Visit Conservation Ontario’s Watershed Checkup page, which covers the importance of why it's necessary to monitor the health of the province's watershed and provides a list of actions the general public can take to support vibrant watersheds. 

The LSRCA publishes the Lake Simcoe Watershed Report Card, which studies data over five-year periods to better understand the evolving health of the watershed. This publication -- the latest of which was published in 2023 with data from 2017-2021 -- provides insight into how changes to natural ecosystems impact the health of the watershed. It also provides tips for individuals and communities on what they can do to enhance the watershed.

What about rivers?

Water quality concerns around rivers should be directed to Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

The Town has three navigable rivers -- the Maskinonge River, the Black River and the Pefferlaw River. Navigable rivers are unique in that they are regulated by the federal government under the Canadian Navigable Waters Act (CNWA). Because these rivers are available to the public for travel or transport, they can have laws assigned to them, including speed limits. For more information on navigable rivers, please visit Transport Canada's Navigable Waterways page.

Contact Us

26557 Civic Centre Rd,
Keswick, ON  L4P 3G1

T: 905-476-4301 / 705-437-2210
F: 905-476-8100

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.