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15 Amazing Facts about Lake Ontario You Didn’t Know

Amazing Facts about Lake Ontario You Didn’t Know
Amazing Facts about Lake Ontario You Didn’t Know

Lake Ontario is one of the smallest of The Great Lakes and is bounded by New York and the province of Ontario, Canada. Primarily fed by Niagara River due to Lake Erie, the entire water of the Great lakes is drained into Lake Ontario. The Lake itself serves as an outlet to the Atlantic Ocean through the north-east of St Lawrence River. Toronto, Kingston and Hamilton are chief Canadian cities situated along Lake Ontario.

Various islands emerge to be Lake Ontario islands where people actually reside on

Yes! Not a single but you can see a constellation of islands existing within Lake Ontario. Few names include Gallo island, Waupoos, Amherst island, and Association island. The Toronto Skyline looks really stunning from those islands. Other than this, few are situated in between the lake. The largest of all the islands is Wolfe island that is spread in an area not less than 48 square miles. The Wolfe island itself has a population of around 1400 people and consists of a church, bakery and chain of restaurants for its visitors. 

A shipwreck in the Lake Ontario

In 2015, Bay State Shipwreck was discovered and lies in the river bed till now. The Bay State was set out in 1862 from Oswego and was about to travel to Toledo and Cleveland when it sank due to a fierce storm. The Bay State is said to be one of the initial propellers driven by steam to navigate the water in Great Lakes. Unfortunately, a ferocious storm hit the ship and made the captain turn back the ship towards the port. But then, the ship torn apart into pieces and sank in the water. It left nothing but debris spread about a quarter of a mile in the middle of the lake. Other than this, many scuba diving treasures are been found in the lake. For example, one of the flights which were abandoned from flying, the US Air Force C-45 aircraft is located in Oswego, New York State.

Giant goldfish in the lake

Who does not love watching goldfish? Luckily, Lake Ontario visitors can see larger than usual goldfishes swimming all over in the lake. One can find several varieties of fish in Lake Ontario including places in the salmon, trout, walleye and bass. Though few of the people do not actually feel that they have seen giant goldfish because the fish gets quickly into the water during floods. In the wild, they gain capabilities that help them grow in enormous sizes. Although Lake Ontario is Canada’s largest freshwater lake suitable for fish, due to the overfishing and commercialization of the fishing industry, many species of fish have become “species at risk”.

Beautiful and Elegant Swans in the Lake Ontario

Geese, duck and mallards are among many other forms of bird species you can see in Lake Ontario. While they constitute primary species over there, it is more surprising to know that various types of elegant and beautiful swans inhabit in this region. Some of the swan breeds include Trumpeter swan, Mute swan, and the Tundra swan throughout the Lake Ontario region. Among all, Mute swan is often said to be most aggressive towards people in the area.

Babe Ruth first home run ball was hit into the Lake Ontario

As a 19-year-old pitcher with the triple-A Providence Grays, George Herman (Babe) Ruth hit his first professional home run in Toronto in 1914 (courtesy Canadian Press Images).

While Ruth was playing at Hanlan’s Point Stadium in the year 1914, his ball was hit with such a force that it went straight into the lake. The 19-year-old Ruth at that time was in the beginning years of his career as a professional baseball player. It is said that the ball still lies in the lake. Experts say that even if you put on scuba gear and search for baseballs, they will never be found in Lake Ontario and therefore compares them with “holy grail” just like other treasures lying in the lake. 

A hundred beaches and more on Lake Ontario

Whenever we talk about great beaches worldwide, Florida or famous sea coasts come instantly in our minds. However, the Great Lakes have various and amazing beaches that one could relish upon. Many sandy beaches are found around Lake Ontario and to name them all can prove very difficult. But, Wasaga Beach is considered as one of the most popular beaches in the region and contains freshwater. This beach is also popular for being one of the longest freshwater beaches throughout the globe.

More than 9 million people receive freshwater from the Lake

In Canada as well as New York State, Lake Ontario is considered to be one primary source of freshwater. The Lake serves drinking water to approximately 9 million people. In fact, every year the government tests water of the Lake to ensure that people are provided with good quality water. 

Lake Ontario is the World’s 14th largest lake

Even if Lake Ontario is the smallest among the five Great Lakes, it holds the 14th position in the world’s largest lakes. It can be said because of the area calculated in square miles. The lake is around 800 metres deeper which is greater than many other lakes holding higher positions in the largest lakes list. 

Lake Ontario is popularly known as ‘Lake of Shining Waters’

The meaning of the word Ontario in Huron language is “lake of shining waters”. Native Americans used to speak Huron language particularly those who belonged to Wyandot tribe. In French, Huron means Wyandot. However, one of the French explorers named, Samuel de Champlain called this lake as Lake St. Louis in 1932.

Marilyn Bell swam across the Lake at an early age of 16

16 years old Marilyn Bell took part in a swimming competition in the year 1954 and swam across Lake Ontario. The race was sponsored by the Canadian National Exhibition. Bell swam continuously for 21 hours even though many challenging situations came in fronts like waves soaring up to 15 feet along with eels that attacked her legs and arms. After a year, Bell swam across the English Channel and became the youngest individual to do so. Other than Bell, around 50 people swam across the Lake among which most of them were teenagers. 

The lake was not given a name for the province

The lake was not given the name for province rather the province was named after the Lake. But, in the past, many names were given to the lake such as Ondiara, Lac Frontenac and Lacus Ontarius. Another view states that Lake Ontario is the name of the lake found in Titan, the moon of Saturn. Although “Ontario Lacus” is twenty percent small than the lake in the earth, Nasa claims that it illuminates mooring spots and attractive beaches. 

Ontario was home for the Iroquois before French explorers arrived Canada

French explorers arrived in Canada in the 1600s. before that Lake Ontario was home to the Iroquois who lived there for not less than a thousand years. Iroquois are the people who speak Iroquoian language and had previously occupied places like Erie, Pennsylvania and New York State at present, Lake Ontario and Huron. This large group can be taken differently from the Five Nations and better known as Iroquois Confederacy. 

The unusually cold temperature of the lake

It is said that if one jumps into the lake, he or she can tell easily that it has the perfect temperature to keep a beer chilled throughout the year. In fact, one of the beachgoers in the year 2017 said that he discovered few vintage beer bottles in the lake that must have been kept for not less than 30 years to keep the bottles cold. Though, it is not cold enough to freeze things completely because of its great size and depth. The last time when the lake was completely frozen was in 1934. Thanks to Lake Ontario for making ice wines and summer peaches. The cold breezes from the lake create a microclimate that elongates season durations. This is the reason shores of Lake Ontario are called as best wine country in Canada.  

Presence of calcium carbonate makes the Lake Ontario water look whiter

During some days, the water in the lake does not look blue rather remains amazingly white. This is because of calcium carbonate in the water which makes it look whiter. Such events usually take place in the summer season when the water temperature changes gradually. The increase in temperature allows calcium carbonate fine particles to form water columns.   

The quintessential Lake Ontario fish

Although the Lake does not have any sharks in it, you have to take care of your toes once you step into the water. American eels’ abode in the lake and is popularly called as “The quintessential Lake Ontario fish”. These eels can be up to one metre in length and are known after misnomer which frequents at both sides of the lake. Once being one of the common fish found in Lake Ontario, it has now become endangered.

Lake Ontario is all over the news for several reasons, including good and bad. With waters soaring up around half a metre than usual height, you can encounter the lakeshore flooded which often results in property damages. Don’t be surprised if you have to cancel your major events or face closure of Toronto’s famous Centre Island. 

Although the city around Lake Ontario faces rough summer, we still believe that Lake Ontario is worth visiting at least once in a lifetime. Above given are few of the reasons why we claim so.

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