The Ontario government is investing over $1.3 million in four new multi-year projects to further reduce the amount of phosphorus entering Lake Simcoe, which will help improve the ecological health of the lake and the communities that depend on it.

These projects will help the government and its partners continue to build on the significant progress made to protect and restore Lake Simcoe. Some of the signs of recovery in the Lake Simcoe watershed include a 50 per cent reduction in phosphorus from sewage treatment plants entering the watershed, decreased amounts of algae in the lake and successful reproduction of cold-water fish such as lake trout, lake whitefish and cisco.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to know that our collective efforts are having a positive impact on the health of Lake Simcoe – a lake and region so many of us, including myself, are proud to call home,” said Andrea Khanjin, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Our government knows that a healthy Lake Simcoe provides the foundation for healthy communities, healthy people and a healthy economy. That’s why we’re continuing to invest in projects and work with local leaders to further protect and restore the lake and its watershed.”

Since 2018, our government has committed more than $27.3 million to protect and restore Lake Simcoe, including a $24-million investment for a new phosphorus recycling project to help reduce phosphorus discharges from the Holland River into Lake Simcoe. These investments are part of Ontario’s continued commitment to implement the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan.

This year, the majority of the projects being funded are led by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority and local partners. These include:

  • Water sampling and analysis to monitor phosphorus and other nutrients flowing into Lake Simcoe. This information will be used to help determine which future actions can be taken to improve the lake’s overall health.
  • A study of chemicals and metals in the water and sediment that could harm the lake. This research can help identify new threats to the watershed as well as ways to protect it, now and over the long-term.
  • Creating wetlands and ponds, restoring streams, building channels and planting grasses to better manage stormwater in Innisfil, Newmarket and Oro-Medonte. These projects will help landowners and municipalities lower the amount of pollution going into Lake Simcoe from urban areas.

Toronto Metropolitan University has also received funding to conduct water quality research that will help tackle barriers to improving water quality from the Holland Marsh.

Quick Facts

  • Lake Simcoe is the largest inland lake in southern Ontario, more than twice the size of City of Hamilton.
  • Over the last four years, the government has invested more than $3.3 million in 19 multi-year projects in the Lake Simcoe watershed to enhance stormwater management and help reduce phosphorus pollution.
  • Key partners, including Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, community-based groups and other organizations lead the activities and research that are carried out in the Lake Simcoe watershed.

“Protecting the water in this area is of vital importance, not only to those who choose to live near our beautiful waterfront, but for the future of all. Our natural resources are a great draw to this region, and it is our duty to safeguard those resources for future generations. Ensuring the increased protections of Lake Simcoe, and the reduction of phosphorus, will continue the good work that has already seen incredible results, including a reduction of algae and a stable population of lake trout.” – Doug Downey, MPP for Barrie – Springwater – Oro-Medonte


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