Ontario Supporting Local Projects to Protect Lake Simcoe

$1.3 million investment for projects focused on reducing phosphorus to improve health of the lake

Andrea Khanjin, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, makes an announcement

BARRIE — 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

“We are grateful for the Ontario government’s investment in this important research and on-the-ground projects. Over the years, we have witnessed substantial progress in the efforts to protect Lake Simcoe, and the work continues. This investment reflects the dedication to the ecological health of the lake and the prosperity of the communities that depend on it.”

– Rob Baldwin
Chief Administrative Officer of Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

“We deeply appreciate the Ontario government’s commitment to protecting and preserving Lake Simcoe, which is the crown jewel of our city. This investment demonstrates a shared vision for safeguarding the well-being of our community and ensuring that Lake Simcoe remains a thriving natural resource to be enjoyed for generations to come.”

– Alex Nuttall
Mayor of Barrie

“Toronto Metropolitan University welcomes the Ontario government’s ongoing support for this important water protection research. Drawing upon TMU’s depth of water research excellence, our researchers will work to identify innovative solutions to ensure the protection of the invaluable natural resource of Lake Simcoe and the well-being of the surrounding communities.”

– Steven N. Liss
Vice-President of Research and Innovation at Toronto Metropolitan University

“We at Youth for Lake Simcoe strongly believe that a financial commitment from the provincial government is absolutely essential to preserve Lake Simcoe and its watersheds, keep the invasive species out, and restore the shoreline. We are so privileged to have this beautiful and unique lake in our community and enjoy various recreational activities on and around it. Lake Simcoe is our home, and it is vital to protect this natural resource, and keep it clean and healthy for our generation and future ones to come.”

– Zoe Bystrov
Founder of Youth for Lake Simcoe

SOURCE: Province of Ontario

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