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The Municipality of Trent Lakes is a lower-tier township in the rural, mostly wooded northern section of Peterborough County, Ontario, Canada. The municipality has a primarily cottage and tourist industry based economy but has grown year round residency due to its commute distance to the Greater Toronto Area.

Trent Lakes
Municipality (lower-tier)
Municipality of Trent Lakes
Trent Lakes is located in Southern Ontario
Trent Lakes
Trent Lakes
Coordinates: 44°40′N 78°26′W / 44.667°N 78.433°W / 44.667; -78.433Coordinates: 44°40′N 78°26′W / 44.667°N 78.433°W / 44.667; -78.433
Country Canada
Province Ontario
IncorporatedJanuary 1, 1998
 • TypeTownship
 • MayorJanet Clarkson
 • Federal ridingPeterborough—Kawartha
 • Prov. ridingPeterborough—Kawartha
 • Land861.32 km2 (332.56 sq mi)
 • Total5,397
 • Density6.3/km2 (16/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Postal Code
K0L, K0M
Area code(s)705

In 1998 the Township of Galway-Cavendish and the Township of Harvey were amalgamated by Minister's Order to become Galway-Cavendish and Harvey. The Municipality of Trent Lakes adopted its new name by By-law B2013-017 on February 19, 2013. The name was in recognition of the Trent-Severn Waterway which plays a major role in the cottage history and tourism economy of the area. The Municipality is part of the Kawartha Lakes Tourism Area and contains numerous tributary lakes, rivers and creeks contributing water level support to the nationally historic Trent-Severn Waterway system. Lock 31 in Buckhorn is the only Trent-Severn Waterway boat lock located within the municipality.



Trent Lakes still identifies three Wards within the municipality, Harvey Ward, Galway Ward and Cavendish Ward which are based on the traditional geographic boundaries of each. For election purposes there is still a Council representative for Harvey and a representative for Galway-Cavendish.

The municipality has many community subdivisions concentrated around the many lakes. Several of the communities were originally intended for cottage use but today many of the subdivisions contain year round residents. There are two municipally owned drinking water supply systems. One in the Buckhorn Lakes Estates subdivision and the other servicing the Pirates Glen and Alpine Village subdivisions. Other residences must rely on private wells.

The hamlet of Buckhorn is situated on the border of the Municipality of Trent Lakes and the Township of Selwyn. The main core is situated on the Trent Lakes side. A span of two bridges connect the hamlet. One bridge spans Trent-Severn Waterway Lock 31 on the Trent Lakes side. The second span is over the Buckhorn dam on the Selwyn side.

There is one public school in the municipality of Trent Lakes. It is the Buckhorn Public School. Being a rural municipality all other children are bused to local schools outside of the municipality.

There are three municipal Community Centres in Trent Lakes. The Galway Community Centre, the Cavendish Community Centre and the Lakehurst Hall. They offer a variety of programs and services. There is also the independently operated and volunteer based Buckhorn Community Centre.

The Trent Lakes Public Library has two locations. The Buckhorn Branch is located in the main core of Buckhorn. The Helen Bowen Branch is located in the Cavendish Community Centre.

Trent Lakes currently has two medical health centres, the Buckhorn Regional Health Centre and the Kinmount and District Health Centre.

The border of the Municipality of Trent Lakes is Gannons Narrows in the southeast, Buckhorn on the east (shared with Selwyn Township) and almost to Burleigh Falls in the northeast (includes Perry's Creek). The rapids and falls at Burleigh Falls are often mistakenly thought to be in Trent Lakes but this is a mistake. The Burleigh Falls Inn and island is in the Township of North Kawartha and the rapids and falls are in Selwyn Township.

Kinmount is in the far northwest tip of Trent Lakes. The village is apportioned by the three municipalities of City of Kawartha Lakes, Minden Hills and Trent Lakes.

Trent Lakes is also connected to Selwyn by a causeway and span of bridge at Gannon Narrows. The bridge spans the narrows connecting Upper Buckhorn Lake and Pigeon Lake.

Current and some historic communities are Alpine Village, Buckhorn, Buckhorn Lake Estates, Catchacoma, Crystal Lake, Ewan, Flynns, Fortescue, Kawartha Hideaway, Lakehurst, Mississagua Landing, Mount Irwin, Nogies Creek, Oak Shores Estates, Pirates Glen, Point Pleasant, Rockcroft and Sugar Bush with numerious cottager and ratepayer associations.


Burleigh Falls in the rain located in North Kawartha but near Trent Lakes

Trent Lakes is home to Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park, which is set around Catchacoma Lake and Mississagua Lake. A 37587.00 ha Natural Environment Park permitting "backcountry" camping and primarily a water access only interior. Three violent summer wind storms have hit this area doing damage to property and forest, one in 1927, then 1995 and in 2006. The area is also a popular cottaging and recreational area.

Trent Lakes consists mostly of Precambrian Shield, dating from 600 to 1200 million years. The granite is normally pink but interlaced with other colours of white and black as one heads north. These areas are primarily "Igneous" granite which was subject to intense heat and pressure during the movement of the Earth's crust. The changes took place as the rock mixed with other elements in the Earth's crust. The mixture is mostly with black and white marble. The region also has sections of Limestone Flats. When the lakes that covered most of Lake Ontario dried up some 450 million years ago the lake sediments hardened and lifted to form a top layer of limestone over the area. With the ice age small glaciers left a thin layer of soil. The area around what is known as Flynn's Turn (intersection of Peterborough County Road 36 and Country Road 507) is a prime example of a limestone flat.

On highway 49 you can see the evidence of what is called a Limestone Ridge ("Ordovician strata". This same ridge extends to Lower Buckhorn Lake and the erosion on the northern edge has created a scarp (or steep cliff) some 30 meters high in areas.

Sandy Lake and the beach area has a unique soft turquoise colour. This is a white "marl" lake bottom and is spring fed. Surrounded by a limestone karst runoff enters into the lake with very little organic material and this contributes to the unique greenish-blue colouration. The marl bottom is extremely soft and rich with minerals.

The community is a scenic location where Paleozoic limestone formations yield to the underlying Precambrian bedrock of pink gneiss; as a result, it attracts a large number of summer residents and visitors.


The most important history of the municipality is based on the once very lucrative lumber industry. All three Wards have histories unique to them, but it’s the history of the lumber trade that unites them solidly together. The municipality as a whole was abundant, not only with standing timber lumber camps, but also the resource of waterways permitting numerous and valuable lumber production and processing mills that in turn contributed to many settlements developed around and because of the lumbermen and their families. It was hard, dangerous work, and made many non-resident lumber barons rich. When the lumber markets and the forests began to fade, so did many of the settlements. French Canadian, Irish immigrant and other lumber labourers pulled out to try their hand at work to support their families elsewhere. Handfuls remained. Galway, Cavendish and Harvey all have remnant ghost settlements and stories of communities near forgotten. Some names remain but the once thriving communities complete with schools and post offices are gone; hamlets with the names of Silver Lake, Rockcroft, Scotts Mills, Fortesque are a few. Other communities were able to continue to various degrees of success such as Buckhorn

The area is rich in early First Nations sites, and many First Nations members live in the community year-round or seasonally on some of the islands in Lovesick Lake.

The old Harvey fire tower was located at the southern edge of Mississagua Lake (then known as Gull Lake). It was one of the 320 towers in the province used as an early warning in the detection of forest fires. Part of the Lindsay Forest District of towers this tower had its own phone line connection back to headquarters. The phone line still runs through the forest and up the hill to the old towers footings. In 1927 the Harvey tower was made of wood, but a hurricane came through and blew it over. Parts of the tower were found miles away. A newer wood tower was built in its place, that is, until 1938 when a light steel tower was erected. The tower system was abandoned by 1970 when aerial detection became favoured.

Municipal CouncilEdit

Trent Lakes is led by a mayor, deputy mayor and three councillors. The current council was elected in 2018 and will serve a four-year term to 2022. They are:[2]

  • Mayor: Janet Clarkson
  • Deputy Mayor: Ron Windover
  • Councillors: Carol Armstrong (Galway-Cavendish Ward), Kim Letto (Harvey Ward), Terry Lambshead (Councillor at Large)

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor represent Trent Lakes at meetings of Peterborough County Council.[3]


Canada census – Trent Lakes community profile
2016 2011 2006
Population: 5,397 (+5.8% from 2011) 5,105 (-3.4% from 2006) 5,284 (+20.9% from 2001)
Land area: 861.32 km2 (332.56 sq mi) 860.26 km2 (332.15 sq mi) 848.26 km2 (327.52 sq mi)
Population density: 6.3/km2 (16/sq mi) 5.9/km2 (15/sq mi) 6.2/km2 (16/sq mi)
Median age: 56.9 (M: 56.9, F: 57.0) 51.7 (M: 52.1, F: 51.4)
Total private dwellings: 5,643 5,287 5,407
Median household income: $68,498 $49,398
References: 2016[6] 2011[7] 2006[8] earlier[9]

Mother tongue:[8]

  • English as first language: 90.3%
  • French as first language: 1.4%
  • English and French as first language: 0%
  • Other as first language: 8.3%

Populations prior to amalgamation (1998):

  • Total population in 1996: 4,400
    • Galway and Cavendish (township): 765
    • Harvey (township): 3,635
  • Population in 1991:
    • Galway and Cavendish (township): 727
    • Harvey (township): 3,146


Trent-Severn Waterway Lock 31 in Buckhorn

Boaters use the Trent–Severn Waterway lock which raises boats 24 feet (7.3 m) from Stony Lake to Lovesick Lake.[10] Boat campers find the nearby Wolf Island Provincial Park an ideal secluded place to camp, free from the crowds found at road-access parks.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Census Profile, 2016 Census: Trent Lakes". Statistics Canada. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  2. ^ "Council Members". Municipality of Trent Lakes. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  3. ^ "County Council". Peterborough County, Ontario. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  4. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006
  5. ^ "Galway-Cavendish and Harvey census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  6. ^ "2016 Community Profiles". 2016 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 21, 2017. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  7. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  8. ^ a b "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  9. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012.
  10. ^ "Lock 28 - Burleigh Falls". Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site of Canada. Parks Canada. Retrieved 2009-05-08.
  11. ^ "Wolf Island". Ontario Parks. 2002-11-12. Retrieved 2009-05-08.

External linksEdit