Kawartha Lakes, just ninety minutes North East of Toronto, is named from the Anishinaabe, Ka-wa-tae-gum-maug or Gaa-waategamaag (1895), meaning “land of reflections”, and later modified to Kawartha, meaning “bright waters and happy lands.”
Either way, the message is the same – this is a city (yep, it was legally structured as a city in 2001) of beautiful lakes and rivers (250 to be exact).
First Nations, including the Mississauga, Anishinaabek, Algonquin, Iroquois and Ojibway, dating back over 10,000 years, inhabited the area as hunter gatherers.
Soon after the government of Upper Canada (Ontario) purchased land from the Anishinaabeg (1818), Scottish and Irish settlers arrived, and began to develop lumbering and agriculture.
Kawartha Lakes, as the Houseboat Capital of Ontario, is a mecca for water sports, including paddling, swimming, and fishing. There are also more than 600 km of trails, ideal for hiking, biking, horseback riding , and in the winter cross country skiing and snowmobiling.
Kawartha Lakes is not short on culinary adventures either, including Farmer’s markets, eat-local restaurants, and craft breweries. Be sure to save room for dessert, because you won’t want to miss out on world famous Kawartha Dairies ice cream, and a butter tart, from one of the over 50 locations on the Butter Tart Tour (now that is some serious butter tarting!)
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