Kawartha Lakes Floodplain Mapping Project

Why are we doing this project?

Flooding is one of the biggest natural hazards along the Kawartha Lakes. The area has a long history of flooding in the spring, when the snow melts. The purpose of this project is to create maps that accurately identify areas subject to flooding along the shoreline.

A floodplain map shows where the floodplain is. Residents can search by their address, zoom in to see the floodline, and check where it is in relation to their property.

How will the maps be used?

The Kawartha Lakes floodplain maps will enable residents and communities to better prepare for and take action during flooding events. The new floodplain maps will serve three main purposes:

  • provide people currently living along the Kawartha Lakes shorelines with information about potential flooding on their property.
  • help municipalities and Otonabee Conservation to direct future development outside of the floodplain, to avoid loss of life and property damage, as well as personal injury and stress.
  • help identify areas where flooding may impact access to roads and emergency routes, so emergency responders can use alternate routes during flood events.

How can I tell if my property or the property I am thinking of purchasing will flood?

Search for your property and get a more detailed view of the floodplain, on our interactive web application map!

Click on the map to search your address…

What does it mean if my property is within the floodplain?

Knowing that your property is within the floodplain will help you better understand your risk and prepare for any future flooding. Municipal planning policies and Otonabee Conservation permitting policies limit the kinds of development and site alteration that are allowed within the floodplain.

How were the maps created?

To make the floodplain maps, our remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialists created high quality digital elevation models of the shorelines and plotted the high-water levels, resulting in the floodplains shown on the maps.

Click here for a step-by-step explanation of how floodplain maps are created, in our Floodplain Mapping Fact Sheet…

Throughout the process, Otonabee Conservation has been in contact with the partnering municipalities, as well as with our other partners and stakeholders.

If you have general (i.e., not property specific) questions about how the maps were created and what the information means to you, please send them to floodplainmapping@otonabeeconservation.com, and we will respond to you directly. We will also post the answers on this webpage as a resource.

What areas are included in this project?

The Kawartha Lakes Floodplain Mapping project is actually two separate projects.

The Kawartha Lakes South project maps the floodplain along the shoreline of lakes that are within Otonabee Conservation’s jurisdiction. This includes:

  • the northeastern shore of Pigeon Lake;
  • the entire shoreline of Chemong Lake;
  • the southern shore of Upper Buckhorn Lake;
  • the southern shore of Lower Buckhorn Lake (including Deer Bay);
  • the southern shoreline of Lovesick Lake;
  • the southern shore of Stony Lake, the entire shoreline of Clear Lake;
  • the entire shoreline of Lake Katchewanooka; and.
  • the northern shore of Rice Lake.

The Kawartha Lakes North project maps the floodplain along the shoreline of lakes that are within the Municipality of Trent Lakes and the Township of North Kawartha. We are doing this work on behalf of the municipalities. This project includes:

  • the entire shoreline of Big Bald Lake;
  • the entire shoreline of Little Bald Lake;
  • the northern shoreline of Upper Buckhorn Lake;
  • the northern shoreline of Lower Buckhorn Lake;
  • the northern shoreline of Lovesick Lake; and,
  • the northern shoreline of Stony Lake.

The total area of these subwatersheds is 4,862 km2. The area included in this floodplain mapping project is 23 km2.

The Kawartha Lakes are part of the Trent-Severn Waterway, a historic 386-kilometer canal route that connects the Georgian Bay to Lake Ontario. Since the Trent-Severn Waterway is a managed system that is operated by Parks Canada, water flows through differently than in a natural system with no dams and locks. Along the shoreline of the Kawartha Lakes that are part of the study, the highest water level that has been recorded by Parks Canada is used as the floodplain. These water levels are:

 Highest Recorded Water LevelYear Water Level Recorded
Buckhorn Lake (including Chemong, Pigeon Lake, Big Bald and Little Bald Lakes)246.821928
Lower Buckhorn Lake244.011928
Lovesick Lake241.951995
Stony Lake235.581913
Lake Katchewanooka 233.381960
Rice Lake187.51951

Who can I talk to?

If you have questions about the Kawartha Lakes Floodplain Mapping Project that are not specific to a property, please send them to floodplainmapping@otonabeeconservation.com and we will post the answers to the webpage.

Staff at Otonabee Conservation and our partnering municipalities are happy to talk to you about how the mapping affects your property.

If your property is in the Township of Selwyn, the Township of Douro-Dummer or the Township of Otonabee-South Monaghan, please call Otonabee Conservation at 705-745-5791 to speak to planning and permitting staff.

If your property is in the Municipality of Trent Lakes, please contact building and planning staff at 705-738-3800 x233.

If your property is in the Township of North Kawartha, please contact building and planning staff at 705-656-5188.