Commanda Lake, Ontario, Canada

Lake Locations:

Canada - Ontario -

A true jewel in the crown of Ontario’s Near-North vacation playground, Commanda Lake is the perfect spot for either an annual vacation or a seasonal home. Located just south of Lake Nipissing, Commanda Lake lies just south of the popular Restoule Provincial Park amid miles of trails, waterways and historic locations. Nearby, the route of the Old Nipissing Road taken by early settlers wanders past the ruins of log cabins and tumble-down barns. The Loring Deer Yard, host to Ontario’s largest winter deer herd, is a few miles away. Miles of hiking and canoeing routes focus on the Restoule and French Rivers. And there is Commanda Lake itself, serene and beautiful and teeming with fish. Several camps, lodges and resorts provide lodgings for annual visitors, many returning generation after generation. Many build cottages here and make Commanda Lake their own.

This 1357-acre lake in the Parry Sound District is large enough for activities such as water skiing, tubing and boating. Pontooning around the shoreline can take up much of a a day and is the perfect way to see the sights and wave to neighbors. A few cottagers enjoy using the long reach of the lake to sail their small craft. There is no marina on the lake, but many cottages have their own dock and can often arrange with the local resorts to launch their larger boats from their ramps. The irregular shoreline provides more than 14 miles of lakefront, mostly heavily-treed. Although there are quite a few cottages on the lake, there are still long stretches of woods harboring wildlife and many birds. Canoeing and kayaking are the perfect way to enjoy the local flora and fauna while getting a bit of exercise. It’s also a perfect way to fish the many small inflowing streams that feed the lake. The village of Restoule sits along the highway at the north end of the lake, straddling the Restoule River.

Commanda Lake has bragging rights to its healthy walleye population. Northern pike, muskellunge, lake trout, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass are also caught here with walleye, pike and musky drawing the most fishing visitors. The camps and resorts along the lake offer all sorts of lodging choices, from motel-style rooms to housekeeping cottages to tent camping spaces. In keeping with fishing camp expectations, some locations offer guide service, while most provide boats or allow guests to bring their own. All Ontario fishing regulations are enforced, and visitors must have the appropriate provincial license to fish. Many of the resorts also stay open during the winter season as ice fishing, particularly for pike, is nearly as popular as casting on the open water. Some of the resorts also rent ice fishing huts complete with small cooking stoves for the mid-lake, mid-winter ‘shore’ lunch.

Evenings can get chilly here, even in mid-summer; campfires on the beach offer the perfect ambiance and a bit of warmth for exchanging fish stories and tall tales. Owls hoot spookily in the dark forest surrounding the camps and cottages, while loons sometimes wake light sleepers at dawn with their eerie cry. The stars are so bright it is startling in the dark sky, and the northern lights often make an appearance.

Commanda Lake is the headwaters of the short Restoule River which flows between Commanda and Restoule Lakes. The Restoule Provincial Park stretches on both sides of the river, providing miles of hiking, mountain biking and nature trails. The park is a treasured destination among paddling fans, with the French River route requiring several days of camping along side of the river, portaging short trails, and paddling across numerous connected lakes. This area is ideal for the winter sports enthusiast who will find miles of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails available.

Snowmobiling is also very popular with at least five major trails crossing the area. Many of the lodges and resorts cater specifically to the snowmobiling crowd, with some even renting snowmobiles to their guests. Two of the more popular snowmobile treks are the RAN (Ride Around Nipissing) and the RAP (Ride Around the Park). The many old logging trails on Crown land in the area offer excellent ATV routes, and ‘meets’ are often held at some of the resorts. The Deer Feeding Yard in winter allows people to view hundreds of deer at once as they come near the viewing platform to feed. With all of this opportunity for outdoor adventure, it is no wonder many families choose to buy or build a cottage of their own on either Commanda or Restoule Lake.

Although Commanda Lake is at the far reaches of the Muskoka Tourism Region, it is definitely cottage country. Located about 25 miles from little Port Loring and about 40 miles from North Bay, those needing a ‘town break’ can easily get out for an evening. The tour boat, Chief Commanda, sails out of North Bay daily onto Lake Nipissing. Meanwhile, the area is replete with small farm markets, artisan’s shops, and historical markers to keep everyone occupied. The tiny hamlet of Commanda at the south end of the lake is home to the Commanda Museum and Heritage Center. This building displays the area’s history within a restored storefront complete with Victorian ‘gingerbread’. The architecture of this old store is unusual for this area of ancient pioneer cabins but has been lovingly restored. Here the visitor can learn the history of the original route of Samuel Champlain and of the early settlers to the region. And there is no better way to make Commanda Lake a part of your family heritage than to learn the history of both its First Nations residents and the early loggers, miners and settlers who settled here or simply passed through.

Real estate is often available in the form of existing cottages along Commanda Lake. There is even vacant land suitable for building to be found on occasion. Some property owners offer their cottages for weekly rental, and there are golf courses nearby for the avid golfer. A few restaurants in the area are available to give the family cook a break. And there is always something to do, even if it is sitting on the deck and reading a book. So escape the city and get back to nature at Commanda Lake.

*Although the lake has been surveyed for area, no depths are recorded.

Things to do at Commanda Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Provincial Park
  • Museum
  • Ruins
  • Playground

Fish species found at Commanda Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Lake Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout
  • Walleye

Commanda Lake Photo Gallery

Commanda Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Surface Area: 1,357 acres

Shoreline Length: 14 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 729 feet

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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