Lake Timiskaming, Ontario & Quebec, Canada

Lake Locations:

Canada - Ontario - Quebec -

Also known as:  Lake Temiskaming, Lac Temiscamingue

Large, scenic and inviting, Lake Timiskaming forms part of the border between Ontario and Quebec. A full 68 miles long, Lake Timiskaming is about 5 miles wide at its widest point. However, that width is deceptive; the lake formed in a rift valley and is more than 700 feet deep in spots. The lake lies in the northern extension of the Ottawa-Bonnechere Graben, which is part of the Saint Lawrence rift system. Imposing limestone bluffs along the eastern and southeastern shore are evidence of the massive upheaval caused by the rift. The lake is considered a remnant of ancient Lake Ojibway-Barlow, created by receding glaciers 10,000 years ago. The lake is somewhat remote with only First Nations people and fur traders until the late 1800s. At that time, the lake area saw an influx of workers for logging and mining industries. More recently the lake has become popular as a residential and vacation lake. The lake holds several islands, the largest of which are Mann and du College Islands.

Lake Timiskaming’s name causes some confusion: in Ontario, it is spelled Temiskaming, while Quebec spells it Timiskaming. (We use both spellings in this article.) In French, it is Lac Temiscamingue. The word means ‘deep water’ in the local Algonquin language. The most populous areas are on the western, Ontario shoreline and include several towns within the Temiskaming Shores municipal district. Both the actual town of Temiskaming Shores and its nearby neighbor Haileybury provide swimming beaches and marinas with a total of over 300 slips. Lodges, resorts and camps are scattered along the western shoreline, mostly on the northern part of the lake. All water sports can be enjoyed when the lake is calm. As with many narrow lakes, Lake Temiskaming can churn up huge waves in a short time, given winds funneling through the bluffs from the south. Visiting sportsmen ordinarily start their expeditions from one of the camps or lodges with experienced boaters who know how to read Lake Temiskaming’s changing moods. Those who fish here can be richly rewarded; the lake holds 30 species of fish, with northern pike, sturgeon, lake trout, walleye, smallmouth bass, carp, ling, perch and whitefish the species most often caught. Ice fishing is also popular once the lake freezes over.

As part of the Ottawa River channel, Lake Timiskaming is sometimes used as a canoe route for veteran paddlers. This is no lake for novices in windy weather, and that reminder is usually accompanied by someone relating the sad story of 12 school boys and one of their instructors who died of hypothermia when their canoes overturned during a school outing in 1978 due to high waves. Larger boats and experienced sailors usually have no problems, and the lake is busy with pleasure boats on warm summer days. The area holds a wealth of opportunities for outdoor enjoyment, including an increasing number of hiking trails, campgrounds and outdoor activities. One of the favorite trails climbs is to Devils Rock, a tall limestone tower estimated to be over two billion years old. The Lake Temiskaming area is great for horseback riding, and there are several riding facilities in the area. Nearby, Casey and Hilliardton Marshes allow bird watchers to view many different species of birds and wildlife in their natural habitat. There are excellent downhill skiing facilities in the area, and a series of good groomed cross-country ski trails are available. Snowmobiling is a favorite winter activity, with 80 miles of top trails and 115 miles of local trails groomed by snowmobile groups from surrounding communities.

A number of guest cottages and small motels are open all year and serve winter sports enthusiasts. The towns in the area provide all necessary services, with plenty of restaurants, bait shops, antique shops, art galleries and unique shopping. Lake Temiskaming takes its history seriously; several small local museums preserve and celebrate the rich memory of miners, loggers, early pioneers and the early steamboat trade that once served as means of transportation here before the railroad arrived. Rock Walk Park next to the School of Mining in Haileybury offers a chance to learn about the different types of minerals and rocks in the area.

Fort Temiscamingue, the restored fort and trading post built by early fur traders, is available for tours halfway down the lake’s eastern shore near Ville-Marie, Quebec. A National Historic Site, the Fort and Museum complex offer interpretive exhibits and artifacts of the fur trade. North of Lake Timiskaming near Notre-Dame-du-Nord, the Thematic Fossil Center holds educational exhibits featuring the fossils excavated from the long-ago sea bed. Guided tours to a nearby fossil bed allow children to search for other fossils. A number of festivals and annual events draw visitors to the area. One of the more popular is Le Rodeo du Camion or Truck Rodeo each summer in Notre-Dame-du-Nord. Another is Snowfest, celebrated by the snowmobile crowd.

Fur trapping, mining and logging are long-gone from Lake Temiskaming. During those early days of settlement, twin dams were built downstream on the Ottawa River to stabilize water levels on the lake and the river below them. The Timiskaming Dam Complex, built between 1909 and 1913, consists of two independent dams with an island between them. Located near the Quebec town of Timiskaming, the dams are about to undergo replacement, since they have proved so valuable in regulating water levels. Because the dams carry a vital local highway, plans are underway to maintain the current roadway until the new dams are built.

Although it appears remote, Lake Temiskaming is only 100 miles from North Bay and 200 miles from Sudbury. Toronto is about five hours to the south. Real estate here has risen in price as the area has become more desirable as the home of the well-to-do. What is considered Canada’s most expensive home is here, as yet unfinished with a price tag of $25 million; the wealthy owner met with severe business reversals before it was completed. Luckily, most real estate is nowhere near as expensive, and both lakefront lots and large acreages can be found at reasonable price. A few waterfront property owners rent their homes by the week, often with docks, boat and all necessities for lakefront leisure. Lodgings are plentiful, but holiday weekends and special events will require advance reservations in most areas. There’s plenty here to please every member of the family. So pack the hiking boots, the fishing tackle and the swim suits. Lake Timiskaming awaits!

Things to do at Lake Timiskaming

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Hiking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum
  • Antiquing
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Lake Timiskaming

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Carp
  • Lake Trout
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sturgeon
  • Trout
  • Walleye
  • Whitefish

Lake Timiskaming Photo Gallery

Lake Timiskaming Statistics & Helpful Links

divider

Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Surface Area: 72,960 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 585 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 574 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 587 feet

Average Depth: 400 feet

Maximum Depth: 709 feet

Completion Year: 1913

Spread the word! Share our Lake Timiskaming article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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."


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.