Largest lakes in Canada

These are 10 of the largest lakes in Canada

The largest lakes in Canada go beyond the Great Lakes in Ontario and span the territories and the prairies. Canada is known for its abundance of fresh water with nearly nine per cent of the total area of the country covered by either lakes, rivers or glaciers.

Here are the largest freshwater lakes in Canada. 

Lake Huron, Ontario 

Lake Huron is one of the five Great Lakes and the second largest lake in Canada, encompassing an area of over 59,000 square kilometres. A notable feature is Manitoulin Island, as well as the Bruce Peninsula, found along the shores of the Georgian Bay, which connect to the lake. 

Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories 

The Great Bear Lake is the largest lake located entirely within the boundaries of Canada. Located on the Arctic Circle in the Northwest Territories, the lake remains ice-covered for the better part of the year from November to July.

Lake Ontario, Ontario

Lake Ontario is the smallest and most easterly of the Great Lakes and is bounded on the north by Ontario and on the south by New York. Several cities dot the shoreline of this lake like Toronto, Hamilton and Kingston. 

Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba

Lake Winnipeg is a shallow but large lake in Manitoba. The eastern side is known for its incredible natural beauty with pristine boreal forests, rivers and limestone cliffs. Its southern end is about 55 kilometres north of the city of Winnipeg and boasts several populated sandy beaches along its shores. 

Reindeer Lake, Saskatchewan/Manitoba

Reindeer Lake is located on the border between Manitoba and Saskatchewan, with the majority in Saskatchewan. Its deep, clear waters make it the perfect spot for fishing. Arctic grayling, lake whitefish, northern pike, lake trout, walleye, and more, swim in these waters. 

Lake Erie, Ontario

Named after the native Erie people of the region, Lake Erie is the fourth-largest among the North American Great Lakes and the fifth largest lake in Canada. It's the southernmost, as well as shallowest of the Great Lakes and is only 210 feet deep at its deepest point. 

Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories

As well as being the fourth largest lake in Canada, it's the deepest with a depth of over 2,000 feet. The lake was named after the Slavey First Nations, who were the first to settle near the lake after the retreat of glacial ice. Yellowknife, Hay River, Dettah and Behchoko are all located on the shores. 

Lake Athabasca, Saskatchewan/Alberta

Located in both Saskatchewan and Alberta, with the majority in Saskatchewan, Lake Athabasca is the the largest and deepest lake of both provinces. One of Alberta’s earliest European settlements, Fort Chipewyan, is located on Lake Athabasca’s western shores.

Nettilling Lake, Nunavut 

Frozen for most of the year, Nettilling Lake is a cold freshwater body of water located near the south end of Baffin Island in Nunavut and is the world's largest lake on an island. The eastern half has many small islands, while the western half is deeper with none. Ringed seals also live in the lake. 

Lake Superior, Ontario 

Shared between the United States and Ontario, Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake by surface area in the world. Said to be about the size of Austria, it occupies an area of about 82,000 square kilometres and holds enough water to cover the entire land mass of the Americas. 

Lead photo by

spectacularnwt at Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories 


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