The City of Kawartha Lakes (formerly the County of Victoria) is one of the most rural municipalities in the study area, occupying and area of 333,379 ha. Like the City of Hamilton, Kawartha Lakes was recently restructured as a result of the amalgamation of 18 local townships into a single-tier municipality. The City is currently in the process of developing a new Official Plan, but in the meantime reference is made to the old County of Victoria (1999) Official Plan with respect to natural heritage policies.
Kawartha Lakes is bisected by the Trent-Severn waterway, a series of connected lakes linked by a series of lift locks, which forms an important boating route between Lake Ontario and Lake Simcoe/Georgian Bay (Figure 13). These lakes are very important from a recreational perspective and their shorelines are dotted with a mix of cottages, year-round residences, and marina facilities. Aside from one small town (Lindsay) and the villages of Fenelon Falls, Omemee, and Bobcaygeon, the City of Kawartha Lakes has very little in the way of urban settlement.
The City of Kawartha Lakes covers a wide spectrum of environments, from the largely undeveloped Shield woodlands of its most northerly regions (most of which are unprotected (Level 4), through the Trent-Severn lakes and the many rivers and creeks that flow into them, to the agricultural areas that characterize much of its southern portion.
The Oak Ridges Moraine occupies the most extreme southern end of the municipality. This area is characterized by dense woodlands and provincially significant wetlands (Level 1 protection) and as a result offers very little in the way of future development opportunities. Several ANSIs (Level 2 protection) and large provincially significant wetlands (Level 1) trend northwards from the Moraine and Lake Scugog into the Trent-Severn lakes (Figure 13).
The municipality also contains the Cameron Ranch, a significant tract of land situated on the Carden Plain that is subject to special protection provisions, as well as sizable areas of Crown Land (Level 3 protection).
The City of Kawartha Lakes is one of a number of central Ontario municipalities that has policies regarding the protection of Significant Woodlands, but does not identify where these features occur (Table 12). As a result, most of the City's woodlands have no (Level 4) true policy protection, unless they are associated with other Greenlands (ESAs, ANSIs, or wetlands). Most of the municipality north of the Trent-Severn lakes is well wooded, but is subject to little development pressure aside from individual cottage lot applications.
Table 12: Levels of Greenlands Protection for the City of Kawartha Lakes
Figure 13: City of Kawartha Lakes