Orillia: The City Surrounded by Water

We often take for granted the incredible waterways that surround the Orillia area. What other small city do you know of that has 3 lakes, dozens of rivers, and a complex water system that can take you throughout North America at their doorstep? The connection to the water makes real estate here that much more valuable, and it is our goal to share with you all the incredible features that make Orillia an ideal spot if you have a passion for the water. Let us take a look at some of the area’s most prized features.


Lake Simcoe

Probably the most well known and sought-after real estate spot in the county is Lake Simcoe. Offering 744 sq km of gorgeous views, open water for boating, and deep lake fishing, Simcoe lines the southern edge of Orillia expanding into Oro-Medonte. It flows into the Atherley Narrows, a thin stretch of water that connects Lake Simcoe to Lake Couchiching.

Atherley Narrows

The Narrows not only has a significant role in allowing boaters to pass through from one Lake to the other, but it is also historically significant to this area. The Atherley Narrows was first inhabited thousands of years ago by the first indigenous peoples to come to this area. The Narrows offered a safe travel way between lakes and was a hot spot for spawning fish and other fauna due to the shallow wetlands. Stakes were placed in the water to harvest the fish which supplied food for thousands of years. The weirs in the Narrows can still be viewed today.

Lake Couchiching

Lake Couchiching runs from the Narrows, up through Orillia and Ramara Township, past Severn, and finishes at Washago. Its name comes from the Ojibway meaning “Lake of Many Winds”. Camps, Cottages and beautiful waterfront homes line the lake’s perimeter as it is an idyllic spot to canoe or kayak with calm waters and thriving wildlife. Lake Couchiching, also known as Couch, is a popular spot in the summer for boating and beaching, while in the winter, it is home to hundreds of ice fishermen & snowmobilers who make the trip to camp out on the frozen water. Host to the Orillia Perch Festival, Mariposa Folk Festival, and other events, Lake Couchiching is a fun-lovers dream.

Trent-Severn Waterway

Image copyright to TheWaterway.ca

The Trent-Severn waterway is a famous network of rivers/lakes that connects Lake Couchiching to Georgian Bay. It begins at the mouth of the Severn River which backs onto the Northernmost point of Lake Couchiching. This is known as Lock 42 and will be the first of many locks along the way. The Severn River flows north into Port Stanton on Sparrow Lake then continues along a winding river path. If you continue along this path, you will end up hitting Lock 43 otherwise known as Swift Rapids. This historic site has been around since 1917 and has operated to control river water levels and boat traffic.

The next Lock you will hit on your travels is known as Big Chute. A popular day-trip destination for boaters, Big Chute, is a one of a kind marine railway which is engineered to carry boats out of the water, over a hill and into the next section of the river. This engineering feat was the first of it’s kind in the world! Following Big Chute, you will drift into Gloucester pool, and eventually find yourself drifting into a behemoth, Georgian Bay.

Our family had the pleasure of traveling the Trent-Severn waterway from Orillia to Georgian Bay last summer and it was INCREDIBLE. Check out some of these pictures of the fur babies enjoying the boat.

The Great Loop

Image copyright U.S National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration Department of Commerce

Many boaters from far and wide will make the trip through Lake Simcoe & Lake Couchiching to get to the famous Trent-Severn waterway. What many people don’t realize is that the Trent-Severn is interconnected to The Great Loop, a network of waterways that takes travelers throughout North America. One can start their boat in Lake Couchiching, and end up in Florida!

There is a complex network of waterways that goes from the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi River, out the Gulf of Mexico, looping around Florida, and making its way North, into Hudson and Eerie Canals, eventually back to good old Lake Couchiching. At a recreational pace, it takes an average of 10 months to complete the Great Loop. To learn more about the Great Loop, check out this article.

Your Waterfront Real Estate Expert

Not only do I have extensive experience selling waterfront properties for over 14 years, but I also have lived on Lake Couchiching for 30+ years! I can help answer any questions you may have related to purchasing or selling a waterfront property and help keep you informed about everything you should know. From water quality testing to shoreline quality, I can help you navigate through the various aspects of owning a waterfront home.

Check out my most recent waterfront listing 2956 Westshore Crescent, in Severn ON. Offering 75″ of canal frontage with direct access to Lake Couchiching, this home is perfect for anyone with a passion for boating, fishing, kayaking or just being by the water!

Coming Soon… New Video Series

Have you ever been curious about the water quality in our area? How about where all this water comes from and goes to? With the help of the experts at Severn Sound Environmental Association, we are pleased to announce a new video series coming soon all about our local water supply. Stay tuned for our social media pages for more details!