Kawartha Lakes and the Seasonal Changes That Make it Tick

While a place where one lives is always nothing less than paradise in their eyes, for the residents of the Kawartha Lakes, it is a universal fact no one can deny. Situated in Ontario, Canada, the City of Kawartha Lakes can be found just 90 minutes North East of Toronto and is known for its beautiful communities, vibrant arts, culture, geographical size, heritage and above all, the countless activities that are sure to make this unique city anyone’s default vacation destination! The fortunate residents of Kawartha Lakes understand its offerings like no other.

You can pick up any of its scenic trails, that spread across 600 km, and cycle around it to take in the mesmerizing, undisturbed presence of nature. There is the Ganaraska Trail, Kawartha Trans Canada Trail and Victoria Rail Trail Corridor and many more. What is not there to love about the Kawartha Lakes? For the foodies out there, it has the best locally-grown food you've ever tasted and if you are the adventurous type who prefers hiking, biking or walking the number of opportunities are endless. Home to 250 lakes and rivers, it is in the Kawartha Lakes that you can experience the authentic Canadian canoe or kayaking adventures in the Burnt River, Gull River, and other many scenic waterways and lakes.

But one thing that can make the city’s different locations and various activities all the more perfect, giving you memories that will last a lifetime, is experiencing the Kawartha Lakes 4 distinct seasons.

Decoding the Kawartha Lakes and its Weather

The Kawartha Lakes area has always been known for its humid continental climate-- here, summers are warm and sometimes humid and the winters are longer as well as colder with snowfall which ranges from 150 cm to 200 cm in a year. And you can count on more snow in areas closer to large lakes. 

As for the levels of precipitation, it is well distributed year-round. Ranging from  750–1,000 mm (30–39 in) and in the summer you can count on some memorable thunderstorms.  And snowfall is guaranteed in the winter season.  

When we say that the Kawartha Lakes has “humid” weather, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is intolerable as we can rely on weather fluctuations in each season. As a matter of fact, you can experience every season in a 24 hour period.. In any case, while the area has pleasant seasonal weather changes, the best time to plan a whole day of outdoor activities would be in the autumn. Not very hot and far from the snowy winters, fall is the perfect time to explore and rediscover the Kawartha Lakes and to witness the foliage changing colours. 

Kawartha Lakes and Climate Change

When it comes to the daily weather and overall climate change of an area, it is hard to avoid it and think that one will remain unaffected by the changes it goes through. The climate of an area has an impact on everyone. It impacts health, safety, and threatens the foundation of our livelihood. And the same is true if you were to dissect the Kawartha Lakes’ climate change warnings. 

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Along with many other cities and communities in Ontario, Kawartha Lakes has been experiencing the increasingly drastic impacts of severe weather-- flooding, increasing hot and cold days, etc. In the last 63 years, the average annual air temperature in Ontario has increased by 1.6°C. While this sounds like something to not be concerned about, it is what this detail has projected for the future-- annual average temperatures are going to increase by 3.0°C to 7.6°C. Such rise in temperature in the Kawartha Lakes and increasingly warmer temperatures will have a direct impact on its flora and fauna. 

It is predicted that as the temperatures continue their upward climb, the rebounding effects would be seen in several phenomenons like:

  • Weather with extreme temperature fluctuations-- too hot or too cold
  • Less snowfall and whatever snow there is, it will thaw more than it does mid-winter
  • Intense storms 
  • Frequent, intense rainfall that will lead to even more flooding
  • The occurrence of extremely hot days and freezing rains will also increase
  • Dryer and more arid conditions during the growing season leading to an uprise in the risk of fire. 

Some feel that the  Kawartha Lakes and its new weather patterns are nearing their breaking point-- Canada is close to passing the 2°C threshold emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). It is the “safe” upper limit for global warming above pre-industrial levels as per many scientists and organizations. Such climatic conditions will have a direct impact on crop yields, municipal infrastructures, businesses, increased runoff which will, in turn, lead to more contamination in rivers and lakes, as well as decreased tourism as outdoor recreational opportunities like skating, skiing, and ice fishing will diminish. 

Thankfully, the city of Kawartha Lakes, its municipal offices, and many other local organizations have identified the threats before they can establish a stronghold. They are not merely relying on the federal and provincial governments to reduce GHG emissions but educating our residents to know where, when and how to lessen the production in their own ways. They are already assessing the areas that are more susceptible to climate change, the sections of the population that are more vulnerable, and the long term impacts on human and environmental health. 

Just like it took the notable change of the Kawartha Lake weather for concerned residents to realize the steep edge it is headed for, the pandemic we are stuck in the middle of is a reminder to not take the freedom of relishing in Nature’s lap for granted. There is no place better than the Kawartha Lakes to relive the wonders of Mother Earth all over again. One season at a time!

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