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A photo of part of Mitchell Lake showing the two areas of the lake, separated by the Hartley Road causeway.

Mitchell Lake is a small, man-made lake in south-central Ontario, located in the former Eldon Township, of Victoria county (Now City of Kawartha Lakes). The lake was formed sometime in the first decade of the twentieth century, alongside the construction of the Kirkfield Lift Lock (Which was completed and operational by the end of 1907)[1] and forms part of the Trent-Severn Waterway, connecting the Gull River system (Balsam Lake) to the Talbot River, which flows into Lake Simcoe.

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Before Mitchell Lake

Prior to flooding, the Grass River (Now Grass Creek) flowed through the centre of marshland which the current lake sits above. It entered from the south-west, reaching Fennel Road (Modern Kawartha Lakes 35) where it now crosses the Trent Canal. From here it turned west - following the same course as the modern canal - to Portage Road (Modern Kawartha Lakes 48). Passing under the road, it resumed a north-easterly course towards the village of Victoria Road), where it flowed as it continues to today westward into the Talbot River.[2][3]

Modern Mitchell Lake

Like many of the lakes of the Kawarthas, Mitchell Lake enjoys use by recreational cottagers. However, most of the lake is relatively shallow (Between 3 and 6 feet deep), swampy, and filled with partially or wholly submerged tree stumps remaining from before the flooding. As such, cottages are sparse outside of the canal zone and south western section of the lake. The shallow south-western section of the lake is isolated from the rest by Hartley Road, which crosses the lake by causeway, and is only navigable by canoe.

The former path of the Grass River north of Kawartha Lakes 48 is still visible beneath the shallow and undisturbed waters of the lake.[4]

References

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