Lake History

Stony Lake (also called Stoney Lake) is a gorgeous area rich in history beginning at the end of the last ice age. It's geologically a particularly interesting area known to be the approximate beginning of the Canadian shield with primarily exposed granite and pine on the Northern shore with some granite but also a significant amount of limestone to the south of Stony. As the last receding glaciers they scraped away the soil and redeposited it as the ice melted in small, long hills full of gravel known as drumlins. A great reference video is available in the Lakefield library for loan entitled 'The Land Between' which means the land between two major geological formations, the Precambrian (Canadian) shield and the glacial till deposited to the south of Stony. There are actually three interconnected lakes (Upper Stoney Lake to the northeast, Stony (lower) Lake in the Center from Boschink narrows to Hell's Gate and then Clear Lake to the southwest beginning just out from the current location of Kawartha Park Marina. Together the three lakes are known as Stony, Stoney and Clear Lake. Stoney Lake forms the eastern end of Kawartha Lakes Region. It is primarily a summer cottage (many of the original small 3 season cottages were built by my Uncle Howard) and more recently many permanent (much larger, more elaborate) residences have been built on the shores of the lakes.

Stoney Lake was known to early European settlers as Salmon Trout Lake, but the modern name is fully appropriate. The lake name has been a near constant source of controversy with some preferring Stoney Lake, (generally Upper Stoney area) some using the Stony lake spelling (primarily the center section) and then Clear lake (very few islands) to the west near current day Young's Point. Because of the Trent Severn construction which made Salmon spawning impossible Salmon trout are no longer evident but many other fish species including Muskie, Bass and Pickerel are quite abundant in the lake . Today, Stony Lake represents the classic Ontario ?cottage country?, enjoyed by its many seasonal residents, by an increasing number of year-round residents, by boaters using the Trent Severn Waterway, sport fishermen and many others.

Stony Lake is located in nearly two hours northeast of Toronto Ontario. The lake, some 20 miles (32 km) long from Young?s Point to the lake's eastern shores, about 234 metres (768 ft.) above sea level, with a combined surface area of approximately 28 square kilometers (11 sq. mi), and encompasses over 1200 islands. One of its islands, Fairy Lake Island, encloses another small body of water: Fairy Lake. Fairy Lake is surrounded by private property but still owned by one of the early settlers descendants.

The region has been inhabited for thousands of years. Early First Nations settlement is evidenced by a remarkable collection of prehistoric rock carvings to be seen north of Upper Stoney Lake in Petroglyphs Provincial Park. On-going historic research argues that Samuel De Champlain traveled through the area's lakes, rivers and overland portages in the 17th century. The First Nations were joined in the late 18th and early 19th century by European settlers intent on logging and farming. In the mid-19th century logging and granite quarries became a important industries in the Kawartha?s and Stony Lake was used as part of the industrial highway for moving logs to the sawmills downriver and cobblestones to pave the streets of old Toronto. The Trent-Severn Canal system was built early in the 20th century, and became the dominant commercial waterway in the region.

The American Canoe Assoc. met on Juniper Island in 1883, and development evolved naturally from travelers fishing or hunting from simple lodges. Lengthier camping expeditions on the many islands became common. In the late 19th century and early 20th century many people from Ontario and the bordering U.S. states bought Crown Land and built cottages. These were generally simple, one-story frame structures with few amenities. As well, those early settlers, at Young's Point, Kawartha Park, McCracken's Landing, Mount Julian and others around the lake, found new sources of income by helping cottagers in many ways: ice cutting, building, guiding, boat repairs and domestic chores. Stony Lake today is principally used for recreational purposes. Some of the large islands include Juniper, Eaglemount and Horseshoe island.

More recent history includes filming of the film Cheaper By The Dozen 2 which was shot at the Kennedy's property near the sight of Burleigh Falls. A water skiing scene in the movie contains several scenes of the Lake. The 2003 remake of the film The In-laws was also shot on Stony Lake. Canadian rock bands Rush started recording of their album Moving Pictures on Stony, The Tragically Hip performed and recorded on the lake and Ronnie Hawkins has been a long time resident.