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Manitoulin Island

Manitoulin Island, 2,765 km2, the largest island in the world located in a lake, is part of an archipelago at the top of Lake Huron straddling the Ontario-Michigan border. Its northern shore encloses the North Channel, which leads to the St. Mary's River at Sault Ste Marie. An extension of the Niagara Peninsula, Manitoulin Island has an irregular, rocky shoreline and many interior lakes.

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Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are the largest group in a chain of large lakes (including WinnipegAthabascaGreat Slave and Great Bear) that lies along the southern boundary of the Canadian Shield. From west to east the Great Lakes comprise lakes Superior, Michigan (entirely in the US), HuronSt. ClairErie and Ontario. They have a total area of approximately 244,100 km2 and drop from 183 m above sea level at Lake Superior to 74 m at Lake Ontario — the most dramatic drop occurring at Niagara Falls. Lake St Clair, while not properly a “great lake,” is considered part of this Laurentian chain.

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Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario is 18,960 km2 (10,000 km2 in Canada), with a drainage area of 90,130 km2, an elevation of 75 m, a mean depth of 86 m (max 244 m), length 311 km and width 85 km. It is the smallest in surface area and most easterly of the Great Lakes and eighth-largest body of fresh water in North America. The lake receives most of its water supply from the other Great Lakes through the Niagara River and discharges into the St Lawrence River through the Kingston Basin at its northeast end. Other tributaries are the Genesee, Oswego and Black rivers in New York state and the Trent River in Ontario. (See also Largest Lakes in Canada.)

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Great Bear Lake

Great Bear Lake is located in the Northwest Territories. With a surface area of 31,328 km2, Great Bear Lake is the largest lake located entirely inside Canadian borders. It is also the fourth largest in North America and the eighth largest in the world. Water flows out of the lake into the Great Bear River, then into the Mackenzie River. Other rivers connected to the lake include the Dease, Camsell and Johnny Hoe. Great Bear Lake is made up of five separate arms, each with their own names: Dease, McTavish, McVicar, Keith and Smith. (See also Largest Lakes in Canada.)

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Lake Erie

Lake Erie, 25,700 km2 (including islands), of which 12,800 km2 lie in Canada, elevation 173.3 m; 388 km long, 92 km wide and 64 m deep. The shallowest of the five major Great Lakes (excluding Lake St. Clair), it receives most of its waters from Lake Huron via the Detroit River. Other major inflowing streams are the Maumee and Cuyahoga rivers in Ohio, and the Grand River in Ontario. The lake outflows through the Niagara River at Fort Erie, falling almost 100 m to Lake Ontario; more than 50 m of this drop occurs at Niagara Falls. It is also joined to Lake Ontario by the Welland Canal. (See also Largest Lakes in Canada.)

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Lake Huron

Lake Huron, 59,600 km2, elevation 176 m, 332 km long, 295 km wide, max depth 229 m; total shoreline length, including islands, 6,159 km. Lake Huron is the second largest of the Great Lakes and fifth-largest lake in the world (see also Largest Lakes in Canada). In Canada, the Lake Huron is part of the traditional territories of the Tionontati (Petun)NeutralHuron-Wendat and AnishinaabeSamuel de Champlain visited Georgian Bay and Lake Huron with the French scout Étienne Brûlé in 1615.