Ross Earl has uncovered some interesting facts about Skeleton Lake and the surrounding waterfront area. Please help ensure this unique part of Muskoka is protected by completing the official plan survey before fri.oct.9. Details here: Proposed Policy Directions Survey – TML OP Review

Here are some of the findings with sources listed below…

ANSI – Area of Natural Scientific Interest
Skeleton Lake is the only pre-glacial lake in Muskoka. It is an impact lake created by a meteorite 1.5 – 2 billion years ago. The north shore of the lake has an ANSI protection related to the discovery of breccias (broken rock from the impact) in the area. Much has been learned about the lake since its ANSI designation on the north shore in the 1970’s.

Gary Long – journalist, Waterloo graduate in Geology and author of “This River the Muskoka” has written over 20 articles on his exploration of Muskoka’s Lakes, Rivers and creation history in the MUSKOKA SUN newspaper. Two of these articles were dedicated to Skeleton Lake.

Scientists studied many lakes in Muskoka for mercury content. Only Skeleton Lake was found to have zero mercury content (0.5 ppm). Skeleton Lake was protected by a limestone shell created by the meteorite which filtered out the ground mercury from entering the lake.

Scientific articles indicate that the bottom of Skeleton Lake holds some of the only history of the earth that is almost 2 billion years old and should be preserved for exploration. Cracks in the earth’s crust made on the contact follow the ridges on the north shore. Skeleton Lake has a relatively small watershed which can be protected more easily then our other lakes. It is the only mercury free pure water source flowing into the Muskoka lakes system (Rosseau, Joseph, and Lake Muskoka).

With the inherent vulnerability of Skeleton Lake, I would like to see the township Official Plan protect and promote it as a Muskoka gem. The lake is situated at the juncture of 4 townships in two municipalities. Protection of unique natural phenomenons must start with the local people and their governing bodies. It would be a shame to destroy something this rare, especially if you did not know the unique history and geology of Skeleton Lake.


  1. Micheal W Milner – Geologist, Geomorphologist
  2. Gary Russell – retired diamond driller (Canadian Shield, Columbia)
  3. 1997 – Mercury in the Lake Sediments of Precambrian Shield – Huntsville, Ont, Canada
    – P E Rasmussen (Geological Survey of Canada)
    – D S Villard – Ont. Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
    – H D Gardner – Ont MNR
    – S I Schiff – Dept.of Earth Sciences University of Waterloo
    – W W Shilts – Illinois State Geology Survey
  4. A primer on the Geology of Skeleton Lake and Environments
    – 2010 Charles Barrie
    – Impact Crater Explorations – Charles O’Dale
    – A Paleozoic Impact Creator in Central Ont. Canada
    – Skeleton Lake – Waddington M R Dence – 1979
    – Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences
  5. 1974 Earthquakes Triggered by Surface Quarrying
    (New York State Science Service – Series # 189
  6. Gary Long – Waterloo graduate in Geology and known author of “This River the Muskoka”.



1 thought on “Skeleton Lake history and ANSI designation

  1. Bonnie Baumgartner says:

    Thank you, Ross, for compiling this information. I have read most of it but it needed to be concisely LISTED.

    I would also like to see someone put together maps of the available sites for minerals THAT are outside of lake watersheds within 100 miles.

    This site choice makes no sense. You can not EVEN find a WORSE spot along Aspdin Rd that hurts the lake and Cottagers more.

    The placement makes no sense. That leads to the WHY?

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