Great Canadian Lakes
Bras D'Or Lakes (Nova Scotia)
Bras d’Or dominates the centre of Cape Breton Island a lake surrounded by ocean. Narrow fingers of land seem to split the lake in two, so the local people call it “the lakes”. There’s an ancient Mi’Kmaq legend that tells of a god named Glooscap. Seeking refuge from stormy seas, he found a quiet channel leading inland from the ocean. The natives called it Glooscap’s Door. Beyond the door, a vast and tranquil lake. Glooscap made his home in a cave on its banks. He’s still here, the spirit of Bras d’Or Lake. For 5000 years Glooscap and his lake have offered safety and solace along its shore.
Great Slave Lake (North West Territories)
Through out time Great Slave Lake has been the “Great Connector” for the people of the north. Frozen-over for nearly eight months of the year the Great Slave Lake connects numerous communities together. On its solid surface, dog teams have raced across the lake carrying everything from furs to missionaries. Even today, the lake’s waters connect outlying communities. Once a year, when the conditions are right, ferry boats cross the great lake pulling barges filled with supplies, ranging from prefabricated homes to cake mix.
Kootenay Lake (British Columbia)
It looks like an enormous liquid question mark dropped into the narrow confines of the rugged but beautiful mountain ranges of southern British Columbia. The first nations people constructed crafts called Sturgeon nosed canoes to paddle the practically bottomless waters of this oasis. Eventually, prospectors came and started digging holes along the shoreline; some got rich, most didn’t. One of the mining problems was, how to move the ore. They eventually build paddlewheelers to transport ore and goods on the lake. Occasionally Kootenay would swallow a vessel.
Lake of the Woods (Ontario)
There are over 14, 000 islands scattered through Lake of the Woods. For early explorers, it was a confusing and dangerous maze, ideal for an enemy ambush. For frontier traders who struck it rich, the tangle of islands made a perfect hideaway. And in the dry days of Prohibition, the same islands gave cover for the rumrunners smuggling booze across the border. Lake of the Woods is so thick with islands its shorelines exceed those of Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world.
Lake Ontario (Ontario)
Born in the crashing waters of Niagara Falls, the story of Lake Ontario is a tumultuous one. Of all the Great Lakes none was more fought over than Lake Ontario. From ancient times until very recently Lake Ontario was a bloody battlefield. Under its waters lies a graveyard of ships and men. This one-hour documentary explains the reasons why the lake was so hotly fought over and explores the great vessels and mighty strongholds that were critical in the battles fought for control of the lake.
Lake Winnipeg (Manitoba)
It is one of the largest lakes in the country yet it is very shallow. This combination makes Lake Winnipeg quite treacherous. When winds whistle down from the north, violent storms can rise in minutes. It was these moody waters that welcomed the first Icelandic settlers to the Prairie Sea. Although the newcomers survived the trip along her shoreline many would die in the long cold winter that followed. Eventually the settlers would create the largest Icelandic community outside of their homeland on the shores of Lake Winnipeg. They would also create an industry that continues to thrive today. Lake Winnipeg is home to the largest inland fishery in Canada. But the building of the enterprise came with a price. In 1965, the fishing freighter the Suzanne E was lost in a heavy storm with just one sole survivor.