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Our History

Interest in conservation emerged in Ontario in the 1930s, with the formation of naturalists clubs. One of the earliest conservation surveys was completed in King Township, in the Lake Simcoe watershed, by the Federation of Ontario Naturalists in 1938. It stated that conservation "must be accompanied with a multi-purpose program for the renewal of natural resources in an area."

From these initial studies came the creation of the Conservation Authorities Act in 1946 and the birth of Ontario's conservation authorities. The conservation authorities have become an international model for watershed management and have worked in 20 different countries. The LSRCA, for example, has worked in China, and with Russia, Thailand and Suriname.

Created as the Upper Holland Valley Conservation Authority in 1951, the LSRCA has expanded eight times, as we have acquired new municipal and regional partners. To represent our enlarged role in caring for the health of the Lake Simcoe watershed, our current name was adopted in 1985. Since the Lake Simcoe Environmental Management Strategy's remedial program began in 1990, more than 800 environmental projects have resulted in preventing an estimated 16.5 tonnes of phosphorous from reaching the Lake each year.


  • Since 1970, we have planted over three million trees throughout the watershed, with the help of our partners and the communities we operate in. In 2004, through LSRCA programs, a total of 58,500 trees and shrubs and 32 hectares of forest were established, and over three kilometres of streams were buffered.

  • We have aquired more than 1,100 hectares (approximately 2,700 acres) of land, with the financial support of our regions, municipalities, province, and private donations.

  • Approximately 3,950 kilometres of stream channel are mapped in our watershed. New provincial guidelines on Natural Hazard Mapping required remapping these channels for approval in 2006.

  • More information about our history...