The 7 Biggest Lakes in Canada

Written by Nixza Gonzalez
Updated: June 9, 2023
Share on:


Canada has some impressive statistics with its lakes. For instance, Canada is home to 62% of all the lakes in the world. In other words, this stunning country has the most lakes in the world (879,800). Saskatchewan alone, a province in Canada, has over 100,000 lakes. However, the number of lakes is nothing compared to the beauty and vastness of each. Lakes and rivers cover at least 8% of Canada’s land.

Are you ready to learn more about the 8 biggest lakes in Canada? Keep on reading!

1. Lake Superior

Lake Superior

Lake Superior is the largest lake in Canada, and the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area.

©Dennis O’Hara/

As the largest of the Great Lakes in North America, Lake Superior certainly earns its name. A big section of this large lake is located within Canada. Lake Superior has a surface area of 31,700 square miles and is 350 miles long and 160 miles wide. The average depth is 483 feet while the maximum is 1,333 feet. There are many islands in the lake with a shoreline length of 997 miles. Not including the islands, Lake Superior’s shore is 1,729 miles long. Lake Superior is also old. The first people to reach Lake Superior were the Plano, who hunted caribou and fished in the lake.

2. Lake Huron

Lake Huron

Lake Huron is the second largest of the Great Lakes when measured by surface area.

© Massie Photography

As the second largest of the great lakes, it is no wonder Lake Huron makes this list. Its surface area is 23,007 square miles. Lake Huron is 206 miles long and at its widest point is 183 miles wide. While Lake Huron is deep, it is not as deep as Lake Superior. Its average depth is 195 feet, and its deepest point reaches 750 feet. This lake has an interesting history with Caribou. About 9,000 years ago the Alpena-Amberley Ridge was exposed, creating a land bridge used by many herds of Caribou.

3. Great Bear Lake

Great Bear Lake

Great Bear Lake is one of the largest lakes in Canada. Its name comes from the word


, a Chipewyan word that means “grizzly bear water people.”

©Kevin Lings/

As the name suggests, the surrounding area of Great Bear Lake is home to grizzly bears. Great Bear Lake is marvelous and the largest lake entirely in Canada. It is also the fourth largest lake in North America. Great Bear Lake has a surface area of 12,028 square miles. The average depth of this massive lake is 235 feet, while the maximum depth is 1,463 feet. Because of the cold and icy winters, the lake freezes between November and July. The shoreline length is 1,690 miles not including the islands. If you include the islands, it is an additional 512 miles. Interestingly, there is an ice crossing on this lake.

4. Great Slave Lake

Great Slave Lake

Great Slave Lake is due for a renaming.


While Great Slave Lake is large and impressive, it also has an unfortunate name. Indigenous educators and leaders and debating changing the name. For over 8,000 years, indigenous peoples settled near the lake and river. It is the deepest lake in North America, while also being the tenth largest lake in the world by area. Great Slave Lake has a surface area of 10,500 square miles and is 291 miles long. It also has a maximum width of 126 miles. Although the average depth of this lake is 135 feet, its deepest point reaches 2,014 feet. The lake has 1,900 miles of shore length.

5. Lake Erie

Lake Erie


environmental health

of Lake Erie has been a hot topic for decades.

© johnson

Lake Erie is another of the five Great Lakes and is the eleventh largest lake in the world. The lake sits on a border between the United States and Canada and provides shorelines for Ontario and U.S. states like Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. It is 241 miles long and 57 miles wide with a surface area of 9,910 square miles. It’s one of the shallowest Great Lakes with an average depth is 62 feet, while its deepest point reaches 210 feet. The average shore length is 799 miles, not including the islands. The 24+ islands add another 72 miles of shore.

6. Lake Winnipeg

Lake Winnipeg

Lake Winnipeg is known for its beautiful beaches and pristine boreal forests.


With a surface area of 9,465 square miles, Lake Winnipeg is large, but also very shallow. The average depth of this pristine lake is 39 feet while the maximum is 118 feet. Despite how shallow it is, Lake Winnipeg is 258 miles long and 20 to 60 miles deep depending on the section. The shore length is 1,155 miles and is perfect for fishing. Perch, trout, whitefish, and sunfish are common in the lake. Fun fact, multiple deserted islands in this lake provide feeding and nesting sites to American white pelicans and herring gulls.

7. Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario is surrounded by a wide variety of habitats with thousands of plants and animal species.

©Michael J. Eves/

By water volume, Lake Ontario is the 12th largest lake in the world. It is a beautiful lake with clear water and plenty of beaches and activities. It is 193 miles long and 53 miles wide. Lake Ontario has a surface area of 7,340 square miles. Although Lake Ontario is not the deepest lake on our list, it is still very deep, and perfect for fishing, parasailing, and boating. The average depth is 283 feet, while the deepest point is 802 feet. Lake Ontario has multiple islands that offer 78 miles on shore.

Summary of the 7 Biggest Lakes in Canada

IndexLakeSurface AreaMaximum Depth
1Lake Superior31,700 square miles1,333 feet
2Lake Huron23,007 square miles750 feet
3Great Bear Lake12,028 square miles1,463 feet
4Great Slave Lake10,500 square miles2,014 feet
5Lake Erie9,910 square miles210 feet
6Lake Winnipeg9,465 square miles118 feet
7Lake Ontario7,340 square miles802 feet
Table of the 7 Biggest Lakes in Canada

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

Share on:
About the Author

Nixza Gonzalez is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering topics like travel, geography, plants, and marine animals. She has over six years of experience as a content writer and holds an Associate of Arts Degree. A resident of Florida, Nixza loves spending time outdoors exploring state parks and tending to her container garden.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.