The final of the Great Lakes along the St. Lawrence Seaway. Principal ports in Ontario are Toronto, Hamilton and Kingston, as well as the New York state ports of Rochester and Oswego.

Further to SgtCoolGuy's w/u below, I saw news footage of the police retreiving a stolen camaro from the waters just offshore in Mississauga. Police divers had found it while looking for something else. The car was so totally encrusted with zebra mussels that they had to scrape a huge patch off just to figure out what the make of the car was.

Had an ecological distaster in the mid-90's, with the introduction of zebra mussels. The mussels are extremely sharp and multiply quickly. It was introduced due to trade through the waters of the Great Lake. They latched on to rocks, docks, and various boats. It slowed the boats, and cut up little children who swam near the docks, or above the rocks.

Also, this body of water makes up a good deal of the drinking water of my area, Rochester, NY.
Lake Ontario is quite small, with a length of approximately 311km (193 mi), and a breadth of 85 km (53 mi). If not for a greater average depth (283 feet, giving it nearly 393 cubic miles to Erie's 116), it would be most equal to Lake Erie where volume is concerned, as the two are quite similar in size with Erie coming out just ahead in both length and breadth. Given the volume of Lake Ontario, it's not too entirely surprising that the drainage basin covers a fairly large portion of Ontario as well as bits of New York, and extends as far down as Pennsylvania. There is a much greater population on the Canadian shores of the lake (there is about 726 miles of shoreline all together), as opposed to the U.S. side, and there is also an abundance of farming and industrialization on Canadian soil in the area.

The problem with this great lake is that it happens to be the last in the chain, and thusly, ends up accumulating pollution from all of the others before it. Sadly, it is no longer the cleanest lake, perhaps even the worst off at this point.

info gathered throughout high school geography classes, as well as, more recently,

Childhood nostalgia for the Great Lakes.

Lake Ontario was always there, as big as the ocean to my childish mind. Even now, as an adult, I forget that the ocean will be salty and have an undertow. I am connected to that place. Inexorably I return there, year after year. I return because my family is there, but it's more than that.

I return, because when I am there, I can reconnect with all the past versions of my self that have been there. I can revisit the emotions from those times, the ideals I held, the problems which caused me anguish (and I eventually conquered), the memories made during all those times. I share them with family, and I reflect on them alone. If I meditate, I can take myself there now.

I am sitting in the backyard of my aunt's cottage, which is perched upon the shore of Lake Ontario. The lake and sky are blurred together in a blue haze of summer heat and humidity. The sun blares through it all to dance among the swishing leaves of the aspens clinging to the steep bank. The earth feels warm beneath me, and the grass feels silky between my fingers. A deep breath fills me with the taste and smell of the lake,the fire waiting to grill tonight's dinner, the sunscreen coating my exposed skin. A thousand memories of childhood flood through me... July 4th celebrations; outings in the boat; collecting lumps of smelly clay for art projects; water games; trips to Pennock's Ice Cream -- always rainbow sherbet; failed attempts to catch elusive minnows in my bare hands; summer nights spent sleeping to the lullaby of the lake, and being fanned by its cooling summer breeze.

I am there, experiencing it all with my senses again. When I see the weaker, sadder versions of my younger self, I wish I could go to her and just talk to her. I do not wish to tell her what her future holds, I just want to give her the words she never received from the one who should have given them.

As I open my eyes, I am surprised (but not completely) to notice there are tears gathered on my eyelashes. As they begin to fall, unexpectedly, I am reminded again of the salty tang of the ocean. An unfamiliar wave of homesickness washes over me and tugs at me. I yearn for the calm, fresh waters of my lake.

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