Chandos Lake is in the North East corner of Peterborough County, Ontario, about 20 km east of Apsley, in the Township of North Kawartha.

It is part of the Crowe River watershed, and not part of the Trent-Severn waterway, which is a significant distinction because most lakes feeding the Trent-Severn Waterway are reservoir lakes. (water levels are managed to maintain a 6′ draft in the TSW canals and locks)

Chandos is the only area lake which is over 1000 hectares in size with an average depth over 10m, although  Jack and Paudash are close behind.  Other area lakes are either overly small or overly shallow. See the “area lakes” tab for comparative data.

Chandos is a head lake, fed mainly from ground water, with the outflow being Flat Creek to the Crowe River, to the Trent River and thence to Lake Ontario at Trenton.  In the spring, high water in the Crowe often causes the Flat Creek to reverse, bringing in water from Paudash lake, which is where the Crowe originates.  There are a few neighbouring small lakes that drain into Chandos: Tallan, Little Tallan, Clydesdale, Lasswade, Bott’s, Little Chandos, Mink, and Little Loon.

It must be said, though, that  because of this reverse flow, Chandos Lake can be considered an unregulated reservoir for the Crowe River.  When The Crowe is high, such as in the Spring , or because water is being dumped out of Paudash Lake, then the level of Chandos may rise.  The level of the Crowe then directly affects the level of Chandos, except when the Crowe is so low that barriers on Flat Creek come into play, such as old or active beaver dams; silt buildups, or debris buildups. Such barriers might then keep the waters in Chandos higher than one might like.

Flat Creek/Deer Creek/Deer River

The outlet waterway connecting Chandos Lake to the Crowe  River is about 2.5 km in length and is variously called “Flat Creek”, “Deer Creek” or the “Deer River”.

The CLPOA is attempting to have the name “Flat Creek” officially formalized.  As there is a Deer River not too far away connecting Wollaston Lake to the Crowe River, it seems that it would be better to use the “Flat” Moniker.  (The junction of the Deer and Crowe Rivers is about a kilometre or so below The Gut.)

Topographical Map for Flat Creek: 

There are the main lake and 3 main bays: West Bay, South Bay and Gilmour Bay. Gilmour Bay at the south end is attached to the main lake by a shallow neck and is almost  a lake of its own, in that its limnological conditions are different from the main lake. In particular its deepest sections (25 m) become oxygen depleted (anoxic) during the summer.  (See the Paleo reports)

The Chandos Name

Prior to 1937, Chandos Lake was known as Loon Lake, and many maps still show it with this name. (Which is why the Loon Lake Pluton was so named.

Township of Chandos – Canadian County Atlas Digital Project – McGill

In 1998 Chandos Township merged with Burleigh and Anstruther townships to form the Township of North Kawartha.

Chandos Lake was most likely named (1937)  after the Township that it was situated in.  The Township, surveyed in 1862, was incorporated in 1863. According to Mika, (Places in Ontario) Chandos Township was named in honour of Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, (1823-1889) the 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos.    (Buckingham was a prominent member of the British Government, and in 1867 was named Secretary of State for the Colonies. He was involved with the British North American Act,  the precursor to the Constitution Act, 1867, which created the Dominion of Canada.)

Richard Grenville was actually the Marquis of Chandos from 1839 until he assumed the dukeship on the death of his father in 1861.  He and the Marchioness of Chandos were part of the entourage that toured the area with the 18 year old Prince of Wales in 1860, visiting Peterborough and Cobourg, along with other places in North America. (The Prince was the eldest son of Queen Victoria, and supposedly a hellion who she hoped the tour would help straighten out. He later became King Edward VII)

A couple of interesting historical Chandos asides:

i) Richard Grenville’s father, the 2nd Duke of  Buckingham and Chandos, was associated with the famous painting of Shakespeare, known as the  “Chandos Portrait”, which he was forced to sell due to Bankruptcy in 1848.

ii) Joan Baez’ middle name is Chandos, as was her mother’s (Joan Chandos Bridges).  They are descendants of the Dukes of Chandos.