Otonabee River

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Otonabee River (Odoonabii-ziibi)
Tullibee River
The Otonabee River in Peterborough, Ontario
Country Canada
Region Ontario
Cities Lakefield, Peterborough
Length 55 km (34 mi)

The Otonabee River is a river that runs from Katchewanooka Lake near Lakefield, into the east side of Peterborough, Ontario (as close as 150 m to downtown), through Little Lake and down 30 km into the northwestern side of Rice Lake. The total length of the river is only 55 km, although geographically, it is a continuation of the Trent River, which drains Rice Lake at its eastern end, making the lake a widening of the combined stream. This river is part of the Trent-Severn Waterway. The river is called Odoonabii-ziibi (Tullibee River) in the Ojibwe language. Otonabee comes from the words ode which means "heart" and odemgat that comes from "boiling water". It translates into "the river that beats like a heart in reference to the bubbling and boiling water of the rapids along the river"[1]

Some areas of Peterborough along the Otonabee are prone to flooding following heavy rains, such as happened on July 15, 2004 when 240 mm (7.3 in) fell in some locations in under twenty-four hours. Trent University operates its own hydroelectric plant on the river.

Both Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill lived on farms near Katchewanooka Lake.

Cow Island is located to the west of the mouth of the Otonabee River.


  1. ^ Leanne Simpson, 2011, Dancing on Our Turtle's Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-creation, Resurgence and a New Emergence, ARP: Winnipeg: 95.

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Additional Images[edit]

A view across the Otonobee river in Peterborough, Ontario, showing a part of the campus of Trent University. The Faryon bridge is to the right.
Another view of the Faryon Bridge (reverse angle from previous), connecting the east and west banks of the Otonabee River.
Otonabee River as it flows past Peterborough County Road 32.

Coordinates: 44°09′12″N 78°13′51″W / 44.1533°N 78.2308°W / 44.1533; -78.2308