Lake Ainslie

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Lake Ainslie
Lake Ainslie map.png
LocationInverness County, Nova Scotia
Coordinates46°7′36″N 61°10′34″W / 46.12667°N 61.17611°W / 46.12667; -61.17611Coordinates: 46°7′36″N 61°10′34″W / 46.12667°N 61.17611°W / 46.12667; -61.17611
TypeGlacial Lake
Primary inflowsTrout Brook
Primary outflowsMargaree River
Basin countriesCanada
Max. length20 km (12 mi)
Max. width7 km (4.3 mi)
Surface area57.4 km2 (22.2 sq mi)
Average depth5.75 m (18.9 ft)
Max. depth18 m (59 ft)
Water volume0.33 km3 (270,000 acre⋅ft)
Surface elevation57 m (187 ft)
SettlementsScotsville, MacCormick's Corner

Lake Ainslie on Cape Breton Island is the largest natural freshwater lake in Nova Scotia. The Southwest Margaree River starts at the lake and empties into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The lake is approximately 20 km long and averages 5 km in width.[1]


The western shore of Lake Ainslie, looking north, at Hayes River, Nova Scotia.

Lake Ainslie was formed during the Pleistocene Epoch, about two million years ago, when glacial outwash blocked the drainage of the valley of Loch Ban. It is underlain primarily by sedimentary deposits of the Horton and Windsor Formations, dating back about 350 million years.[2]

Fauna and Flora[edit]

A number of bald eagles nest around the lake.


The lake was named after George Robert Ainslie, the Lieutenant Governor of Cape Breton Island from 1816 to 1820, when Cape Breton became part of Nova Scotia.


  1. ^ "Lake Ainslie - Home". Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  2. ^ "Lake Ainslie Water Quality Report" (PDF). May 1991 – September 1993. Retrieved December 8, 2014.