Environmental Projects


Environmental responsibility is one of Penetanguishene’s top priorities. In order to create a sustainable community, growth and development must be undertaken in a manner that not only respects but enhances the environmental qualities of our community.

Sustainable Environmental Goals and Strategies have been developed under the Town’s Sustainability Plan that includes:

EN1: Protect, restore and enhance natural heritage

EN2: Protect and enhance biodiversity

EN3: Reduce consumption of natural resources

EN4: Design efficient public facilities in harmony with natural systems

EN5: Promote environmental education programs to encourage respect for natural areas and habitats

Town Environmental Initiatives

Below are a few of the initiatives the Town is undertaking to ensure our environment is sustained in a manner that enhances the quality of life in Penetanguishene:

Ecology Garden

  • Revitalized Community Partnership with The Karma Project;
  • Phased expansion and trail connection under development.

Energy Efficiency

  • Light and heating system upgrades at Town facilities (ongoing) ;
  • Town Energy Plan (legislation & regulations pending) .


  • Implementation of Urban Woodlands Study (2008);
  • Tree Planting & Re placement Program as part of the Town’s Official Plan.

Tree Seedling Distribution Program

The objective of the project is to promote local tree planting, improving environmental health and increasing tree cover, by providing residents with reasonably priced, native tree seedlings for spring planting.

Severn Sound Environmental Association, North Simcoe Stewardship and the municipalities of Tay, Tiny, Penetanguishene, Midland, Oro-Medonte, Springwater, Severn, and Orillia work together to implement the Tree Seedling Distribution Program annually. Over the past seven years, more than 70,000 tree seedlings have been purchased and planted by participants.

To have your name added to the SSEA’s seedling waiting list or email distribution list; contact Michelle Hudolin at 705-527-5166 ext. 202.

Salt Management

  • Long Term Solution for Snow Storage ;
  • Expansion of Pre-wet System ;
  • Monitor Sentinel Wells for Town’s water supply ;
  • Wash Station or Drainage Improvements at Public Works Yard .

Water Levels

The impact of declining water levels on the Great Lakes has been studied by many groups over the past decade. These studies have assembled significant amounts of scientific fact, proposed a number of underlying causes and considered possible solutions. This international process continues and it is hoped will eventually develop a course of action to better manage the water in the Great Lakes.

Notwithstanding, businesses, municipalities and residents around Georgian Bay are today facing clear and significant harm from the steadily decreasing water levels. This is why Penetanguishene has become a leader in resolving the Low Water Level issue. Even with resolution of the broader issue sometime in the future, the impact upon the businesses and people of Georgian Bay constitutes a slow moving disaster that is profoundly affecting their way of life. Many business and residents will simply not survive to see any long term solution.

Using data from 25 of the 44 Georgian Bay shoreline municipalities:

  • A minimum of $8.0 million will be spent just responding to low water levels in 2013. (Note: Only 19 of the 44 communities provided financial information. Extrapolating to all 44 municipalities, the number is close to $20 million. );
  • At a minimum 72 marinas are affected, some facing closure;
  • More than 77 private businesses, other than marinas are affected. Many expect to lay off staff;
  • 34 government facilities are affected including the Coast Guard stations, harbours, municipal water supplies and the Chi Cheemaun ferry.

The economic impacts if remedial action is not taken and the collective impacts being experienced by individual residents around the Bay.

These include:

  • Reduction in shoreline property values with consequential reduction of tax base;
  • Private property owners having to extend water lines and/or deepen wells;
  • Legal costs associated with negotiating changing shoreline ownership rights;
  • Secondary impacts upon the tourism economy;
  • The impact to First Nation communities around Georgian Bay.

Beach Monitoring Program

The purpose of the program is to provide regular monitoring of microbiological water quality at selected swimming areas within the watershed. The results are used by the Health Unit to assess the risk that recreational use of the water may result in waterborne illness, and to provide warnings or advisories to the public. View the information on the beach testing results.

Yellow Fish Road™

Trout Unlimited Canada's Yellow Fish Road™ program is a nation-wide environmental education initiative.

The goal of the Yellow Fish Road™ program is to help Severn Sound area communities understand that pollutants such as dirt, oil, soapy water and chemicals that enter storm drains are washed untreated into rivers, lakes and streams, where they can negatively impact water quality and aquatic life.

Preventing pollutants from entering storm drains is critical to protecting and improving water quality and aquatic habitat. Through the Yellow Fish Road™ program, volunteer groups mark storm drains with yellow fish decals and distribute brochures to inform residents that anything that goes into the storm sewer system goes directly into local waterways.

Cross Connection Control Program

The Cross Connection Control Program is a combined cooperative effort between the Town of Penetanguishene, the approved qualified testers, and the property owners. Through the implementation of the program and this combined cooperative effort, the Town of Penetanguishene is maintaining the integrity of the quality of water and ensuring we continue to meet and exceed the drinking water standards as mandated by the Province of Ontario.

Watt Not, Waste Not — Energy Meter Lending Program

The Town encourages residents to conserve Energy! The Penetanguishene Public Library has launched a program that allows residents and school groups to borrow energy meters to test their home and school appliances for energy usage. Residents can borrow a meter from the Town’s Library free of charge.