Ottawa River, ON - Terry Lake

My name is Terry Lake from Hydropothecary, and this is my Watermark story. Human history is all about water. We are drawn to water. It allows us to explore, to learn, and it hydrates us. It provides us with nourishment. It's key, really, to our survival. This river runs over 1,200 kilometres, separating Ontario and Quebec. Its watershed is over 130,000 square kilometres. It brings together three separate cultures: First Nations, Ontario, and Quebec. In English, it's the Ottawa River. In French, rivière des Outaouais. And for Algonquin, the Kichi Sibi. It runs through farms and fields, and traverses forests and mountains.

It's home to Canada's first industries. The Algonquin have used this river for centuries, and First Nations have always understood and cherished its importance to their life and, today, to all of our lives. Here the Ottawa River joins the rivière du Lièvre at Masson-Angers. Home to a forest industry for many years, and now home to Hydropothecary, one of Canada's largest cannabis producers, soon to be expanding to 1.3 million square feets to produce high-quality cannabis products for both medical patients and for the adult use recreational market.

This place is far from my home, but it sure feels like home. I'm from Kamloops, British Columbia where two important rivers also converge: the North and South Thompson Rivers. In fact, the Shuswap name for Kamloops is Tk'emlúps, and it literally means "the coming together of water." As BC's former Minister of Health, and Minister of Environment, and with a name like Lake, I've always understood the importance of our waterways - to our environment, obviously, but also to our economies, to our cities, to our people. That's why it's so important that we take steps each and every day to make sure these waterways are sustainable. I guess for me, that's my watermark story.

Ottawa River, ON
Ottawa Riverkeeper
Emma Konrad
Terry Lake

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