Floodplain Mapping and Flooding Preparedness

While spring brings the promise of warmer weather and longer days, it also brings a variety of conditions, including heavy rain, severe weather and rapid snow melt that can increase the risk of flooding in flood-prone areas.

This spring thaw, commonly known as the freshet, is a result of snow and ice moving and melting into our lake and river systems, which can last for weeks as the snowpack melts.

This page contains resources, information, and links to flood plain maps and water levels to help residents be prepared for flood events in Muskoka. 

Floodplain Mapping

As a result of flooding in Muskoka in the last decade and through the Integrated Watershed Management Projects, the District undertook Floodplain Mapping Projects (FPMP) to better identify areas at risk of seasonal flooding.

Why Floodplain Mapping?

The goal of floodplain mapping is to have more information to assist with emergency management plans and help inform planning policies.

The FPMP determines what areas are most at risk through several assessments following completion of the project (such as total number of structures affected by area, number of people affected, value of buildings affected, number of permanent homes affected, etc.)

Floodplain mapping is critical to support informed decisions and investments to reduce the impacts of flooding in our communities. Development in these areas can result in damage to properties if flooding or erosion occurs, and in extreme cases could result in loss of life.

View or download the Muskoka Floodplain Mapping Project Pamphlet

Floodplain Mapping PDFs & Reports

Map Viewing Instructions: 

  • To view or download a PDF file of Muskoka Floodplain Maps click on the Map Set link associated to a lake or river below.
  • The map will open in a new web browser.
  • Some map files are large (size noted beside the map name) and may take a few moments to download.
  • Most of the map sets will open with a key map on page 1 of the PDF document and may contain several other sub maps showing greater detail of a specific area and will be identified by the key map with a number.
  • You can locate the sub map by scrolling through the document and looking for the sub map number on the right-hand side of the map that corresponds to the number identified on the key map.

Master Key Map & Floodplain Mapping Reports

Lake Maps:

River Maps:


 Muskoka GeoHub Web Mapping Portal

The technical reports and floodplain map sets are also available on the Muskoka GeoHub web mapping portal. Muskoka GeoHub also allows you to interact with Flood line and LiDAR mapping and view real time water levels in Muskoka - right from your own home!

Learn more about GeoHub tools and features.

Launch Muskoka GeoHub Now!

FAQ's - Flooding and Floodplain Mapping

What is a Floodplain
A floodplain is a low-lying area adjoining a watercourse that is not ordinarily covered by water.
What is Floodplain Mapping?
Floodplain mapping identifies areas where a potential flood event may take place. These identified areas are referred to as floodplains.
What is a Freshet?
While spring brings the promise of warmer weather and longer days, it also brings a variety of conditions, including heavy rain, severe weather and rapid snow melt that can increase the risk of flooding in flood-prone areas.
This spring thaw, commonly known as the freshet, is a result of snow and ice moving and melting into our lake and river systems, which can last for weeks as the snowpack melts
Who issues flood forecasts and warnings?

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) issues Flood Forecasts and Warnings in Muskoka.

What do I do if there is a Flood Warning Issued?
Flood warnings will come with instructions. The MNRF, DMM and area municipal websites and social-media channels will also provide more information.
Who manages water levels in Muskoka?

Water levels are managed by the MNRF through the Muskoka River Water Management Plan.

Who owns and operates the dams in Muskoka?

Dams in Muskoka are owned and operated by the MNRF or by local power generation companies.

Are dams in the Muskoka River Watershed (MRW) meant to be flood control structures?

No. The dams in the MRW are intended to provide for recreational water use, transportation, and protection of aquatic habitat and fish spawning areas. For more information about dams contact the MNRF.

 What are the next steps in the FPMP?

The District will analyze the results of the data received through the FPMP and determine the next steps. The District will use the information to assess several options that include but are not limited to; potential localized mitigation strategies, planning implications, emergency plans and evacuation routes, quantify risk to infrastructure, and to look for funds to expand the project or embark on flood mitigation projects.

Be Flood Ready - Plan, Prepare, Practice!

Muskoka Emergency Response Committee (MERC)

The MERC is comprised of the area’s six municipalities and the District of Muskoka. The MERC collaborates with the local area municipalities to protect the health and safety of residents and visitors to Muskoka in times of emergency.

When it comes to emergency management, everyone has a role to play!

Be Flood Ready.

Read the tips below to help you be prepared for flood events in Muskoka.

Before a Flood


Prior to the beginning of the snowmelt, consider the following if you believe your property or buildings may be subject to flooding:

  • Relocate items of value above the flood level. This may mean items in your basement, garage, shed, yard, boathouse, or other structures.
  • Check your sump pump to ensure that it is working. Do you need an auxiliary pump to accommodate high water flows?
  • Do you have an adequate supply of sandbags and sand to build a dyke around your house? Do you know material suppliers? Have you considered portable or reusable water-inflated dams?
  • Locate alternative accommodation if you are forced to leave, such as with friends or family.
  • Is your electrical panel above the flood elevation? Know where to shut off main electrical feed to the building to avoid an electrical shock or electrocution. Do not attempt to shut off electricity if any water is present. Water and live electrical wires can be lethal.
  • Securely tie off your dock to the land.
  • Remove lawnmower, snowmobiles, ATVs, boats, lawn furniture, etc. from flood prone areas.
  • Listen to the radio and television in addition to monitoring social media outlets for emergency information. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), Towns, Townships or the District of Muskoka may issue high water safety bulletins, flood advisories, flood warnings and emergency statements. Follow directions for your safety.
After a Flood

Restore your home to good order as soon as possible to protect your health and prevent further damage to the house and its contents.

Re-entering your home

  • If you have been evacuated, do not return home until authorities have advised that it is safe to do so
  • If the main power switch was not turned off prior to flooding, do not re-enter your home until a qualified electrician has determined it is safe to do so.
  • Appliances that may have been flooded pose a risk of shock or fire when turned on. Do not use any appliances, heating, pressure, or sewage system until electrical components have been thoroughly cleaned, dried, and inspected by a qualified electrician.
  • The main electrical panel must be cleaned, dried, and evaluated by a qualified electrician to ensure that it is safe.
  • Depending on where you live, your municipal or the provincial inspection authority is responsible for the permitting process required before your electric utility can reconnect power to your home.


Flood water can be heavily contaminated with sewage and other pollutants. It can cause sickness and infections.

If you are on a well or river/lake water, your well or source could be contaminated. Contact the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit for information on flushing your well and testing your water.

Household items that have been flood-damaged will have to be discarded according to local regulations.


  • Maintain good hygiene during flood cleanup. Minimize contact with floodwater or anything that may have been in contact with it. Keep children away from contaminated areas during cleanup operations.
  • Recommended flood cleanup equipment:
    • Gloves
    • Masks and other protective gear
    • Buckets, mops, and squeegees
    • Plastic garbage bags
    • Unscented detergent
    • Large containers for soaking bedding, clothing and linens, and clotheslines to hang them to dry.
    • Depending on your situation, you may need to rent additional equipment such as extension cords, submersible pumps, wet/dry shop vacuums, a carbon monoxide sensor and dehumidifiers, fans, or heaters.
    • When using the equipment, keep extension cords out of the water.
Helpful Links for Flood and Emergency Preparedness
Emergency Subscriptions/Notifications


Sign up for #AlertMuskoka an important notification tool powered by the Voyent Alert! System.  By downloading this free community and registering, residents and visitors can select to receive notifications from a wide variety of communication channels including mobile apps, text/SMS alerting, email or voice calling. 

Visit our #AlertMuskoka webpage to learn more about the app and how to register.


Subscribe to Area Municipality News Feed Pages:

Check out the Districts Emergency Preparedness website for more resources in preparing for an emergency.

The information presented on this page is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered as legal advice.  For legal advice please contact a legal professional.

© Copyright 2021 The District Municipality of Muskoka