Claire Malcolmson


Claire Malcolmson has been involved with Lake Simcoe all her life. Her experience of watching the lake change, as a cottager, led her to create the Paddling Around Lake Simcoe program in 2002, which both spurred citizen engagement in the lake’s health, and launched her career.

She is now the Executive Director of the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition. 

Starting as a wilderness paddling guide and environmental educator, Ms. Malcolmson then managed water programs at Environmental Defence. There, Claire played a leadership role in the successful passage of two pieces of Ontario legislation: the Lake Simcoe Protection Act (2008), and the Great Lakes Protection Act (2015).

Claire and the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition’s work on “Campaign Fairness” resulted in changes to the Municipal Elections Act (2016), banning corporate and union contributions to election campaigns. 

Volunteer roles include provincial appointments to the Lake Simcoe Stakeholder Advisory Committee, the Lake Simcoe Coordinating Committee, and the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation Board.

Claire is the past President of the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition, and was President of the Board of the Heath Street Housing Co-op in Toronto. 

In 2011 Claire completed a Masters in Planning and Integrated Watershed Management at York University. Her BA in Anthropology and Environmental Studies is from the University of Victoria.




Dr. Kirby Calvert


Dr. Kirby Calvert is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics at the University of Guelph (PhD, Queen’s University, 2013) 

His research is focused on the land-use and landscape implications of renewable energy development, and the changing role of local government in driving sustainability transitions.

This work combines policy analysis, spatial analysis in geographic information systems, participatory mapping and other qualitative research techniques.

Since 2015 he has co-directed the Community Energy Knowledge-Action Partnership (, a national partnership of researchers and practitioners that aims to better understand and facilitate community energy planning.

He also serves as the co-chair of Our Energy Guelph, a not-for-profit that aims to build cleaner and more equitable energy systems through localized, multi-sectoral partnerships and initiatives. (



Assim Sayed Mohammed


Assim Sayed Mohammed is a Masters of Arts Candidate at the Department of Geography, Environment, and Geomatics at the University of Guelph, working with Dr. Kirby Calvert. 

His research is focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation in fast-growing mid-sized Canadian cities. Specifically, his research uses a combination of literature reviews and documentary analyses to identify planning practices and community groups that are critical to effective urban heat wave adaptation.

In addition to his thesis work, he is also a Graduate Research Assistant specializing in policy analysis for renewable energy approval and land use planning across various regions in Ontario.




The process through which protections on natural areas have been mapped is as follows (see below for a graphical illustration):

  1. Identify all policies and regulations that apply in Simcoe County.
  2. Extract information about the specific natural features and land-cover/land-use categories to which these the policies and regulations from Step 1 apply. This information can be found in the Simcoe County greenlands mapping spreadsheets, which you can view here.
  3. Interpret the level of protection that each policy or regulation assigns to a given natural feature or land-cover/land-use category. We have created three levels, described as Best Protected, Somewhat Protected, and Not Protected.
  4. Gather digital spatial data on the natural features and land-covers/land-use categories identified in Step 2. Using a geographic information system, assign the screening level from Step 3 accordingly and create a map of environmental protections for each policy / regulation.
  5. Repeat Step 4 for all policies and regulations, and their associated natural features and land- cover/land-use categories. NOTE: some of the natural features and land-cover/land-use categories identified in Step 2 may not apply to the study area, and therefore would not be included in any maps. Furthermore, some of the natural features and land-cover/land-use categories identified in Step 2 may not have data associated with them. One example here is significant wildlife habitat: for conservation reasons – i.e., wanting to avoid broad public awareness about the known location of those species and therefore encourage poaching or ecotourism traffic – the research team could not access data to map these locations.
  6. Combine all of the maps from Step 5 into a single map, showing the levels of protection across all natural features and land-cover/land-use categories in the study area. Where multiple policies/regulations apply to the same natural feature or land-cover/land-use category, the most stringent protection level is applied.

The output from this process is the map shown on the Overview page of this site, here. This map is based on best-available data collection from multiple sources, including Land Information Ontario, the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority, and the County of Simcoe. Still, there may be data gaps which result in some areas not being represented here. We anticipate, however, that those gaps represent a very small total area relative to the area that is mapped and therefore have an insignificant impact on the results.

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