Lake Micmac is located in Dartmouth just north of Lake Banook, to which it is directly connected. In historical documents, Lake Banook and Lake Micmac are often collectively called the “Dartmouth Lakes”.
Lake Micmac is named for the Mi’kmaq, the indigenous people of Nova Scotia who canoed its waters for several thousand years. Although the spelling “Micmac” is a European invention that is no longer used to refer to the people or their language, it continues to be used in a number of older place names. This continued usage is controversial, but there is currently no widely accepted alternative name for the lake.
Prior to the construction of the Shubenacadie Canal, Lake Micmac was not connected to Lake Charles. A forested area just north of Lake Micmac in what is now Shubie Park was chosen as the site of the official turning of the sod for the canal in 1826, after which workers began the laborious process of digging a channel between the two lakes. After three years of back-breaking work, the so-called “Deep Cut” was finished, connecting the two bodies of water for the first time in recorded history.
At the north end of the lake, look out for a small, round island. This is actually an artificial feature marking the entrance to the canal and Lock 2. Similar structures are found throughout the Shubenacadie Canal Waterway.