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Pottle Lake

We are soon to be known as Pottle Lake Optical

Pottle Lake Optical

A brief history of the area indicates Captain James Pottle, born in Bonavista Newfoundland about 1779, came to Cape Breton in 1808 and later became a harbour pilot after years in the coastal trade. In 1813, he married Charlotte Allen. Pottle’s Lake, from which the town gets its water supply, was first called Saw Mill Lake because of a sawmill which was there in the 1790’s.

In 1835, Captain Pottle received a 172-acre crown grant of land at the southeastern part of the lake that soon bore his name. Entirely spring-fed, the lake’s water is so free of minerals that the Western Union employees were able to use it, instead of distilled water, in the plant’s batteries, when the company operated here.

Today, it not only supplies the town of North Sydney with water, but Sydney Mines, Florence and outlying areas as far as Alder Point.

Pottle’s Lake has even been the inspiration for a book of poetry “Local Poems, The Shores of Pottle Lake by Harry A. Archibald”. An excerpt includes a reference to our locally famous Allen’s Ice Company which supplied ice to the fishing industry;

“…we stopped to view the scenery at the foot of Pottle’s Lake…The structures you espy, are Charlie Allen’s gold mines against the evening sky and here he made a million and plenty more to make, selling frozen water from the shores of Pottle’s Lake”.

Pottle Lake Optical


In 1701, James Pottle left England and arrived in Trinity Newfoundland. Over the years, Pottle’s have inhabited the communities of Harbour Grace, Trinity and Bonavista. It was from Bonavista, his descendent, also named James Pottle, arrived in Cape Breton. Captain James Pottle, born about 1779, came to Cape Breton in 1808. He later became a harbour pilot after years in the coastal trade as Captain.

In 1813, he married Charlotte Allen, daughter of Jeremiah Allen. In 1835, he obtained a 172 acre Crown grant at Saw Mill Lake. Around this time, the lake then became known as Pottle’s Lake.

On the upper side of Jackson’s Lake, along which the 125 Highway runs, David Jackson built a sawmill. With his own lumber, he and his son Samuel built the ship-Industry. This ship was 24 tons, about forty feet long with a single deck and two masts. For several years, this was the ship commanded by Captain James Pottle.

A branch of the family was also present on Cornishtown Rd in Sydney. These were the most recent relatives of the current North Sydney optometrist, Dr. James Thomas Pottle.


This lake has great ecological importance. Pottle’s lake is spring fed and so free of minerals that the Western Union employees were able to use it instead of distilled water for the plant’s batteries when the company operated here.

Today, Pottle’s Lake - a protected watershed area - supplies water to over 19,000 residents in the area. Recognized for its water quality, it is one of the most important lakes in Nova Scotia as well as Canada. It is a habitat for two species of mussels. One of these species is actually endangered. These mussels filter the lake twice daily. For more information see the following.

Did you know...
Pottle Lake is a Provincially Protected Water Area.

Pottle Lake is the drinking water source for urban areas on the Northside, including North Sydney, Sydney Mines, Alder Point, Balls Creek, Bras d'Or, Florence, Georges River, Leitches Creek, Little Pond, Mill Creek and Point Aconi.

Water has been drawn from Pottle Lake for over a century. On average, more than 9 million litres of water are pumped through the treatment plant each day, serving 18,900 residents!

Fresh water mussels that inhabit the lake act as natural filters, cleaning the raw lake water. It is estimated that 5.5 million Yellow Lampmussels live in Pottle Lake, and these amazing organisms filter between 66 and 132 million litres of lake water each day!

Species at Risk

Yellow Lampmussels

Yellow Lampmussel
(Lampsilis cariosa)

A species at risk is a plant or animal that is listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), on scale of concern for the stability of a population.

Yellow Lampmussels are designated as a species of special concern under SARA, being very sensitive to changes in their habitat and requiring a healthy population of white perch to complete their lifecycle.

Pottle Lake is one of the few ecosystems in Canada to host the rare species!

Source: ACAP Cape Breton

Cultural Significance

Pottle’s Lake was featured in local brochures, postcards, local newspaper articles and even a book of poetry - Local Poems/ The Shores of Pottle’s Lake and Others by Harry A. Archibald.

Cultural Significance

Legal Notice

The information below applies to all the information contained on the Website.

The users of this Website agree to comply with the terms set out below.


Pottle Lake Optical owns and operates a Website at (hereinafter referred to as the “site” or “Website”). Pottle Lake Optical® trademark except as otherwise noted on the site, which is accessible to all users (hereinafter referred to as the “user” or “users”). Refrain from using this Website unless you agree to comply with the conditions.


Information on this Website is intended for informational purposes only and has no contractual value. Pottle Lake Optical reserves the right to modify the content of this site. At any time, without prior notice. Pottle Lake Optical assumes no liability for errors or omissions in the content of this Website or for information reliability or completeness of said information.

Information published on this Website is based on marketing, statistical or commercial services or other sources the Pottle Lake Optical considers reliable and are the sole responsibility of their authors and not of Pottle Lake Optical. We do not assume any liability for the accuracy or completeness of said information and in no circumstance should this information be regarded as such. Opinions and information as presented on this site reflect our position as of the date of publication and are subject to change without notice.


Pottle Lake Optical, its employees and directors will not be liable for damages incurred as a result of the information published on this site, for the views and advice published, expressed or implied regardless of its nature.

Pottle Lake Optical expressly refuses any and all responsibility for the manner in which the user of the site may use the information contained, in any decisions that may be made and in the actions that may or may not be taken based on said information.


Presentations made and contained on this site are the intellectual property of Pottle Lake Optical. Reproduction in whole or in part of this site on any other medium in prohibited without the express permission of Pottle Lake Optical.

User may solely use the information contained on this site for personal use. Reproduction in whole or in part of said information on paper may only be performed for personal use. Said information is not to be copied, distributed or transmitted to third parties nor may it be inserted in a document or other medium.


The links to external Websites and their content shall not be prejudged and Pottle Lake Optical will in no way be held responsible for any direct or indirect prejudice that may result from gaining access to and usage of said sites.


Pottle Lake Optical draws the attention of the user to the fact that all communication transmitted through this Website remains in the public domain and not the private domain. OSI cannot accept responsibility for the security of the transmission of information.

The confidentiality and integrity of the information circulating over the internet cannot be ensured. Pottle Lake Optical cannot accept responsibility in the case that data contained on this site is intercepted.

Pottle Lake Optical site uses cookies. These cookies are small text files saved on the hard disk of a user's computer. These files are completely harmless and cannot contain viruses. These cookies are used to analyze visits to the site. Pottle Lake Optical calls upon Google Analytics to help track how users use the site. The number of visitors, path taken to access the site and length of each visit are measured. The cookies cannot, in any way, identify the user. All data is completely anonymous and compiled solely for the purpose of improving the site and tailoring the content to the needs of its visitors.

The person responsible for the protection of personal information is the owner of : Pottle Lake Optical


Pottle Lake Optical makes no representations that the content of this site is free of infections, viruses, worms, Trojan horses and/or other codes with contaminating or destructive properties. It is the user's responsibility to take protective measures.


Under no circumstances shall Pottle Lake Optical be held responsible for transmission errors of any sort, such as loss of or damage to data, or changes of any type whatsoever, including direct or indirect damage resulting from the use of the services provided on this site.


This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the province of Nova Scotia. Any dispute arising of this Agreement shall be brought before the court in the judicial district of Pottle Lake Optical's head office.
145 King Street, North Sydney, Nova Scotia B2A 3S1;
Tel: 902 794-3331.


Pottle Lake Optical
145 King Street, North Sydney, Nova Scotia B2A 3S1
Tel: 902 794-3331

Acceptance of the Privacy Policy

Thank you for visiting (the “Website”), provided to you by Pottle Lake Optical (“We”). We respect the privacy of every individual who visits the Website and are sensitive to privacy issues on the Internet. We believe it is important that you know how we deal with information received about you.

This privacy policy (the “Privacy Policy”) explains how we collect, use, disclose, and protect the personal information of our customers and Website users ("you"), describes the types of information we may collect from you or that you may provide to us, and our practices for collecting, using, maintaining, protecting, and disclosing that information. The Website is for general audiences and is not specifically targeted to or intended for use by children.

We will only use your personal information in accordance with this Privacy Policy unless otherwise required by applicable law. We take steps to ensure that the personal information that we collect about you is adequate, relevant, not excessive, and used for limited purposes. Privacy laws in Canada generally define "Personal Information" as any information about an identifiable individual, which includes information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person.

By accessing or using the Website, you are accepting the practices described in this Privacy Policy, and you are consenting to our processing of your information as set out in this Privacy Policy. We may modify or update this Privacy Policy from time to time; if we change this Privacy Policy in a manner that materially impacts your privacy rights, we will provide a notice to you. Your continued use of the Website or our services after any modification to this Privacy Policy will constitute your acceptance of such modification. However, when required by law, we will confirm your consent to the revised Privacy Policy terms. This Privacy Policy is incorporated into and considered a part of the Website Terms and Conditions of Use, located here

What information we collect

We collect and use several types of information from and about you, including:

How we collect the information

Information You Provide to Us

The information we collect directly from you may include:

Information We Collect While You Interact With Us Through Cookies and Other Automatic Data Collection Technologies
Information We Collect About You From Third Parties

How we use your information

We use your information, including your Personal Information, to manage our business and to maintain and develop commercial relationships with you. We will collect, use, and disclose such information only to the extent that is necessary for those purposes.

We use information that we collect about you or that you provide to us, including any Personal Information:

How we share your information

We will not rent or sell your information to third parties without your consent. We only share your data as specifically provided in this Privacy Policy.

Other Disclosures

In addition to any disclosure you may have consented to or permitted under the terms of this Privacy Policy, we may transfer your data, including Personal Information to third parties in the following limited circumstances:

  1. information you expressly consent to be shared;
  2. when relating to anonymized information (individuals cannot be identified by it);
  3. when you decide to make the information indexable by search engines, to share or to distribute the information to people or otherwise to make it available to the public;
  4. to satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request within or outside your country of residence when we have a good faith belief that the law requires it;
  5. to enforce this Privacy Policy, the Terms, or an agreement, including investigation of potential violations thereof;
  6. to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues, or protect the operations or you;
  7. to protect our rights, property or safety as well as yours, the public, or others;
  8. in connection with an acquisition, merger, change in control, debt financing, reorganization, sales of assets, bankruptcy or other change of our corporate structure or status; or
  9. as necessary in connection with the performance of requested services or solutions, or as otherwise appropriate in connection with a legitimate need.

How we store and secure your information

Information Security

We are committed to protecting the confidentiality, integrity, availability and privacy of your Personal Information. We have put appropriate physical, technological and procedural security measures in place designed to help prevent your Personal Information from being lost, used, modified or accessed in an unauthorized way, or improperly disclosed. Examples of such measures include restricted access to offices, training of personnel, using passwords and well-defined internal policies and practices. We also use encryption technology and Secure Socket Layers ("SSL") in all areas of the Website where your personal account information is required.

In addition, we limit access to your Personal Information to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need-to-know. They will be required to process your Personal Information only on our instructions and they are subject to an obligation of confidentiality. Our service providers are required to maintain adequate security protections in place designed to help safeguard your Personal Information and are not permitted to use it for any purpose other than fulfilling services to us.

If you have any questions about securing your personal data, please contact us in accordance with the “How to Contact Us” section below.

Information Retention

We will retain your Personal Information for as long as it is needed:

  1. to provide the products and services that you have requested;
  2. to communicate with you about a purchase or a request you have made to us;
  3. to manage your choices and rights you have exercised pursuant to this Privacy Policy;
  4. to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations and to demonstrate compliance,
  5. to resolve disputes and to enforce our rights and agreements.

We may retain non-personal information that has been sufficiently aggregated or anonymized for a longer period.

Once the retention period is over, we will dispose of your Personal Information as provided for in our internal data retention and disposal policy.

Where We Store Information

We use facilities operated by "Amazon Web Services" and located in Canada as our information storage and processing infrastructure. Our service providers can also, from time to time, store your Personal Information in accordance with purposes outlined in this Privacy Policy.

How to contact us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, you can contact us at 902 794-3331.