Petticoat Creek watershed is an urbanising, warm-water system. Natural and rural areas of the watershed are roughly two-thirds of the land base and are protected by provincial initiatives.
The name “Petticoat” is a clue to the human heritage of the area, a variation on the term “Petite Côte”, used by French settlers in the 1600s in reference to the creek mouth where one bank is high, and the other side low and flat. The watercourse likely had many previous names, given its history of aboriginal settlement over the last 4000 years by Huron and Iroquois peoples.
The long history of agriculture in this area has not resulted in significant degradation of the northern portion of the watershed. The agricultural community has generally been a good steward of this land.