Phosphorus is the nutrient that most often limits the primary productivity of inland lakes on the Precambrian Shield. Recognizing the need to develop quantitative relationships to assess the impact of shoreline development on phosphorus concentrations in lakes, the Lakeshore Capacity Model (LCM) was developed by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Canada. The LCM is a steady-state mass-balance model that uses empirical relationships to predict the ice-free total phosphorus concentration of a lake. The model, calibrated and tested on lakes on the Precambrian Shield, has subsequently formed the basis for management decisions in the public and private sectors. Over the past two decades the coefficients, input parameters and assumptions of the LCM have been modified and updated to reflect an improved scientific understanding of the relative importance of sources and losses of phosphorus in lakes and watersheds. Here we present a comprehensive review of the components, coefficients and assumptions of the most recent version of the LCM (v. 3.0), providing a standard reference for all users of the model. © 2006 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.