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Waterway Guides

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St. Lawrence River

Gananoque

The town of Gananoque was established over 200 years ago by an American expatriate Joel Stone, an entrepreneur who developed the area into a thriving business community. Gananoque is situated 17 miles east of Kingston in the heart of the 1000 Islands tourist region and can be reached either through the popular 10 mile Bateau Channel between Howe Island and the north shore of the St. Lawrence, or through the Admiralty Islands in the main navigation channel. Upon arrival boaters can tie up at the ever popular Gananoque Municipal Marina. This busy marine centre is within easy walking distance to great dining and shopping opportunities. This is one of the busiest marinas in the Islands so be sure to make advance docking reservations.

This summer Gananoque will play a significant role in kicking off the official start of bicentennial observances marking the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 that will draw visitors from near and far. A special ceremony on the waterfront June 18 will see the transformation of Joel Stone Park into Joel Stone Heritage Park including unveiling of the David Day War of 1812 mural, historical plaque, performance centre, memorial garden, waterfront walkway, refurbished lighthouse and cannon display by the new flag pole and accent area depicting Gananoque in the 1812 era. And don’t forget this is Gan’s riverside people place. It will also feature a new splash pad for the youngsters and improved beach.

Later in the summer there will be a major reenactment of the 1812 “Raid on GananoqueEwhen a United States force of 200 regulars and militia attacked and sacked the fledgling community forcing Colonel Joel Stone and his small force to withdraw despite a spirited resistance. From Joel Stone Heritage Park it’s a short stroll to the Arthur Child Heritage Museum of the Thousand Islands, which offers a blend of Thousand Islands social, cultural and natural history. Check out www.1000islandsheritagemuseum.com for more details about this summer’s exciting program.

Gananoque has long heralded itself as the official Gateway to the Thousand Islands and has enjoyed a prominent reputation as a top notch tourism destination for more than a century. Today those exploring by boat or land yacht will be impressed by the variety and quality of the town’s accommodation sector. There’s everything from waterfront historic inns to neat and tidy hotels and motels to meet the expectations and amenities desired by any traveler. Many of these establishments are tucked along the town’s quiet tree lined streets and main Heritage Highway 2 that runs through the heart of the town. In addition, many of these accommodation centres offer prime dining opportunities as do other stand alone restaurants about town.

This is a prefect location to pause awhile and explore the 1000 Islands region. For those who fancy quality live professional theatre, consider the offerings at the Thousand Islands Playhouse located on the banks of the St. Lawrence River housed in two unique heritage venues. Theatre docking is available but call for details, 1-866-382-7020 and visit www.1000islandsplayhouse.com

Gananoque also has a casino nearby if you’re in a gaming mood. Gananoque Boat Lines offers tours of the breathtaking Thousand Islands including visits to the famous Boldt Castle.

Ivy Lea

This picturesque enclave is located at the turnoff to the Thousand Islands Bridge that links Ontario to New York State. The area is dotted with excellent full-service marinas and resorts and is very popular with cruising enthusiasts and small boaters launching here to explore the breathtaking “IslandsEarea or to just plain FISH.

For those who enjoy camping, Ivy Lea Park is open from mid May to late September. It offers some sites along the river. You can’t visit Ivy Lea without making a short trip over the Canadian span of the Thousand Islands Bridge to visit the Skydeck on Hill Island. Here, an elevator takes you to the top of this famous observation tower for a magnificent view of both sides of the St. Lawrence River.

One of the most prominent resorts along the river and Thousand Islands Parkway is the Glen House Resort, which has undergone major improvements and expansion in recent years. It is a muststop destination while on a Thousand Islands cruise. The elegant Glen House has added Smugglers Glen Golf Course to its already long list of guest and visitor amenities. So don’t forget to stow your golf clubs on board and experience what is fast becoming Eastern Ontario’s premier golf destination. The resort welcomes boaters and offers “dock and shuttleEservice to this hidden gem.

When you are finished the round, be sure to head back to the Glen House Resort’s main lodge and enjoy a fabulous meal in the waterfront Shipman’s Dining Room or refreshments in the Smuggler’s Tavern. The Glen House prides itself in offering “The Best Prime Rib in the Thousand IslandsE For those seeking a longer stay, Glen House and Smugglers Glen Golf Resort offer a variety of riverside and riverview accommodations overlooking this scenic part of the St. Lawrence.

Rockport

Boaters exploring the Thousand Islands will discover the tiny hamlet of Rockport about a mile east of the International Bridge. This little port dates back to 1797 when it was first settled by Irish and Scottish arrivals and enjoys one of the prettiest settings in the Islands region. In the 1880s it was in important steamboat building, transportation and cord wood refueling centre. Rockport today is a busy community catering to land- and water-based visitors throughout the hectic travel season. Here, the well-known cruise boats from the Rockport Boat Line efficiently handle the throngs of guests who board daily for a variety of Island sightseeing tours and special dining trips.

With the cruise line as an important community anchor, Rockport is fortunate to have a concerned Rockport Development Group that’s has turned back the pages of history to create a special welcome feeling for visitors and others who call this place home during the summer season and year round. Streetscaping and landscaping complete with delightful murals depicting the history of the village have been put in place.

Heritage-style lamp standards adorn the streets and a great selfguided walking tour of the village has been created to take visitors back in time and speak about many of the heritage buildings.

Enjoy a variety of dining and shopping experiences in Rockport including the Boathouse Country Inn-B&B, Motel and Restaurant, Cornwall’s Pub, the Island View Waterfront Restaurant and Patio Bar and visit the Rockport General Store for unique gifts and souvenirs. Outdoor experiences abound. This Islands area offers some of the best freshwater scuba diving in the world and the fishing is great. The wreck of the ship Kinghorn is a popular attraction for divers. Caiger’s Riverfront Resort offers rooms, dining, fishing boat rentals and dive charters. To find out more about Rockport visit www.rockport1000islands.com and www.rockportcruises.com

Brockville

The 1000 Islands Region has long been eastern Ontario’s hidden treasure, with majestic scenery and exciting activities. At its heart lies the city of Brockville, offering a gateway to recreation, entertainment, dining, history and of course the St. Lawrence waterway. Only a short drive from the major centres of Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and New York, “Brockville-on-the RiverEis a vibrant hub for those looking to escape big city life Efor the weekend or for good!

Brockville’s waterfront is currently undergoing a significant “renaissance.EThe impressive Tall Ships Landing development is now really taking shape offering a new standard in waterside living! With the St. Lawrence at its doorstep this new luxury project offers sanctuary to retirees, weekenders and visitors alike. Tall Ships Landing includes a 20-storey condominium tower, boutique hotel, fine dining restaurant, spa and fitness centre plus a full service marina.

Resort-style “cottage-iniumsErange from 1000 to 2000 square feet and combine the best of both worlds: casual waterfront living with elegant, upscale design. There are only 19 remaining units left available for sale in Phase 1 of the 3 phase development. With prices starting at $305,900, the suites feature breathtaking river and city views, generous 9-foot ceilings and oversized hammock-friendly balconies plus optional amenities including indoor parking and spa-quality bathroom upgrades. With open concept floor plans and spacious living areas, these cottageiniums radiate comfort and luxury from floor to ceiling. Be sure to check out the VisitorsECentre as sales are already brisk and occupancy of theses resort style homes is scheduled to start in the Fall of 2012. Tall Ships Landing provides the luxury and convenience of an urban condo and the comfort and serenity of a cottage on the lake. Now you can have both!

Tall Ships Landing is an oasis for active, recreational lifestyles. Development of the full service marina in Brockville’s protected Tunnel Bay Harbour will begin this summer. It will boast 100 slips for 20 to 60-foot boats, including several with covers—available for both transient boaters and for residents, who can reserve them for private use. All slips are equipped with power, water, Wi-Fi, washrooms and showers. Residents of Tall Ships Landing are also granted use of the Club Lobby and Quarter Deck Lounge, the 3000 square foot landscaped terrace, plus indoor and outdoor pools and hot tub. Tunnel Bay Moorings is an ideal base for exploring the 1000 Islands and “Great WaterwayEvacation region!

At the core of the Tall Ships Landing project is the $20 million Marine Discovery Centre, a family and tourist oriented activity centre being developed in partnership with the City of Brockville. The Marine Discovery Centre, will become one of the province’s key tourism attractions and feature world-class exhibits and ever changing activities that cater to all interests and ages. Visitors can explore marine-life installations, experience an interactive video at the inhouse theatre, simulate piloting a ship on the St. Lawrence using state-of-the-art technology, or experience the real thing by stepping aboard and sailing on the authentic tall ship, the Fair Jeanne.

Nearby on Blockhouse Island, the city’s full service marina offers first class accommodations with expanded visitor docking allowing easy access to the city’s bustling downtown shopping district. The harbour monitors VHF Channel 68 and visitor docks are marked with a yellow flag to more efficiently handle arrivals.

Around Brockville’s coastline is the best fresh water scuba diving in the world with no thermo cline. Scattered along the bottom of the St. Lawrence are the historic remains of hundreds of sunken ships that went down in the early years of river navigation.

Explore Brockville’s rejuvenated downtown offering waterfront and uptown dining opportunities, unique shops and galleries . Visit the Brockville Arts Centre built in 1858, one of Canada’s most unique and classic theatres. Offering a stellar line- up of live concerts featuring top name entertainers, the theatre also has first run movies.

Prescott

With the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 commemorations and celebrations now underway this is definitely the year to visit Prescott. Known as the Fort Town, Prescott is the site of historic Fort Wellington, constructed in 1838 on the remains of a fortification built in 1812 during the war with the United States.

It has one of the oldest surviving barracks buildings in Canada. Today, you’ll find staff dressed in period costumes to transport you back to the mid-19th century. Visit the new Visitor’s Centre complete with 1812 era “gun boatE Other attractions about town include the Forwarders Museum and Visitors Centre. This museum commemorates Prescott’s heritage as an important shipping centre when it was a gateway to the developing western frontier. Built in the 1820s, it served as a warehouse for goods brought upriver by bateaux before the rapids were tamed on this stretch of the St. Lawrence River.

On the waterfront just west of the Sandra S. Lawn Harbour and Marina is the Moran-Hooker Trade Centre also dating to the forwarding era. Today, this imposing stone structure has been restored for “newEcommerce and hosts a great little pub called the Red George Public House. It is named after War of 1812 hero Red George Macdonell a defender of Prescott from invading Americans from nearby Ogdensburg on the opposite shore where the International Bridge now connects these two friendly communities.

Prescott is a place to drop anchor for a while. The municipal marina offers full marine services with 148 slips for seasonal and holidaying boaters. This park setting offers Sunday evening summer concerts and open air theatre presentations featuring the works of Shakespeare. There’s a children’s boat play structure and playground plus picnic tables giving visitors a great vantage point to watch the Seaway ships cruise by. Shipwrecks scattered on the river bottom here offer excellent scuba diving opportunities along with finding old bottles and other relics discarded centuries ago. Please take time to visit Prescott’s community web site and plan a memorable visit to this great Port of Call!

Iroquois

Iroquois is a community of 1,200 with an unspoiled yacht basin within walking distance of everything you’ll need during your stopover. The communities of Iroquois and nearby Morrisburg were partially flooded by the creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1958. Unlike the Lost Villages of Cornwall and Osnabruck Townships, the two towns were simply relocated to higher ground in the same area. There was an international design competition in 1954 to design the new Iroquois townsite. An artificial lake, Lake Saint Lawrence now extends from the hydroelectric dam in Cornwall to the control structure at Iroquois replacing the formerly narrow and turbulent section of river that was impassible to large vessels. The lock at Iroquois is the gateway to the huge inland sea known as the Great Lakes.

This is a great spot to watch the big lakers close up! For centuries the tribes of the powerful Six Nations family held annual pow wows at Point Iroquois. This historically significant landing offers all the amenities for boaters plying the friendly waters of the St. Lawrence.

Salaberry-de-Valleyfield

Salaberry-de-Valleyfield is an exceptional port of call that's close to home and perfect for soaking up the summer sun and having some fun! Drop anchor at one of the 500 quayside slips in the heart of downtown or come and spend a lazy afternoon watching large and small boats drift by. Take in a museum exhibition to learn about the region's history, catch one of the many free outdoor concerts, and discover some of the hottest musical talents on the floating stage. You can also enjoy a dip in the new aquatic zone with water games and heated pool. Warm summer days offer the perfect opportunity to hop on a bike and discover the Suroit's exceptional cycling network. There are close to 120 km of paved pathways, most of which run along the water and are accessible from Salaberry-de- Valleyfield. Access the bike paths using the maritime shuttle, and take a commented Sunday evening cruise to discover the lake from another angle.

Salaberry-de-Valleyfield's rich summer program offers loads of exciting activities and events: the Regates de Valleyfield, the Festival des arts, the Rodeo International Valleyfield, the Artefact music festival, not to mention a host of other events to add to the fun. Visit www.destinationvalleyfield.com for complete details.