Thousand Islands Facts
Gananoque & The 1000 Islands
Thousand Islands Ontario Canada
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The town's name is pronounced
"Gan-A-Nock-way" and is an aboriginal name which means town
on two rivers.
Known to the traveling public as "The Town Where The Gates
Are Always Open," visitors receive a
unique and friendly welcome from massive gateways at each
entrance to the town.
The Indians called the 1000 Islands "Monatoana," meaning
"Garden of the Great Spirit."
Gananoque was first
identified in 1686 on Deshaise's chart
of the St. Lawrence as “Gananocouy”. The town itself was
founded by Col. Joel Stone,
one of the many United Empire Loyalists who relocated to
Upper Canada following the American Revolution.
lies along the St. Lawrence River, at the mouth of the
The town was founded by Charles McDonald, who built a mill
there in 1812 and later laid out the town site.
Its name is said to mean “rocks rising out of the water.”
The town is located 18 miles (29 km) northeast of
Kingston and near St. Lawrence Islands National Park.
Thousand Islands extends on the Canadian side from Wolfe
Island near Kingston, On., to the Brockville narrows at
Brockville, On. On the American side they extend from Tibbets Point on Lake Ontario to
Islands Bridge extends from Collins Landing near
Alexandria Bay, New York to Ivy Lea near Gananoque, Ontario
covering a distance of 8.5 miles and provides direct
connection between US Interstate Rt. 81 and Canadian
Highway 401. The Thousand Island bridge was built in 1938
by Prime Minister William Mackenzie King and President
The Bridge took seven years to build
Lawrence River - The St. Lawrence River is one of the
great rivers of the world, stretching for 1,247
Kilometers,775 miles. The River starts where Lake Ontario
empties and flows northeast to the Atlantic Ocean. It
carries the fresh water of the Great Lakes to the Atlantic
and provides access to the heart of North America. The upper
St. Lawrence is graced by pink granite and limestone
islands, large and tiny, for a distance of sixty miles. The
River drains the largest fresh water source on the face of
the Earth, The Great Lakes. The Upper St. Lawrence and the
Thousand Islands area was once called The Garden of the
Great Spirit by the Native Americans.
Boldt Castle located on Heart Island surrounded by
The Saint Lawrence River and the beautiful 1000 Islands.
Beginning in 1900 George C. Boldt set out to build a full
size castle on Heart Island. The grand structure was to be
for the love of his his life "Louise". In 1904 Louise Boldt
suddenly died, for 73 years everything lay doomed. In 1977
the 1000 Island Bridge Authority assumed ownership of Heart
Island with the under standing that they would keep
restoring the Island. Today Boldt Castle is open to the
public from mid May to October. Accessible by Tour boat And
The Thousand Islands
is a cluster or collection of islands consisting of exactly 1,864 islands that straddles the
Canada-U.S. border in the Saint Lawrence River as it emerges from the northeast corner of Lake Ontario. They stretch for about 80 km on St. Lawrence Seaway,
but the largest clustering of islands falls around Cape Vincent and Alexandria Bay in the United States and Kingston, Gananoque and Rockport in Canada.
The islands range in size from over 40 square miles to smaller islands occupied by a single residence, to even smaller uninhabited outcroppings
of rocks that are home to migratory waterfowl. The number of islands are determined using a number of methods, that any island must be
above water level all year round, have an area greater than 1 square foot, and support at least one living tree.
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The 1000 Islands is one of the best vacation places in the world!