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Gananoque Ontario Canada
and Thousand Island Cruises

Gananoque Ontario Canada, on the St Lawrence River, is a pleasant 'old Ontario' town, which is home port to cruises among the famous Thousand Islands.

There's also a modern Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) casino. 

For more ideas on things to see and do during your stay in Ontario, click on any of the 'Tours' links below (and to the right).

Gananoque is about 20 minutes drive east from Kingston, near where the Thousand Islands Parkway separates from Highway 401 and heads down to the Thousand Islands International bridge for the USA.

It's here, between the junctions of these major roads and County Road 2 that you'll find the Thousand Island casino.

Gananoque street in fall colors

Like many older towns, the noisy, smoky industries that originally created Gananoque Ontario Canada have gone, leaving the town as a beautiful reminder of past times.

Fine old storefronts and big maple trees along the streets make for picture perfect days of shopping for antiques, books, art works and, my favourite, browsing hometown bakeries.

In spring and fall, the big trees provide a colourful show of blossoms and fall colors. In summer, they provide shade from the hot sun. Gananoque Ontario Canada also has a small beach along the waterfront and Ontario's Waterfront Trail also runs along the riverside or through town when there's something in the way, such as the harbour, the Ganananoque Inn, or the Thousand Islands Playhouse (see photo below).

Gananoque Ontario Canada boat cruise sign

One industry that has continued from days gone by into the present are the 1000 Island boat tours, which sail from the harbour three and four times per day at the height of the season and once or twice per day at the beginning and end.

Check the Gananoque Boat Lines (GBL) website for up-to-date information.

Gananoque boat Lines cruise boat 'Thousand Islander'

GBL's boats "Thousand Islander I - V" take passengers deep into the heart of the Thousand Islands, stopping at such historic sites as Boldt Castle on some cruises.

The advantage of sailing from Gananoque, versus Kingston, is less time spent on sailing to the islands, which is almost an hour from Kingston.

Despite the name of the region, the Captain of the cruise will tell you, there are in fact over 1800 islands, two thirds in Canadian waters and one third in American waters. However, the folks who drew up the border back then were scrupulously fair -- the land surface of the islands is the same on both sides of the border.

Gananoque cruise showing fall colors on the New York side of the St Larence  river

A popular time to sail is at the beginning of October when the trees are at the height of their Fall Colors. Both sides of the river, and the bigger islands too, are ablaze with yellow, red, gold, and orange leaves of autumn. The photo shows the trees near Alexandria Bay in New York.

GBL also does specialty cruises, such as dinner cruises, so check them out. An evening cruise, with all the lights of the towns along the shoreline reflected in the water is a sight worth seeing.

Gananoque boat cruise with bald eagle

However, spring and summer are great times to go as well, particularly when the Ospreys are nesting on all the lighthouses that mark shoals and channels in the river.

The photo is of a Bald Eagle, rather than an Osprey, and they can also be seen, particularly in spring and fall on their migration through the area.You can see more bald eagle pictures on our Ontario Raptors page

Narrow spots along the Great lakes system, like the 1000 islands, are natural funnels that channel many migratory species during the seasons, making for many happy bird watchers.

Gananoque boat cruise around Boldt Castle

Boldt castle is in the US so getting off to tour the site from Gananoque requires you to have a passport. This isn't necessary if you aren't leaving the boat. Boldt Castle was built by a hotel magnate for his wife back around the turn of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Unfortunately, she died before it was finished and the building was abandoned for decades before New York State took it over and finished it. It's now one of the more popular great houses for visitors.

Gananoque Ontario Canada Thousand Islands Playhouse

Just outside Gananoque Ontario Canada is OLG's 'Thousand Islands', a modern casino in a country setting. It's only 10 minutes from the U.S. border and has over 480 slot machines, ranging from 1¢ to $5, with favourites like Wheel Of Fortune, Monopoly, and Wizard of Oz.

There are also more than 480 slot machines and over 22 table games including Blackjack, Lucky Ladies Blackjack, Bonus Let It Ride, Caribbean Stud Poker, Three Card Poker, Roulette, and Texas Hold'em Poker.

It's open Monday to Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 a.m (provided there are enough customers, of course) and at the weekend; i.e. Thursday to Sunday, it's open all 24 hours of the day and, so you don't go hungry, there's a restaurant -- The Getaway.

For more Ontario casinos, visit our page here

For more attractions in and around Gananoque, visit our Kingston (link above) and Fort Henry pages.

Return to Home Page from Gananoque Ontario Canada

And for a hotel in Ontario or anywhere else:

Tours To Explore

Niagara Falls
Freedom Day Trip
from Toronto

Toronto Entertainment
District Tour

10-Day New England
and Canada Fall Foliage
Motor Coach Tour

Niagara Falls
Evening Lights
Day Trip from Toronto

Ultimate Toronto Tour

Eastern Canada Tour

Private Tour:
Toronto Helicopter Ride

Save on your hotel -

Dvd To Explore

Ontario Pictures