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Ivy Lea - 1000 Islands

This month we spent the frist three weekends at the cottage in Ivy Lea at the 1000 islands. Its always nice to see the beauty of it all! The water level has been high this year and so far too cold to swim. For once I was wishing for the heat, as I'm not usually a sun person unless I'm near water.

A view of the cottage from the River

This is a pic of the new mansion being built which you can see from the Canadian Span of the bridges going into Canada. The picture on the right is one of the 2 waterfalls on the property, The water is pumped from the river to make these falls from what I can see.

River Queen Houseboats

One of our favorite passtimes is to just sit back, relax, eat, drink and watch all the vacationers. It's always fun watching the River Queen Houseboat renters getting their initiation lessons on learning how to pilot the houseboats. One year we laughed so hard at two of them going around in circles in reverse to get the hang of it. I guess I shouldn't knock it till I've tried it. hehehe And them trying to dock is another fun thing to watch! We just wonder, when there are so many beautiful islands and coves to anchor at, why most of them spend their nights docked at the Marina. Anyways its cheap entertainment for us:-)

Another thing we like to do is walk down the street to the Smugglers Run. It is where the One hour Gananaque Cruise leaves from. When the Parkway cruiseline passes by Smugglers Run someone runs out front and shoots off the cannon at them. They serve full dinners and snacks and drinks. As for us, we just prefer the wings which are very good. We cook our own steaks back at the cottage, but its always nice to get out and mingle with the tourists and locals. This year though we were sorry to see our friendly waitress Olga, has moved to DC. We met her 3 years ago, and everyone who has ever been to Smugglers knew of Olga. She was a college student in Kingston from Russia. The first time we met her, she sat right down at our table and we talked all night, exchanging immigration stories and internet stories. Everyone will miss her smiling face I'm sure!
The pic to the left is Smugglers Run and the pic to the right is the Public Boat Launch and Customs reporting station, both located in the Village of Ivy Lea
Critters of the Islands

From Geese to chipmunks and muskrats and even cats we love watching all the critters in the area. Here's a few pictures from our last visits to Ivy Lea.

Boat Tours in the Area

The best way to see the 1000 islands is to take one of the many local cruises. Our favorite was the Hovercraft tour out of Gananoque, because it just just MORE fun and a little less crowded, being that it seats 17 instead of 350 like some of the bigger ones. *NOTE* Unfortunately for the tourists of Gananoque, Randy and his Hovercraft are now located in Ottawa on the Ottawa River, operating from the Ottawa Rowing Club. We wish Randy the best of Luck in Ottawa and will greatly miss seeing the hovercraft around the islands!

The Parkway Boatline is one we haven't tried yet, but from the sound of the passengers, it sure sounds like a fun one, even though there is no bar on board.

The Island Star out of Kingston has dinner and sunset cruises in a glass enclosed dining area. We haven't tried this one either, because they don't allow smoking and who wants to be stuck inside for 3 1/2 hours on a cruise. The 1000 island skydeck is in the background and is another good way to view the islands.

The Gananoque Boat Lines offers a one hour tour from the village of Ivy Lea, and a three hour tour departing from Gananoque that stops off at Boldt Castle.

It was a rainy day in Gananoque, but we just happened to catch both boats at the same time. The 3 hour Gan Boat tour and the Island Star from Kingston on their lunch cruise.

Uncle Sam Boat tours is one of the USA tours which departs from Alexandria Bay in New York. We have never been on this one, as it is too costly for us to stay on the US side because of the exchange rate.


The first time I saw the Mist of Avalon, was in the fall of 2000. I said to my husband, come look at this big sail-boat docking at the marina. What did I know about boats? hehehe nothing, but I knew it was beautiful and I liked it. Isn't that all that matters? Plus it was green, my favorite color. It wasn't until I got home and did some research on it and was totally amazed at the history of the schooner. It started out in 1967 in Nova Scotia as the motorvessel "Liverpool Bay" as a cod fishing boat in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. It was abandoned in 1987 and was purchased by George Mainguy in 1992. You can read all about it on George's page Mist of Avalon or some more beautiful pictures on The Shem Creek Journal It it also listed as one of the 10 most Nova Sccotian Tall ships on the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic's Tall Ship top 10 list.

Pictures above of our favorite cat "North of 50" the official cat of the Mist of Avalon! I think North has the BBQ ready for that squirrel in the tree. hehehe

Check out more on the 1000 islands on my Ontario Boating page by clicking HERE

Please be sure to stop by and sign my guestbook on the main page of