Gananoque, Ontario

Gananoque is a town in Leeds and Grenville County, Ontario, located at 44°19′55″ North 76°9′44″ West. The town had a population of 5,285 year-round residents in the Canada 2006 Census, as well as summer residents sometimes referred to as "Islanders" because of the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River, Gananoque's most important tourist attraction.

The Gananoque River flows through the town, and the St. Lawrence River is the southern boundary of the town. Local industries include Textron Fastening Systems and ECG electrode manufacturer Graphic Controls, Inc.


The town's name is "Gan-uh-Nock-way") and is an aboriginal name, not French as many assume. The town's name rhymes with the placename Cataraqui, which appears in the Cataraqui River, the Little Cataraqui Creek, and the Cataraqui Cemetery in nearby Kingston, Ontario. One way to remember its pronunciation is "The right way, the wrong way, and the Gananoque". In Eastern Ontario speech, the town name is often abbreviated to Gan (rhymes with can), though it is rarely written that way.


Colonel Joel Stone, who served with Loyalist militia during the American Revolutionary War, established a settlement on this site in 1789. Land was granted to Col. Stone for use as a mill site.

During the War of 1812, American forces raided the government depot in the town to disrupt the flow of British supplies between Kingston and Montreal. The stores seized consisted of half an ox, a few straw ticks, and a few blankets. The raiders seized the supplies they found and burned the depot.

Mrs. Stone reportedly protected her jewels from the invaders by hiding them in the flour at the mill.

Within a month of the raid construction of the Gananoque Blockhouse was begun, with completion in 1813. It had an octagonal log parapet containing five guns. The blockhouse was abandoned after the War of 1812 and given to a private landowner.


Gananoque lies directly on three of Canada's busiest transportation routes: the four-lane Highway 401, the double-track Canadian National Railway main line, and the St. Lawrence Seaway. It is also home to a rich provincial highway heritage, and is home to one of two remaining stretches of Highway 2. Gananoque is a few minutes' drive from the Thousand Islands Bridge and the northern end of Interstate 81 leading south into the U.S. Finally, Gananoque is served by the Gananoque Airport for general aviation.


Religious Denominations

Age Structure

  • 0–14 years: 17.3%
  • 15–64 years: 60.8%
  • 65 years and over: 21.9%

Local attractions

Gananoque is referred to as the "Gateway to the Thousand Islands," which lie next to it in the St. Lawrence River. Local attractions include boat cruises to the Thousand Islands and Boldt Castle, NY, live theatre, the summer theatre festival of The Thousand Islands Playhouse and the Thousand Islands Charity Casino. The theatre company in Gananoque is The Thousand Islands Playhouse which operates two theatre spaces: The Springer Theatre, and the Firehall Theatre, attracting international attention since 1982.

The Thousand Islands - Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve, designated in November 2002, is the 3rd in Ontario, the 12th in Canada, and one of over 400 around the world, and is part of UNESCO’s Programme on Man and the Biosphere


External links

Local Media

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