If you are driving between Montreal and Toronto, you have to stop there for at least a day. This archipelago of islands is situated on the Canada-US border, on the outlet of Lake Ontario.
My starting point was Gananoque. It’s a small town 30km east from Kingston and is the perfect stop for your day trip. Just make sure you have that name written down somewhere, since its pronunciation would give you a hard time.
Not accidentally, the town is referred to as the Gateway to the Thousand Islands. This is the place to be if you want to explore the area, take a boat cruise through the 1864 islands or even take a helicopter tour for a birds eye view. And believe me you wont make a mistake whichever one you choose.
If you are however limited with time, I recommend you to do the boat cruise. It is a really great way to explore the stunning scenery all around the islands. And you have the option to chose between different lenght cruises which feature different landmarks.
Interesting facts about the Thousand Islands:
1. Even though the name of the landscape is Thousand Islands, there are exactly 1864 islands in the area.
2. Officially accepted for islands are all territories that stay above the water level year round and have at least one living tree on them, regardless of their size.
3. Almost all islands are privately owned.
4. You can buy yourself an island which belongs to the archipelago
5. There is only one island that is completely artificial, all the rest are natural.
6. On the Thousand Islands is situated the worlds shortest international bridge. It is only 10 meters (32 feet) long and connects a Canadian to an American island.
7. When aboard the cruise, you cross the American-Canadian border at least 4 times.
Few tips to prepare yourself for the boat trip through the islands.
1. First and most important – take your camera with you. Even if you are using an old camera or just your phone, this is the must-take on your trip. The views that will open up in front of you, would be worth it.
2. Bring many layers of clothes. It might be very sunny and warm, but once on the water and moving at a speed, the wind could be very dreadful. If you go prepared, you could always adjust the clothes you wear accordingly.
3. Take a sunscreen. Even though it is Canada and it might not seem like the strong sun you are used to, a protection for your face is something you should always take on a boat. You could not feel the skin on your face exposed, but believe me the wind is strong enough to burn your forehead.
4. Take a snack on board. This might sound unnecessary since it is just a 3 hour ride, but once you are heading back towards the pier, chances are you would be tired and would gladly enjoy the view from the inside of the boat with a snack in hand. They might offer drinks and snacks on board, but the choice is very limited and the prices are higher than normal.