This article covers a broad rural area between Belleville and Kingston. The Greater Napanee Area is a population 16,000 town (in 2016) comprised of all the communities historically in the former Lennox County (Napanee, Adolphustown, North and South Fredericksburgh, and Richmond).
The first recorded settlement in the area of Greater Napanee is Ganneious, an Iroquois village, settled temporarily by the Oneida from approximately 1660 to 1690. The village was located on or near the Hay Bay area and is one of seven Iroquois villages settled on the northern shores of Lake Ontario in the 17th century. The exact location of the village has not been determined.
The area was settled by United Empire Loyalists fleeing persecution in the United States in 1784. The first Loyalists settlers landing spot (in Adolphustown) and site of the first Loyalist cemetery in the area has been preserved by the Loyalists.
The town developed at the site of a waterfall, the head of navigation, on the Napanee River where early industry could use the power potential of the river. The river transported logs from the interior north of the town. Sawmilling, gristmilling and other farm service industries were established. Gibbard Furniture (1835-2010) was at one point Canada's oldest furniture factory, operating beside the Napanee River for 173 years.
Napanee was first known as Clarksville after Robert Clark, who built a grist mill there. The town's most famous resident was popular musician Avril Lavigne.
Napanee is on Highway 401 (exits 579 and 582), about 2½ hours east from downtown Toronto and half an hour west of Kingston. The town's original business district was at the crossroads of Highways 2 and 41 (Dundas and Centre, respectively); 41 leads to Pembroke and the Trans-Canada Highway, the 401 bypasses 2 in the Windsor-Quebec corridor.
The station, which dates to the original Grand Trunk Railway, operates as an unmanned shelter. It is one of two original 1856-era wayside stations still in railway use between Montréal and Toronto (the other is the restored station in Port Hope).
Napanee has no local transit of its own and only limited weekday service from Deseronto's system. An automobile is a necessity. Parking is free, even on the main street. There are two local taxis, Napanee Cab (+1 613-354-6688) and Mike's Taxi (+1 613-354-2207).
Napanee's history dates to the pre-Confederation era and the United Empire Loyalists. There is a museum near the county hall and parkland along the Napanee River east of downtown.
- 1 Lennox & Addington County Museum & Archives, 97 Thomas Street East, Napanee, ☏ , fax: . $3/person.
- 2 Allan Macpherson House & Park, 180 Elizabeth Street, Napanee, ☏ , fax: . MacPherson, a major in the local militia, owned the local grain mill, saw mill, retail store and distillery, building this impressive Georgian house on two acres on the Napanee River in 1826.
- 3 The Canadian Piano Museum, Stevenson House, 138 Robinson Street, Napanee, ☏ . By appointment only. By donation.
- A total solar eclipse on Monday 8 April 2024 starts at 3:22PM local time and lasts two minutes. The chances of a clear sky are 35%. The track of totality is northeast from Mexico and Texas to Ohio, straddling the Canada–New England border through Lakes Erie and Ontario, then across Maine, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.
The Loyalist Parkway (Highway 33) passes within the town limits, at Adolphustown. This region is waterfront cottage country with farms at which apples and strawberries can be gathered in-season. The best time for strawberries is traditionally early summer, before the Canada Day (July 1) long weekend. A free ferry takes Highway 33 westward across the Bay of Quinte to Prince Edward County.
Most established, independent businesses are on the original main street near the highway 2/41 crossroads. These highways are now county roads. Newer development has followed Centre Street (#41) northward to the 401 offramp, although offerings in this section tend to be dominated by national chains and similar in content to that in other towns across Ontario.
- 1 Summer Marketplace, Market Square (beside town hall), ☏ . Sa 9AM-2PM (summer). Bi-weekly Saturday market in Napanee. Fresh fruit, vegetables, honey, hand-made jewellery, natural bath products, needlepoint, sewing, natural gourmet dog treats, fresh cut flowers.
- Various national chains (KFC, Tim Horton's, Pizza Hut, Wendy's, Dairy Queen, Mr. Sub, McDo, Subway, Shoeless Joe's, Denny's, A&W) are located on or near Centre Street at 401 (exit 579).
- 1 Napanee Fish & Chips, 35 Jim Kimmett Blvd, Napanee, ☏ . Tu-Su 11AM-8PM. Seafood, steaks, burgers, chicken, wraps, soups, sandwiches, salads.
- 2 Royal Coachman Restaurant, 8087 County Road 2 (East of Napanee on old Highway 2), ☏ . Tu-Su 11AM-1:30PM and 5-7:30PM. C$25-50/person.
- 3 Spuds Griddle, 140 Industrial Blvd, Napanee, ☏ .
- 1 Loaf 'N Ale, 25 Dundas St. East, Napanee, ☏ .
- 2 Waterfront River Pub and Terrace, 22 Water Street, Napanee, ☏ . Pub with food in former brewery and marina.
There are two groups of motels in the town:
Highway 2 (Dundas Street) west of town, three motels:
- 1 Fox Motor Inn, 297 Dundas St. West, ☏ , fax: .
- 2 Napanee Motel, 361 Dundas Street West, ☏ .
- 3 Twin Peaks, 353 Dundas Street West, ☏ .
Highway 41 (Centre Street) north of the 401 (exit 579) offers two motels. There is also a Hampton Inn one block south of the 401:
- 4 Comfort Inn, 31 Community Rd., ☏ , fax: . Relatively new property (late 2010's) with indoor pool, wi-fi, microwave in room. $150-160.
- 5 Hampton Inn, 40 McPherson Dr, ☏ . 58 rooms, fitness centre, hot breakfast, meeting facilities.
- 6 Masterson's Motel, 691 Hwy 41 N, ☏ , fax: . $100.
- 7 Royal Napanee Inn, 647 Hwy 41, ☏ . $100.
Bed and breakfast accommodation is also available locally.
Wi-fi is available in the public library, at the Harvey's and McDonald's hamburger stands (both Centre Street south of the 401 exit 579) and at ONroute highway 401 rest stops (near Odessa).
- 2 Lennox County Public Library, 25 River Rd, ☏ . M–Th 10AM–8PM, F Sa 10AM–5PM. Free Wi-Fi, non-resident cards $5/year; the library can lend telescopes (for the dark-sky preserve in Addington Highlands) or a pair of bicycles (for use locally).
A rural area on the Lake Ontario shore, west of Bath. A car ferry on Highway 33 links Adolphustown to Prince Edward County year-round. Like Prince Edward County, this region is agricultural and produces apples, strawberries and grapes.
- 1 33 Vines, 9261 Loyalist Parkway, ☏ . Winery with on-site tasting room in a red former CN rail caboose.
- 2 Bergeron Estate Winery, 9656 Loyalist Parkway, ☏ . Winery and cider, tours available for groups of eight or more.
- 3 Spring Meadow Orchard, 10143 Loyalist Pkwy (Hwy 33), ☏ . Apples, fruit, vegetables, preserves, candy apples and apple cider doughnuts. Pick-your-own pumpkins. Pony rides on fall weekends.
- 4 Wynn Farms, 8191 Hwy 33, ☏ . Pick-your-own apple orchard, corn maze.
A lakeside village established 1784 on the north shore of Lake Ontario, between Kingston and Adolphustown. Once a busy shipping port and centre of commerce, its role diminished as the York Road (1817), Grand Trunk Railway (1856) and the 401 freeway (1964) all bypassed the village in favour of Napanee. The Tragically Hip (a Canadian rock band) maintained studio space in the village.
- 4 Academy Gallery, 352 Academy Street, Bath, ☏ . Art gallery and B&B open by chance or appointment.
- 5 Bath Museum, 434 Main St, Bath, ☏ . W-Su 10AM-4PM, Victoria Day to Labour Day. Historical museum covering Aboriginal times, Loyalist settlement and the War of 1812. Building was built in 1861 as a court house and was later the Bath town hall. Visitor information centre.
- 2 Bath Sunday Market, Centennial Park, Main Street, Bath. Late May to mid-Oct: Su 9:30AM-2PM.
- 3 Loyalist Cove Marina, 185 Main St, Bath, ☏ , fax: . Marina with fuel, pumpout, repair, boat storage, washrooms, showers, playground.
- 6 United Empire Loyalist Heritage Centre and Park, 54 Adolphustown Park Road, Bath, ☏ , toll-free: . Museum, campground and day-use facility, established June 16, 1784 as the landing site of the first group of United Empire Loyalists under Major Peter Vanalstine. During the American Revolution, United Empire Loyalists were loyal to the British Empire; after the US fell to revolution, loyalists made their new home in Canada.
A small village less than a mile across, built on a mill creek, midway between the centre of Napanee and Kingston.
- 7 Babcock Mill (Better Baskets by Babcock), 100 Bridge Street, Odessa. Historic 1856 woolen mill and water-powered saw mill, became a basket factory in 1915. The stone mill building on Mill Creek is now restored as a park site and museum.
- 8 [dead link] Odessa Fairgrounds (Odessa Agricultural Society), Main St, ☏ , email@example.com. Fair held one weekend, mid-July. Public park on south side of Main Street directly east of Wilton Road $8/day, $20/weekend, plus $2-3 per ride.
A tiny hamlet 8 km north of Odessa. Wilton Pottery studio used to operate in the former limestone public schoolhouse; its husband-and-wife owners have now "retired from being full time, career potters". Wilton has a horse tack shop in a 200-year old feed mill and a cheese factory whose wares are carried by local grocers for miles around.
- 3 Wilton Cheese Factory, 287 Simmons Rd, Wilton, ☏ , fax: . Daily 9AM-5PM. Independent village cheesemakers since 1867, specialising in aged cheddar. Watch the product being made (viewed through a window). Local and imported cheese, curds, specialty boxes.
|Routes through Napanee|
|Toronto ← Belleville ←||W E||→ Kingston → Montreal / Ottawa|
|Toronto ← Belleville ←||W E||→ Kingston → Montreal / Ottawa via|
|Trenton ← Picton ← ferry ←||W E||→ Bath → Kingston|
|Pembroke ← Addington Highlands ← becomes ←||N S||→ END|