The Seaway region is in Eastern Ontario, where it includes the southern portions of Frontenac, Leeds-Grenville and Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry counties along the St. Lawrence River and St. Lawrence Seaway.
- 1 Battersea — well known for its fishing and outdoor activities
- 2 Brockville — the "city of the Thousand Islands"
- 3 Cornwall — for those coming from Montreal, this is the gateway to Ontario
- 4 Gananoque — a good place to start your exploration of the Thousand Islands
- 5 Leeds and the 1000 Islands — a rural area that includes much of the Thousand Islands area, and the national park
- 6 Kingston — one of the most historic cities in Canada with many churches, old buildings, picturesque neighbourhoods, and 19th-century fortifications
- 7 Morrisburg — a historic United Empire Loyalist village
- 8 Prescott — has two War of 1812 national historic sites to visit
- 9 Verona — on the southern edge of the Canadian Shield, surrounded by dozens of lakes that attract fishing and boating enthusiasts
- 1 Thousand Islands — one of the most scenic spots in Ontario and northern New York: 1,864 islands dot this portion of the St. Lawrence River that straddles the Ontario—New York border
This region of Eastern Ontario stretches along the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The seaway is a system of locks, canals, and channels in Canada and the United States that permits oceangoing vessels to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes of North America, as far inland as Duluth, Minnesota at the western end of Lake Superior. The seaway is named for the Saint Lawrence River, which flows from Lake Ontario to the Atlantic Ocean. Legally, the seaway extends from Montreal, Quebec, to Lake Erie and includes the Welland Canal.
The seaway opened in 1959 and cost C$470 million, $336 million of which was paid by the Canadian government. Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, and American President Dwight D. Eisenhower opened the seaway with a short cruise aboard the royal yacht HMY Britannia after addressing crowds in Saint-Lambert, Quebec. 22,000 workers were employed at one time or another on the project, a 2,300 mi (3,700 km) mile superhighway for ocean freighters.
This development of this region was driven in the late 18th century by the settlement of many United Empire Loyalists, Americans who were fleeing persecution during and after the American Revolutionary War.
The economy of the region relies on agriculture and tourism, with some manufacturing in the towns, and post-secondary education and jails in Kingston.
- Ontario Highway 401 follows the Windsor-Quebec corridor from Toronto, passing through Kingston-Brockville-Cornwall and continuing toward Montréal
- From New York state, Interstate 81 ends at the Thousand Islands bridge in Leeds and the 1000 Islands, 15 km east of Gananoque on the 401. There are also bridges across the St. Lawrence River at Prescott-Ogdensburg and Cornwall-Massena.
- Megabus (Coach Canada) operates in the Toronto-Kingston-Montreal corridor with several runs daily
- Via Rail runs two "corridor" services through the region several times a day. These include:
- Kingston (YGK IATA) has a small airport mainly for private planes; its only scheduled service was to Toronto Pearson International Airport, which was suspended July 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The nearest major airports are:
- Ottawa International (YOW IATA), which has some international flights (mostly from the U.S.), and many domestic flights
- Montréal-Trudeau, which has lots of international and domestic connections, and has good air-to-rail connections westward into the St. Lawrence Valley
- There is a privately-operated international ferry from Cape Vincent NY to Wolfe Island which operates seasonally.
- Cruising on small craft is possible on the Rideau Canal, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes.
Local city bus service of varying quality is available in cities including Kingston, and Brockville.
Fort Henry in Kingston is a 1850s stone fortress with cannons to defend access to the Rideau Canal against US attacks. Bellevue House National Historic Site is a finely-maintained Italianate villa with lush gardens which served briefly as the home of first Canadian prime minister Sir John A. MacDonald.
The Brockville Railway Tunnel, Canada's first railway tunnel, passes under City Hall. Visitors can walk the 500-m length.
The Lost Villages Museum in Cornwall hosts ten restored and relocated heritage buildings from villages that were flooded during the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
In Gananoque, the Heritage Museum of the 1000 Islands and the 1000 Islands Boat Museum have exhibits on the natural, cultural and nautical history of the region.
In Morrisburg, history buffs can visit the Crysler Farm Battlefield Natiobal Historic Site, commemorating the important War of 1812 battle, and Upper Canada Village, an 1860s pioneer village. If you haven't had your fill, continue to Prescott to visit the Fort Wellington National Historic Site, and the Battle of the Windmill National Historic Site.
Leeds and the 1000 Islands is home to the Mallorytown Heritage Gardens.
The Waterfront Trail is a series of cycle paths and trails along the north shore of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence Seaway. Signed route covers 780 km (485 miles) of the 900 km of trails (including parallel or alternate routes) from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Quebec border, with some gaps.
Cruises of the Thousand Islands are popular, especially in the summer. They start from Kingson, Gananoque and Brockville, and some include a tour of the historic Boldt Castle, which sits on one of the islands.
Kingston has some of the best freshwater sailing in the world (it hosted the sailing events for the 1976 Montreal Olympics). Wind-surfing and kite-boarding are also popular, and for scuba divers, Kingston has many excellent fresh water wrecks.
|Routes through Seaway Region (Kingston-Cornwall, Ontario)|
|Belleville ← Napanee ←||W E||→ becomes → Montreal|
|Ottawa ← Kemptville ←||N S||→ Ends as NY812 → Ogdensburg bridge|
|Ends at 401 ← Thousand Islands bridge ←||N S||→ Watertown → Syracuse|