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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.

The region is divided by the US border, splitting the Thousand Islands between Ontario and northern New York.

Cities[edit]

Map of Seaway Region
  • 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

Other destinations[edit]

  • 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

Understand[edit]

St lawrence seaway.jpeg

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.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

By bus[edit]

  • Megabus (Coach Canada) operates in the Toronto-Kingston-Montreal corridor with several runs daily

By train[edit]

  • Via Rail runs two "corridor" services through the region several times a day. These include:
Toronto-Kingston-Montréal: stopping at Cornwall, Brockville, Gananoque, and Napanee
Toronto-Kingston-Ottawa: stopping at Brockville, Gananoque, Napanee

By air[edit]

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

By boat[edit]

Get around[edit]

Local city bus service of varying quality is available in cities including Kingston, and Brockville.

Megabus and Via Rail offer services between Kingston, Brockville and Cornwall.

See[edit]

Fort Henry entrance

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.

1000 islands playhouse in Gananoque

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.

Itineraries[edit]

Do[edit]

Thousand Islands

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.

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

Routes through Seaway Region (Kingston-Cornwall, Ontario)
BellevilleNapanee  W Ontario 401.svg E  → becomes Quebec Autoroute 20.svgMontreal
OttawaKemptville  N Ontario 416.svg S  Ontario 16.svg Ends as NY812 → Ogdensburg bridge
Ends at 401Ontario 137.svg Thousand Islands bridge ←  N I-81.svg S  WatertownSyracuse


This region travel guide to Seaway Region is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.