RiverQuest™: A Gateway to all the Incredible Experiences the 1000 Islands Region Offers
Uncover a new world on your own customized adventure through the St. Lawrence River and 1000 Islands.
RiverQuest™ is a partnership made up of museums, castles, forts, theatres, art centres, environment reserves, boat tours and much more on both sides of the River.
The Aquatarium is 1000 Islands RiverQuest™’s showcase that offers a discovery experience like no other. Our partnership allows you to explore the storied history, complex ecological systems, and abundant recreational activities found throughout the St. Lawrence River region. Whatever you’re searching for, explorers of all ages in your family will have the opportunity to experience the excitement.
Choose your own adventure and take the time to try a little bit of everything the 1000 Islands has to offer. Discover an array of events and attractions to create your own unique getaways and adventures that are way off the beaten path. To start your RiverQuest™, come visit us at the Aquatarium and discover a world you never knew.
RiverQuest partner attractions in the 1000 Islands showcase many things, such as:
- The storied history and rich culture of the region.
- Our complex ecological systems and their crucial role in the communities surrounding the 1000 Islands.
- The hugely important role the St. Lawrence Seaway plays in the commerce and industry of both Canada and the United States.
- The region’s abundant recreational opportunities for boaters, anglers and water lovers of all types.
Take a look at the list of RiverQuest partners below and plan your adventure today!
1000 ISLANDS KAYAKING
The 1000 Islands Kayaking Company is nationally certified and has three locations in Gananoque, Kingston and Brockville, Ontario. We are only minutes off Hwy 401 and smack in the middle of Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal, directly on the Canadian side of Ivy Lea Bridge to the USA. Our leisurely adventures of this historically charming and ecologically rich area are truly the closest way anyone can get to the river and islands.
1000 ISLANDS PLAYHOUSE
Thousand Islands Playhouse operates two fully renovated historic venues side by side on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in Gananoque – the 360-seat Springer Theatre and the 140-seat Firehall Theatre. It produces seven to ten productions annually, using professional talent (designers, directors, scenic artists and performers) from across the country. TIP is one of the top five summer festivals in Ontario, along with the Shaw and Stratford Festivals, Soulpepper and Drayton Entertainment, and is the most active theatre in Eastern Ontario.
1000 ISLANDS AND SEAWAY CRUISES
If your quest takes you to Brockville, Ontario, take a cruise aboard one of 1000 Islands and Seaway Cruises’ fleet of modern vessels. Offering a variety of traditional sightseeing cruises, 1000 Islands and Seaway Cruises also offer a variety of shorter adventurous cruises aboard their high-speed catamaran, the “WildCat”. If you are In Quest of Speed, in the “WildCat” you will experience the 1000 Islands like never before.
1000 ISLANDS TOWER
The 1000 Islands Tower is a unique tourist attraction, located between the spans of the 1000 Islands International Bridge on Hill Island, Canada. Enjoy breathtaking views from the top of the Tower and see the 1000 Islands and the St. Lawrence River from a unique view. The high-speed elevator takes visitors up to the first enclosed level in only 40 seconds. Two more open levels guarantee fantastic photo opportunities.
ANTIQUE BOAT MUSEUM
From its humble beginning as a riverside gathering of antique boat enthusiasts in 1964, the Antique Boat Museum has evolved into a national institution determined to preserve the nautical and cultural heritage of the St. Lawrence River. The ABM displays some of the most notable powered pleasure boats, including a steam launch, the only working naphtha engine in existence, runabouts, and cruisers. Tour the 106 ft. luxurious houseboat once owned by George Boldt, and then by the McNally family of Rand McNally Maps. Take a ride in one of the ABM “in-water launches” and experience the River from an “old” perspective.
ARTHUR CHILD HERITAGE MUSEUM
The Museum offers visitors an inviting setting to reflect on the history of the 1000 Islands. The building is reminiscent of the architecture prevalent during the late eighteenth century Golden Era. Learn about the formation of the Islands, or walk in the footsteps of the First Nations people. Discover the rich history of the early settlers, voyageurs and the combatants in the War of 1812. Visit the Golden Era of castles and cottages and the river highway of the past.
BELLEVUE HOUSE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
Restored to the 1840s and staffed by costumed interpreters, the house and gardens are kept much as they would have been during the time that Macdonald lived here with his wife and infant son. Built in the Italianate Villa Style of architecture, asymmetrical in shape, with decorative balconies and a three-story central tower, Bellevue contrasted with the traditional Georgian architecture of Kingston houses. Macdonald spoke of it as “the most fantastic concern imaginable.”
BROCKVILLE ARTS CENTRE
Located in the heart of historic downtown Brockville, the Brockville Arts Centre is recognized as one of the finest medium size historic theatres in Canada. It also has one of the region’s top art galleries, is fully accessible and provides phonic in-ear devices for those with hearing disabilities. The theatre is air conditioned, has ample free parking and the lobby bar is licensed (LLBO). In 2009, the Brockville Arts Centre underwent a two-million dollar restoration and re-decoration project including the installation of 700 high-quality seats.
Bytown Brigantine Inc. is a non-profit foundation dedicated to providing education, training and a demanding environment to allow young people to develop qualities of leadership and self-reliance through the medium of sailing vessels. Striving to never have a ship alongside, to never sail with an empty berth and to never leave a young person ashore for want of funds, Bytown Brigantine has competitively priced summer tall ship sailing programs for everyone 12 year of age and up!
FREDERIC REMINGTON MUSEUM
Artist Frederic Remington is world famous for his bronze “cowboy” sculptures. But did you know he once owned a place in the 1000 Islands? The museum, located in Ogdensburg, NY, houses original paintings, sketches and sculptures, as well as many personal effects and correspondence that serve to bring his vision to life.
Fort Wellington was built during the War of 1812 to defend the St. Lawrence River shipping route between Montreal and Kingston from possible attack by the United States. Today, costumed historical interpreters welcome and engage visitors with presentations and period demonstrations such as cooking over an open fire, rifle and cannon firings, period crafts and games and much more. Special events take place throughout the year and a new visitor center features the remains of an 1812 era gunboat raised from the bottom of the St Lawrence River.
THE FRONTENAC ARCH BIOSPHERE
The Frontenac Arch Biosphere, one of Canada’s 16 UNESCO World Biosphere Reserves, celebrates this unique region, leading sustainable development projects for a healthy environment, a rich culture, vibrant society and robust economy. The Frontenac Arch is an hourglass-shaped granite bridge a quintessential Canadian landscape between the Canadian Shield and Adirondack Mountains.
Rockport Boat Line launches from Rockport, Ontario, located in the “Heart of the 1000 Islands” on the St. Lawrence River. Offering waterfront dining and scenic cruises, Rockport Boat Line explores the 1000 Islands with cruises that stop to explore Boldt Castle and Singer Castle. Experience the natural beauty of the St. Lawrence River with a cruise on Rockport Boat Line, an excellent way to reach your RiverQuest destinations.
Singer Castle on Dark Island is one must do stop in “Quest of the Gilded Age”. It is located on the St. Lawrence Seaway in the United States, just over the border with Canada and is accessible only by water. It is open to the public via tour boat or private vessel and offers free docking. Guided tours of the magnificent 100-year old Castle and island grounds feature intricate architecture, beautiful furnishings and puzzling secret passages.
ST.LAWRENCE RIVER INSTITUTE of ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
Located in Cornwall, Ontario, the St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences is a research leader on large river ecosystems in Canada and across the world. They offer scheduled education and community action programs for young children through young adults. The River Institute encourages people of all ages to get involved and excited about the environment through annual conferences, speaker series, summer camps, and open house events. As a learning and discovery center, the River Institute is a great stop if you are “In Quest of Nature”.