For other uses, see Gananoque (disambiguation).
Town (single-tier)
Town of Gananoque

King Street, the main street in Gananoque
Nickname(s): Gateway to the Thousand Islands, Gan
Motto: Pax Vobiscum (Latin: "Peace Be With You")
Coordinates: 44°20′N 76°10′W / 44.333°N 76.167°W / 44.333; -76.167Coordinates: 44°20′N 76°10′W / 44.333°N 76.167°W / 44.333; -76.167
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
County Leeds and Grenville
Settled 1789
  Type Town
  Mayor Erika Demchuk[1]
  Federal riding Leeds—Grenville
  Prov. riding Leeds—Grenville
  Land 7.01 km2 (2.71 sq mi)
Population (2011)[2]
  Total 5,194
  Density 740.8/km2 (1,919/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
  Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Area code(s) 613

Gananoque (/ˌɡænəˈnɒkw/ GAN-ə-NOK-way) is a town in the Leeds and Grenville area of Ontario, Canada. The town had a population of 5,194 year-round residents in the Canada 2011 Census, as well as summer residents sometimes referred to as "Islanders" because of the Thousand Islands in the Saint Lawrence River, Gananoque's most important tourist attraction. The Gananoque River flows through the town and the St. Lawrence River serves as the southern boundary of the town.


The town's name is an aboriginal name which means "town on two rivers". The town's name rhymes with the place name Cataraqui, which appears in the Cataraqui River, the Little Cataraqui Creek, and the Cataraqui Cemetery in nearby Kingston, Ontario. One way to remember its pronunciation is "The right way, the wrong way, and the Gananoque". In eastern Ontario speech, the town name is often abbreviated to Gan.


A surveyor's map of Gananoque from 1787

Colonel Joel Stone, who served with Loyalist militia during the American Revolutionary War, established a settlement on this site in 1789. Land was granted to Col. Stone for use as a mill site.

During the War of 1812, American forces raided the government depot in the town to disrupt the flow of British supplies between Kingston and Montreal. The stores seized consisted of half an ox, a few straw ticks, and a few blankets.[3] The raiders seized the supplies they found and burned the depot.[4]

Mrs. Stone reportedly protected her jewels from the invaders by hiding them in the flour at the mill.

Within a month of the raid construction of the Gananoque Blockhouse was started, with completion in 1813. It had an octagonal log parapet containing five guns. The blockhouse was abandoned after the War of 1812 and given to a private landowner.


Gananoque lies directly on three of Canada's busiest transportation routes: the four-lane Highway 401, the double-track Canadian National Railway main line, and the St. Lawrence Seaway. It is also home to a rich provincial highway heritage, being home to the remaining stretch of Highway 2. It is the western terminus of the Thousand Islands Parkway, and a short drive from the Thousand Islands Bridge, which crosses into the United States as Interstate 81. Gananoque is served by the Gananoque Airport for general aviation.

Historically, the Gananoque River's watershed had been an important water transportation corridor, extending north to the Rideau River watershed and playing a key role in the town's early history and economic importance. In 1830, water was diverted near Newboro to the Cataraqui River as part of the Rideau Canal, sending this traffic instead to Kingston.

A four-mile short line railroad once linked the main CN Rail tracks to the heart of the village; the Thousand Islands Railway terminated near the town hall.


The Gananoque clock tower

Religious denominations:

Age structure:

Population trend:[5]

Total private dwellings, excluding seasonal cottages: 2346 (total: 2439)

Mother tongue:[6]

Gananoque Police Service

Gananoque Police Service is a small law enforcement agency in the Eastern Ontario community of Gananoque.

The current Chief of Police is Garry E. Hull Canadian Police Officer

Unlike other Towns and Villages of Ontario who have disbanded their municipal police forces in favour of contracting with the Ontario Provincial Police, the Gananoque Police Service continues to grow.

Notable persons

Local attractions

Gananoque is referred to as the "Gateway to the Thousand Islands," which lie next to it in the St. Lawrence River. Local attractions include boat cruises to the Thousand Islands and Boldt Castle, NY, live theatre, the summer theatre festival of The Thousand Islands Playhouse, the Arthur Child Heritage Museum of the 1000 Islands and the OLG Casino Thousand Islands. The theatre company in Gananoque is The Thousand Islands Playhouse which operates two theatre spaces: The Springer Theatre, and the Firehall Theatre, attracting international attention since 1982.

The Thousand Islands – Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve, designated in November 2002, is the third in Ontario, the twelfth in Canada, and one of over 400 around the world, and is part of UNESCO’s program on Man and the Biosphere.


  1. "Council Members". Town of Gananoque. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
  2. 1 2 "Gananoque census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  3. The Memoirs of Hiel Sliter
  4. Image:Gananoque.JPG
  5. Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006 census
  6. "Gananoque community profile". 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
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