The tales of Gananoque and the 1000 Islands: Chapter 3

This is Boldt Castle. George Boldt, the general manager of the Waldorf Astoria, had it built as a symbol of his love for his wife, starting in the year 1900. He even had the shoreline of the island that it’s on shaped into a heart! Unfortunately, she died in 1904 before the castle, and four other buildings on the island, were finished being built. Boldt Castle was abandoned and left to the wrath of the elements until 1977. Restorations and other building innovations since then have returned the castle to its original state, and completed some of the projects that were left undone. It is now open to the public, but be sure to bring your passport, as visiting Heart Island is considered as entering American territory. 

The moral of the story? When someone says they love you, don’t believe them until they shape an island into a heart and build a six-story, 120+ room castle on it, plus a few gardens and other buildings modelled after the Parisian Arc de Triomphe! 

I’m just kidding, but it must have been a nice bonus! 

The tales of Gananoque and the 1000 Islands: Chapter 1

We went on a tour of the 1000 Islands! Over the course of 2.5 hours, we learned about the origins of the islands, some history, and the ecosystems on and around them. The coolest part, though, was the videos they showed us of seven different shipwrecks as we passed over them. We got to learn where they came from, where they were headed and what they were doing, and the stories of how they sank (all while staying dry!). It was super neat! 

Last day!!

We had a full day in Montréal for our last (non-driving) day of this cross-country holiday. We began our day with Mara as our tour guide at Pointe-à-Caillère. We saw the view of the original Place Royale from above, and then we climbed down to walk along the original walks of the city, almost 400 years old! Really neat!

While there, there was a cool exhibit all about the life of a privateer. We all tried our hand at a few things, like testing out our “sea legs”.

We enjoyed a lovely lunch at a bistro, complete with live piano. We had planned on going to the Centre de Sciences, but it was closed due to a workers strike. Boo! Jamie found a cool alternative and we headed a little further along the pier to the SOS Labyrinthe-a mystery/maze activity centre. We had about an hour to find 4 objects while navigating a maze in an old hangar. Some air conditioners would have really helped, but it was lots of fun anyway.

We strolled back via the Marché Bonsecours (they have AC!) and then hit our last tourist stop of the day-Notre Dame. Our hotel is just around the corner. The cathedral is stunning! It was the perfect place to pause at the end of a hot, busy day. And the kids had fun imagining all of the secret passageways that are likely behind all of the curtained off areas!