Leeds and the Thousand Islands is a township in the Canadian province of Ontario, located within the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville. The township is located along the St. Lawrence River, and extends north into rural hamlets and villages. Formerly, this township was divided into three separate townships: Leeds, Landsdowne and Escott townships; these townships amalgamated to form the current township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands.
The township comprises the communities of Berryton, Black Rapids, Brier Hill, Cheeseborough, Darlingside, Dulcemaine, Ebenezer, Eden Grove, Ellisville, Emery, Escott, Fairfax, Gananoque Junction, Gray's Beach, Greenfield, Grenadier Island, Halsteads Bay, Holland, Ivy Lea, Junetown, La Rue Mills, Lansdowne, Leeds, Legge, Long Point, Lyndhurst, Maple Grove, Mitchellville, Narrows, Oak Leaf, Outlet, Pooles Resort, Quabbin, Rockfield, Rockport, Sand Bay Corner, Seeley's Bay, Selton, Soperton, Sweets Corners, Taylor, Tilley, Union, Warburton, Washburns Corners, Waterton, Willowbank and Wilstead.For the town in Northern Ontario, see Lansdowne House, Ontario.
Lansdowne, Ontario is a small town located just north of Ivy Lea, Ontario and 4 km north of Highway 401, at the intersection of Leeds and Grenville County Roads 3 and 34. It is a part of the township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands, Ontario. It can be accessed by former Kings Highway 2 (which passes just south of the village) or by Highway 401 at Exit 659.
The Canadian customs point of entry at the top of Interstate 81 on Hill Island identifies itself as Lansdowne 456. There is an independent telephone exchange (+1-613-659-) and a post office (K0E 1L0) in the village.
The Lansdowne Iron Works, was founded by Wallis Sunderlin on the Gananoque River by 1801. The ironworks enabled the economic development of a small industrial community called Furnace Falls. The iron smelter was destroyed by fire in 1811. Several mills were established in Furnace Falls by Charles and Jonas Jones of Brockville in 1827. The settlement was renamed Lyndhurst by 1846. Camp Hyanto, an Anglican church camp, is also set just off of the village of Lyndhurst. It has been in operation since the 1940s and its motto is, "He who sleeps beneath the pines, sleeps well." Designed by John Roddick, the masonry arch bridge was erected by contractors Miles Fulford and Simon Ransom. The Lansdowne Iron Works, established by Wallis Sunderlin in 1801, was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1932. A plaque commemorating the founding of Lyndhurst (Furnace Falls) in 1801 was erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation. A plaque commemorating the Lyndhurst Bridge, built in 1856-57, was erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board.
There is a cultural celebration in Lyndhurst dubbed the "Turkey Fair" celebrated annually on the third Saturday in September. Quite often this celebration involves hay-stack decoration, petting zoos, fishing contests for kids, crafts and 50/50 draws.
Rockport is a village on the St. Lawrence River with historic homes, restaurants, resorts, boat launch and marinas. It has been a port since the late 1700s and is now a major terminus for 1000 Islands cruise tours. There are bicycle racks, benches, and well marked walking paths with interpretive signs and murals for points of historical interest. Two churches that were founded in the late 1800s remain active. Both reflect the architecture of their time and are often open to visitors during the summer.
For decades boats were built in Rockport; from small wooden St. Lawrence Skiffs to large tour boats used on the St. Lawrence River, in Canada's capital city Ottawa on the Rideau and Ottawa Rivers, and as far away as Banff National Park in Alberta. Before the building of the Thousand Islands Bridge nearby, ferryboats connected the US and Canada. The area is still or once again famous for boat building, as the industry is producing ice boats that make winter travel to local island homes possible.
Seeley's Bay is at the north west corner of the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands and is most known for fishing and its direct access to the UNESCO designated Rideau Waterway. The village was established early in the 19th century as a port of call for steamers going between Kingston and Ottawa on the Rideau Canal. Located just off Highway 15, about 20 minutes north of the 401 Highway, it still serves as the first full service port of call for boaters coming north on the Rideau.
Population trend:Population in 2011: 9277
Population in 2006: 9435
Population in 2001: 9069
Population in 1996:
Front of Escott: 1383
Front of Leeds and Lansdowne: 4897
Rear of Leeds and Lansdowne: 2895
Population in 1991:
Front of Escott: 1275
Front of Leeds and Lansdowne: 4686
Rear of Leeds and Lansdowne: 2774
Mother tongue:English as first language: 93.7%
French as first language: 1.5%
English and French as first language: 0.1%
Other as first language: 4.7%