CHAFFEY’S LOCK – The 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail is welcoming three vibrant new garden experiences to its highly acclaimed trail this year.
The Opinicon Dining and Resort with its lush English gardens set on the UNESCO World Heritage
Rideau Canal is now a part of the Trail and provided the scenic backdrop to the 5th annual launch of the season.
The lavender fields at Thousand Islands Farms in Mallorytown will be in peak bloom from mid-July to mid-August. This site will also have the soon-to-be-opening BUSL Cider, along with a Lavender boutique, bakery and coffee shop. The Olmstead gardens at Fulford Place have combined with the landmark Court House Square gardens to create the Gardens of Brockville experience.
“It is exciting to add three new gardens to this year’s trail experience,” said David Cybulski, Co-Chair of the 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail. “Their diversity will enhance the quality of the garden trail and we hope the residents of Leeds Grenville, as well as visitors, take full advantage of this opportunity.”
The 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail is part of Canada’s Garden Route and features 13
locations throughout Leeds Grenville. It gained national notoriety in 2017 when it was the only trail
given the ‘Canada 150 Garden Experience Designation.’ It features many unique gardens with added experiences that include native butterflies, honeybees and birds, two monarch butterfly Way Stations, fountains, ponds, contemporary art exhibits, statuary and so much more.
“This is a special year as we celebrate our 5th anniversary,” said Ann Weir, Economic Development
Manager for the Counties and Co-Chair of the Trail. “It was an honour to be nationally recognized,
the Garden Trail has truly been a tourism success story.”
Helping launch this year’s trail were Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MP Michael Barrett and Rideau Lakes Township Mayor Arie Hoogenboom.
The event recognized Diane and Keith Haskins, of Haskins Gardens, Doug Hall and Gord MacDonald, of Machal Gardens, and Jean and John Pilutti, of Wilstead Manor, who as former hosts take up their new role as Ambassadors to promote Leeds Grenville as a Must-See Garden Tourism Destination.
The Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office launched the 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal
Garden Trail initiative in 2015, linking private, public, businesses and non-profit gardens and garden centre displays throughout Leeds Grenville.
The Counties have taken a leadership role in facilitating collaboration to develop new tourism
products that result in increased visitation and spending. In 2018, approximately 17,000 visitors were seen at the different gardens with 34 bus groups. An increase of guests from Quebec was also seen with visitors from across Canada, US and around the world – including Egypt, Japan, and the Czech Republic.
The trail kicks off the season this month with other sites opening in June and continuing into
October. Residents and visitors will enjoy a full season of flora and fauna. Members of the 1000
Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail include:
Chillane Gardens, Mallorytown
Gardens of Brockville
Garden of Hope and Faith Walk, Lyn
Gardens of Gananoque
Healing Circle Labyrinth, Johnstown
The Ivy Lea Club, Lansdowne
A Labour of Love, Oxford Station
Maitland Garden of Hope, Maitland
The Opinicon Dining and Resort, Chaffey’s Lock
Rideau Woodland Ramble, North Grenville
Shakespeare’s Gardens, Prescott
Thousand Islands Farms, Mallorytown
Van Berlo Gardens, Maitland
Both guided and self-guided tours are available. For garden hours and contact information, visit the
website at www.gardentrail.1000islandsandrideaucanal.com. Garden trail brochures are available at each site as well as various tourism centres throughout the region.