As we travelled into Canada, there were 3 attractions that came into our mind. The first being Niagara Falls, which we had just seen yesterday, the second was Place Royale in Quebec, which was the last stop of our travel. For now the attraction name being shouted everyday was The Thousand Islands in Ontario.
Thousand Islands consists of 1,864 islands, spreading across the border of Ontario, Canada and New York, America. We were told by the guide that generally to count as an island the piece of land has to be above the water all year round and has at least a living tree on it. But when we were there what we saw were usually island twice the size of a basketball court or bigger. One thing for sure, all of them looks rather cute.
The terrific thing about Canada Thousand Islands cruise, however, is not the island itself but the many beautiful homes and mansions on it. It was said that in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, these islands used to be the playground for the many wealthy US industrialists, the houses we had seen on the islands were in fact what they called Summer Home. Someone was so wealthy that he could afford to buy an island, wow, that sounds so ‘cool’ to us. This was unimaginable to us, in Singapore, a simple public house of 900 square feet easily cost us SGD$300,000, for the same size a condominium cost SGD$800,000, a landed property double that size cost about SGD$2 million.
The travel to the Thousand Islands was met with so much anticipation, it was a specially arranged destination, totally not in our itinerary, but when someone brought out the topic and the guide asked for a consensus, non opted out.
The visit however was a bit of a disappointment, from a personal point of view. First my camera refused to work, and I had to use my smart phone. Then the inconsistent rain came at the wrong time, at one point of time every passengers had to hide in the sheltered cruise. Whatever, and however, nobody cares, as the beauty outside the boat is simply awesome! As what they said, seeing is believing. No photo I have seen could actually bring out the beauty of this wonderful place.
We were told that some inhabitants on these islands have their families lived there for generations. We could see some residents are there doing their fishing, boating, walking the dog or simply doing nothing on the bench under the at times rather romantic drizzle. What a relaxing world ! Coming from the stressful city of Singapore, it seems to me this is heaven on earth !
The one thing most didn’t like was the cruise did not get close enough to the island, probably about a hundred metres away from it. Oh no, the one hour cruise was too brief for a place as amazing as this Thousands Islands.
Then while on board the cruise, we noticed that it was so crowded that all passengers were standing so closed to each other that we were all struggling to stretch out our hand for photography purpose. We were actually quite worried that the cruise was overloaded, though our guide told us the cruise controller had done their checked on the capacity.
Most residents are taking this as a resort island, an escape from summer heat.
Some houses are extravagantly elegant. Today, how many people on earth can afford to buy an island?