Grenadier Island (Saint Lawrence River)

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Coordinates: 44°24′28″N 75°52′21″W / 44.40778°N 75.87250°W / 44.40778; -75.87250

Grenadier Island is one of the islands of the Thousand Islands located on the St. Lawrence River in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, Ontario, Canada.[1]


The island is named after the British Grenadier Guards regiment.[2]


Early history[edit]

In 1654, Pere Simon le Moyne, a Jesuit Priest, made the first recorded voyage of a European through the upper St. Lawrence. He was sent from Montreal to establish a mission at Oswego. On his way, he stopped at the village of Toniata where he observed native Mississauga Indians fishing for eel. The site of Toniata is believed to have been on Grenadier Island.

During the Seven Years' War, Captain Francois Pouchot of the French Navy also visited Grenadier Island. In his memoirs, he wrote

At five leagues from Point au Baril is the Island of Toniata. The main channel of the river is between this island and the south shore. The north part of the river is filled with rushes, and in summer, it is famous for a thriving eel fishery.

M. de Frontenac gave this island to an Iroquois, and the latter sold it for four pots of Brandy to a Canadien, who would have in turn sold it back for a beaver skin.

Pouchot claimed the meaning of Toniata is "Beyond the Point".[3]


The island remained under native control until the United Empire Loyalists arrived in the early 19th century.[3] During the War of 1812, Grenadier Island hosted a watch post.[4] By 1818, twelve farms had been established. The island was preferable to the mainland for farming because it was less rugged and had good soil. During the 19th century, steamboat traffic increased dramatically.

Since the early 1870s Grenadier Island has become a popular summer retreat.[3]


The west end of Grenadier Island became part of St. Lawrence Islands National Park in 1905, one year after the park was established.[5] Since that time other parts of the island were purchased or donated.[citation needed]

Brooker's Creek on Grenadier Island: In May 1999, 70.2 acres (284,000 m2) of ecologically sensitive wetland along Brooker's Creek on the north side of Grenadier Island became part of the park. The property is physically connected with other wetland property in the Park. It is protected as a wetland of high importance for conservation and high resource sensitivity. Two bird species found here, the least bittern and red-shouldered hawk, are rated as species of special concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. The swamp woods and marshes found here are home to numerous species of breeding birds and are alive with bird song in migration seasons. Reptiles such as the stinkpot turtle and Blanding's turtle and several amphibian species including a variety of frogs and salamanders thrive in this highly productive habitat. The property is not easily accessible by the public and is protected as highly sensitive lands.[6]

Golf club[edit]

The Grenadier Island Country Club, founded in 1927, and private since July 2005, is one of the oldest island golf courses in Canada.[7]


  1. ^ [1] Google Maps. Accessed 18 November 2008.
  2. ^ White, James. Place-names in the Thousand Islands, St. Lawrence River. Geographic Board of Canada, University of Calgary. Accessed 18 November 2008.
  3. ^ a b c Mallorytown Landing & Grenadier Island. Accessed November 18, 2008.
  4. ^ Canada's Islands and the Military. Accessed 18 November 2008.
  5. ^ "St. Lawrence Islands National Park of Canada - Looking Back...". Retrieved 10 February 2010. 
  6. ^ Brooker's Creek on Grenadier Island. Parks Canada. Accessed 18 November 2008.
  7. ^ Grenadier Island Country Club. Accessed 18 November 2008.