Photo © Ian Coristine/
 You are here:  Back Issues      Archive

Riverstone: A River Runs Through It

One of North America's premier developers renowned for his luxury custom design is revitalizing Gananoque's waterfront with a condominium "passion project" called Riverstone.

Joe Brennan has made headlines as a "custom design guru," designing and building luxury homes and condominiums for more than 35 years. Brennan Custom Homes is highly regarded as a world class builder of residential homes ranging from $2 million to $75 million in Toronto, New York, Miami, Bermuda, Bahamas and Palm Beach.

Brennan Custom Homes has been featured in Architectural Digest, Wall Street Journal and Globe and Mail among other publications for its lavish building projects including sprawling Toronto penthouses dubbed "mansions in the sky" and ocean front estates in tropical paradises.

Now Brennan is turning his attention to the Thousand Islands in a revitalization project on Gananoque's waterfront. Brennan Custom Homes is transforming five industrial buildings that have sat empty for decades on Gananoque's waterfront into 68 condominiums and townhomes described as a blend of "refined rusticity" and "understated elegance." Riverstone is located in Gananoque's Lowertown neighbourhood in close proximity to shops, restaurants, live theatre and close to the Ivy Lea Club Marina and Restaurant and Riva Restaurant, owned by Joe and Lucie Pal.

Brennan has partnered with developer Joe Pal, a prominent Toronto and area businessman recognized by the 1000 Islands Gananoque Chamber of Commerce as the 2013 Citizen of the Year. Both Pal and Brennan have summer island homes in the Thousand Islands and are passionate about this world famous archipelago. Pal is well known for restoring the Ivy Lea Club, marina and restaurant, now a world-class establishment and restoring Riva Restaurant in Gananoque, formerly The Golden Apple Restaurant.

"I see significant untapped potential in Gan and the Thousand Islands," said Pal. "For me, community development is a labour of love and the Riverstone project is an extension of that, offering a spectacular destination where people can discover and fall in love with this community."

Brennan said he thrives on working with historical buildings to create new environments while staying authentic to the area's heritage. "We want to share our passion for Gan and help create a strong sense of place through the Riverstone development."The multi-phased Riverstone Gananoque venture will incorporate a new public park, waterfront walkway and boat slips to create long-term amenities for residents and visitors to enjoy.

The condominiums will range from $400,000 to over $1-million. Brennan, Daniel Greenglass, and Joe and Lucie Pal held a V.I.P. reception at the opening of their King Street presentation centre and model show-room on King Street located in the former Gananoque Reporter newspaper office.

"For many, Gan and the Thousand Islands remained a hidden gem," said Greenglass, principle developer for Brennan Custom Homes. "People will often go to Muskoka or Simcoe, but the Thousand Islands have so much to offer from breathtaking scenery, world class boating, stunning architecture and a rich local arts scene. Riverstone will be a haven for those who want to be fully immersed in the vibrant Gananoque lifestyle."

Brennan said he was drawn to the Thousand Islands by other business partners, including the Pals, who have invested in the region. "This is an amazing place," he said in an interview. He purchased property in the area several years ago and is putting the finishing touches on his own island retreat.

Brennan Custom Homes has launched a national advertising campaign for the development that is casting a spotlight on the natural beauty of the Thousand Islands and River lifestyle.

Renowned Thousand Islands photographer and author Ian Coristine said Brennan and Pal are "showcasing this place to the wider world in the way it deserves." He added "This is a place to be celebrated." Riverstone is using the aerial photography of Coristine in an extensive advertising campaign as well as in the promotional materials for the condominium project.

 One perfect place
Click here to see the impressive Riverstone, Gananoque ON 2:18 Min video.

For more information visit  or

By Kim Lunman,

Kim Lunman is the owner/publisher of Island Life  A profile of the past five years of Kim’s work was published in our November 2013, issue of TI Life.  Her company,Thousand Islands Ink, is based in Brockville. Lunman is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in the Boat U.S. Magazine, Lakeland Boating, Reader's Digest, Globe and Mail, and The National Post.

To see all of Kim Lunman’s TI Life articles, click here, and to read a more complete biography, see our About Page.

Please feel free to leave comments about this article using the form below. Comments are moderated and we do not accept comments that contain links. As per our privacy policy, your email address will not be shared and is inaccessible even to us. For general comments, please email the editor.


Ron Wall
Comment by: Ron Wall ( )
Left at: 9:28 PM Friday, August 1, 2014
We are interested in the Riverstone project. We are looking for a retirement property, we have a boat and would like to bring our boat to the islands. We have been in Muskoka for years and would like to explore the options of moving east. We golf, bike, walk, boat and ski. Please contact us and keep us posted - we are very interested in the project and development.
Ron Wall