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Top 5 TI Life Happenings in May ‘15

What a difference – Mid May - Not swimming yet, but windows open, summer clothes in use and the beer cooler is clean and full!  Yes, summer is here.

This issue

Art, Literature & Poetry:
  Kim Lunman shares “Island Life” 2015; Rex Ennis presents Part II. “Toujours Jeune–Always Young” Pages 19-40; Barry Keefe reports on The Book Guys attend Gananoque’s Literary Festival; Photographer Chris Murray and best friend Brian G. Fay share A Trip Through Time and I introduce Play the Painted Piano…

Nature and Sports:  Lynn McElfresh hits article 79 for “TI Life” with Invasion of Good News (i.e. Bugs); Nancy Bond asks the question, My Squirrels–Friends or Foes?;   and Kara Lynn Dunn provides Tiny Boat with a Big Message.

News:  Joan Delaney reports great news - Opinicon is ready…

New Contributors

Joan Delaney - Opinicon is ready…

Joan Delaney and her husband live on Indian Lake, close to the hamlet of Chaffeys Lock. Since the build of their house there, in 2007, Joan has immersed herself in the local organizations.

Brian G. Fay and Chris Murray - A Trip Through Time

Brian G. Fay has been visiting the Thousand Islands, from his home in Syracuse, for many years and takes any chance to get back here. He is a writer and teacher, father and husband. More of his writing can be found at

Chris Murray is a well-known photographer and a part-time, geology consultant!  His most recent work can be found in an issue of Life in the Finger Lakes Magazine  and often on our TI Life Facebook page.  He can be found at Chris Murray Photography.
Robert W. Daly - “The Drive North” and other poems by Robert W. Daly

A native of Watertown NY, Dr. Robert W. Daly has been a summer resident of Shady Shores, Town of Clayton since 1949. He is a graduate of St. Lawrence University and of the College of Medicine, Upstate Medical University, SUNY, Syracuse.  More of his poetry is found in recent issues of “The Healing Muse.”
Barry Keefe - The Book Guys attend Gananoque’s Literary Festival

Barry Keefe has been involved with international education for over 16 years.  He has been the Director of International Education at St. Lawrence College, a Director of the Canadian Bureau for International Education, a Canadian Director of the International Consortium for Education and Economic Development and President of the Frontenac Foundation.  His first on-water experience in the Thousand Islands was as a crew member on a Swedish freighter, the MS Pacific Ocean many years ago.

1.  Rebuilding in TI Park!

Can I get ice cream?  What about penny candy – milk shakes… actually what is happening in TI Park?  Readers have asked for an update.

Background: When we published our August ‘14 issue, we had just learned of the fire on August 14th, on Wellesley Island at the corner of St. Lawrence Avenue and Rainbow Street east, home of the Guzzle, Post Office, Fire Station equipment, grocery store and other businesses.

Thanks to Bob Sharlow, General Manager, TI Park Corporation we have an update.  More information to follow throughout summer. 

Commercial Space for Summer 2015:

The commercial space this summer will include a food trailer that will have a small & light breakfast menu, lunch menu and early dinner menu. Food trailer will also dispense ice cream and candy for the kids.

A small rent will be set-up for folks to use as cover when eating, etc.  and another large tent will be put up to be used for the retail shops.

Commercial Building Project:

The Corporation Board hired two preservation consultants to help with the oversight and selection of the three architectural firms that will submit design drawings by July 1st, 2015. Once these firms submit their designs, the community will review and make comments. The Corporation Board will make their selection by end of July 2015.

Priority design issues that should be included in the architectural designs are: the Guzzle will be a focal point with tall windows, porch areas were discussed, space in new commercial building will include: grocery, game room, TI Park Corporation office space, iconic Post Office space that will integrate the “old” saved post office boxes and historical Pony Express smoked glass window, and retail spaces.

And Yes, The “old” TI Park Bulletin Board will be put back-up for residents informational material to be displayed.

It is anticipated that the Commercial Building project will start in spring 2016.

Mark your calendar: 

The 2015 TI Park Cottage and Garden Tour is on Thursday, July 16, 2015.  This tour, held every two years, promises to be the most important.  Come and see the beautiful homes and more importantly, support this important fundraising effort to help the Park.


2.  The 1000 Island Tower Celebrating 50 Years…

Remember visiting the 1000 Island Tower?  Heidi and Konrad Linckh, the new owners of this very special place, want  your stories.  They are putting together memories to help celebrate the 50th Birthday on June 15th.  The first 50 visitors on that day will pay only $.50 Admission for the Tower!  And there will be lots to see and do.

But that is not all:

  • Sunsets:  The Tower is open for sunsets: May 16th & 17th, July 4th for the Fireworks, September 5th & 6th and Canadian Thanksgiving on October 10th & 11th.
  • Sunrise:  Yes breakfast with a view.  Dates include: July 7th , July 26th, August 23th and September 27th
  • Enjoy Fireworks over Boldt Castle & Sunset and both Bridges! Admission incl. Dessert Buffet and Soft drinks.  July 5th, 8 pm, rain or shine, limited space available, so call for details.
  • You can also rent the Tower for special events!

Konrad wrote Our First Year in the 1000 Islands Tower! in July 2014, while The Top of the World For Sale... … in July 2011, was written by Michelle Caron, for TI Life.  Both describe what it is like to own a Tower… so get out your memories and photographs and be sure to contact them at the Tower.


3.  Water Levels

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (which is part of the St. Lawrence River watershed) issued drought warnings on their websites this month:

To the end of April, the three month precipitation totals, recorded at climate monitoring stations in and around the Rideau Watershed, were in the order of 65% of normal.  Rainfall for July and August 2014, were above normal. However, monthly participating totals started to decline in September, with drought conditions (80% of normal precipitation) beginning in mid-November and persisting to the present.

The US Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District, in conjunction with Environment Canada, publish records on water levels along the St. Lawrence. The levels for April for Kingston, ON are measured above a particular reference point. Those levels are certainly lower than last year but are well above the minimum. The mean for April this year is 244.72 ft., while the minimum 243.67 ft. was set in 1965. The highest April reading was set in 1973 at 248.16 ft. Thus this year’s April level is just over a foot above the minimum and 3.5 feet below the maximum, but it is only one foot below the long term mean. The forecast is that the level in May will be a foot higher.


4.  Step back in time.

Thanks to “1000 Islands Info” and “CBC” Facebook pages, we can share 1950s Canadian Thousand Islands postal delivery.  CBC News featured the video on December 11, 2013, when Canada Post announced its plan to phase out door to door delivery in Canadian cities.

CBC Postman service video
[The photograph will connect to CBC Facebook page, December 11, 2013.  Be sure to come back to TI Life.]


5. Bad News for TI Life

Google has written to tell us “Page appears not mobile-friendly: text too small to read – links too close together - mobile viewport not set.”  The site was built in December 2008 and we all agree it needs to be updated.  The software is beginning to give this editor trouble too!  

Not changing will mean that the Google searches will not rank TI Life among the top; something we have enjoyed since we went live in 2008!

We plan to create a responsive web page. This will take time, volunteers and funding.  So in the meantime, we suggest you hit the tiny bar/lines at the top of your mobile screen and TI Life will reformat automatically.   

And this brings me to a very special message.  THANK YOU to so many of you.  Our authors (now 176 strong); photographers, proof readers, editors and most of all our readers who make suggestions, comments and donations. 

What a team!  (Google eat your heart out…)


Please Don’t Forget

FACEBOOKRemember our Facebook page throughout the month, as we post information and photographs & follow us on twitter 2 We also appreciate having you hit our  donate button[3]button and donate!

By Susan W. Smith, Editor

[Special thanks to our editors and proof readers this month:  Bill Stallan, David Ray, Jane Taylor and Georgia Barker.]
  • The cruise ship

    The cruise ship "St Laurent" arrives in Clayton, May 14, '15 Photo by Dennis McCarthy.

  • Steve Sturtz shared this photo on Facebook and it went viral - certainly appreciated.

    Steve Sturtz shared this photo on Facebook and it went viral - certainly appreciated.

  • We thank TIA for installing their shoal markers early in April.

    We thank TIA for installing their shoal markers early in April.

  • Mark Russell, Hay Island, captured a beautiful spring sky

    Mark Russell, Hay Island, captured a beautiful spring sky

  • Kehoe docks heading to Trenton, ON.

    Kehoe docks heading to Trenton, ON.

  • Dennis McCarthy captures two mergansers off Beadles Point

    Dennis McCarthy captures two mergansers off Beadles Point

  • Cape Vincent Museum.  Photo by Dennis McCarthy

    Cape Vincent Museum. Photo by Dennis McCarthy

  • Doug McLennan captures the April moon.

    Doug McLennan captures the April moon.

  • 1000 Islands Kayaking open for the season. Check them out!

    1000 Islands Kayaking open for the season. Check them out!


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.


Susan Saiter
Comment by: Susan Saiter
Left at: 10:29 AM Saturday, May 16, 2015
Great to see these pictures. We'll be up there in a month and can't wait. Thanks for wetting our appetites!
Susan Patterson
Comment by: Susan Patterson
Left at: 12:13 PM Saturday, May 16, 2015
My grandfather Paul Senecal of Grenadier Island also delivered the mail by boat back in the day and also sold bait from the dock down from his home on Grenadier.
Comment by: Editor
Left at: 12:33 PM Saturday, May 16, 2015
Thanks Susan, many remember your Grandfather.
Deane Parkhurst
Comment by: Deane Parkhurst
Left at: 2:09 PM Thursday, May 21, 2015
Thanks for the update on the Guzzle re-build. Hard to get information since the last info on the TIP Association web site is dated December of last year. Looking forward to a return trip this summer but It's sure going to be strange driving by a vacant lot where I once bought penny candy.