Tag Archives: Westport

Victoria Day Sesquicentennial Tea was a “proper” event!

This week, Queen Victoria dropped in on the Mayor’s Task Force’s Victoria Day Tea!  The tea was organized by Mary Anne Bishop and her team and supported by the women’s church guilds.  It was held at the Lions Club Beach House, with its breathtaking views.  Over 70 women and 1 British gentleman (hats off to you Dr. Rob!) attended, many dressed in clothing consistent with Queen Victoria’s reign.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who made this a wonderful event and to the ladies who came for tea!

Mary Anne Bishop, Jackalyn Brady and Robin Jones – we all want to recognize Dorothy Maynard’s amazing skills as she made all our dresses.  Thank you Dorothy!

Mary Ann Bishop, Jacky and RobinQueen Victoria and friends.JPG

Line painting should be completed tonight, Thursday, May 18

Thank you to everyone who spread the last minute requests yesterday asking people to remove all vehicles from the Village streets where parking spaces are painted on the road.  The crew will be back tonight – hopefully the rain will hold off – to complete the job.  Once again, if you see someone parking on the one of the affected streets or municipal parking lots, could you please inform them that the painters will be in the Village tonight.

Thank you

Le Boat is coming to the Rideau and moving its North American headquarters to Smiths Falls

On April 19,  business owners and interested parties attended a “Mayor’s Breakfast” to learn more about Le Boat and to consider strategies that will help them capitalize on “Le Boaters” when they arrive in 2018.  At the conclusion of the meeting, the Economic Development and Tourism Advisory Committee of Council, chaired by Councillor Gerald Schwinghamer, agreed to be the lead on Le Boat coordination.  I will be hosting another “Mayor’s Breakfast” on June 14th to again bring Westport business owners together to discuss important issues including opportunities for them in 2018 when Le Boat arrives.  The Economic Development and Tourism Advisory Committee has planned an interesting agenda and businesses will receive more information in early June.

The below media release from Leeds & Grenville today is important for two reasons. ALL of the paperwork and agreements have been signed AND the unexpected move by Le Boat to move its North American headquarters from Florida to Smiths Falls.  This is great news!

Here is the media release:


European boating operator moves N.A. headquarters to Smiths Falls, Ontario

TORONTO – May 12, 2017 – Le Boat, Europe’s largest operator of self-drive boating vacations, has officially signed the lease for its first North American base of operations in Smiths Falls, Ontario. Scheduled to open on Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal in 2018, the European boating company is also moving its North American headquarters from Clearwater, Florida, to the picturesque province.

The $16 million investment in the “Heart of the Rideau Canal” is expected to attract thousands of vacationers of all ages from the U.S., Canada, Germany, France, and many other locations around the world. It will open with a fleet of 16 state-of-the-art Horizon cruisers offering a high level of comfort with large forward staterooms, roomy top-deck areas and, diverse amenities. According to Le Boat’s projections for the next five years, the company will expand this fleet to at least 32 cruises by the end of 2023.

“We are extremely thrilled to have officially signed the lease in Canada for our first ever North American base of operations,” said Cheryl Brown, Managing Director at Le Boat. “We have received very positive feedback from our European and U.S. customers with most them saying they would travel to Ontario for a boating holiday. With our extensive marketing initiatives and strategic partnerships, we expect to see growing global demands over the next few years for this new uniquely Canadian experience.”

Anticipated to contribute millions of dollars to the local economy through tourism, job growth, and supply chain support, Le Boat’s presence in the community is welcomed.

“I am pleased that Le Boat will operate their first ever North American operation right here in Ontario,” said Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “This new tourism experience will showcase the breathtaking beauty of the Rideau Canal to visitors from around the world, while also boosting the local economy and supporting job creation in eastern Ontario.”

Le Boat has worked closely with the Province of Ontario, Parks Canada and with the towns of Smiths Falls and Perth, along with the Leeds Grenville communities of Leeds and the Thousand Islands, Merrickville-Wolford, North Grenville, Rideau Lakes and Westport to create an exciting new boating holiday experience on the Rideau Canal.

Bookings will begin on May 15, 2017, with the boating season officially launching in May 2018 and running through October every year.

About Le Boat
Le Boat is the leading self-drive boating rental company, with more than 40 years of experience in the industry, operating its own fleet of 900 self-drive cruisers from a network of over 37 different departure bases across eight European countries. Renters can sleep on board in 5-Star comfort and style, saving substantially on hotel costs. All boats feature fully equipped kitchens, comfortable furnishings, showers and bathrooms, and warm air heating. They also feature air-conditioning, depending on the model.  No experience or boating license is necessary. Instructions and an orientation are provided to first-time renters, ensuring they get the most out of their boating vacation. Unlike conventional cruises that follow a pre-planned itinerary, Le Boat provides guests with suggested itineraries but allows them to visit the towns and attractions that most interest them on a particular route.  For more information, call toll-free at 1-800-734-5491 or visit www.leboat.com.

The 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail 2017 is open

I was at the opening of the 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail at Fulford Place in Brockville this morning.  This is a wonderful garden trail that features 14 breath taking gardens.  Only thing missing????  A Westport garden on the trail!  Here is the link:  www.gardentrail.1000islandsandrideaucanal.comwww.gardentrail.1000islandsandrideaucanal.com

BROCKVILLE – The 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail is entering its third year and adds Fulford Place National Historic Site to its line-up. The Garden Trail links private and public gardens and garden centre displays throughout Leeds Grenville.  This year, Fulford Place National Historic Site and its Olmsted Gardens have officially become part of trail.

Originally designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Olmsted, the Italianate-style gardens include an elaborate triton fountain and statuary with stone walls and gates surrounding the 20,000 square-foot mansion. Self-guided tour pamphlets will be available at the visitor entrance during hours of operation. Olmstead’s fame is connected to the design of Central Park in New York City. Restoration of the Fulford gardens was one of the Ontario Heritage Trust’s most exciting heritage garden conservancy projects.

The launch highlighted the 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail as the only trail in the country to be honoured with the ‘Canada 150 Garden Experience’ Designation. Awarded in March from the Canadian Garden Council in collaboration with the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, it recognized the trail’s garden experience as an activity of choice for garden lovers from near and far. “The designation speaks to the calibre of the trail and quality of the gardens,” says Robin Jones, Warden of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville.

The Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office launched the trail in 2015 with 9 gardens that has now grown to 14 unique gardens with added experiences including native butterflies, honeybees and birds, a monarch butterfly Way Station, fountains, ponds, contemporary art exhibits, statuary and so much more.

1000 Islands Rideau Canal Garden Trail Launch DC.jpg