Diane Kirkby in her boat.
Photo Credit: Diane Kirkby

Diane Kirkby was just a few months old when she experienced her first river cruise in the 1000 Islands.

A lifelong resident of the Gananoque area of the 1000 Islands, she “cannot imagine living anywhere else.” Recently, Diane purchased a condominium suite at Stone & South on the River, CaraCo Development Corporation’s community of exclusive dockside residences on the St. Lawrence River. The choice for this condo on the waterfront was a natural for her.

“When I was just a baby, my parents bought an island,” she says, “and I lived there for the first 18 summers of my life. We travelled to town in our boats and amphicar. When I worked split shifts at my summer job, customers found it humorous that I made four trips across the river everyday, but that was normal. The river gets in your blood. My family and I, and others, were affectionately called river rats.”

She looks forward to living at Stone & South, where she can keep her boat named ‘Precious’ just outside her door. “People think boating in the 1000 Islands happens only in July and August, but the season is much longer. The earliest I’ve been on the river was late March when I was breaking ice; the latest was one New Year’s Eve. It all depends on the weather.”

A passion for travel also had much to do with Diane’s decision. “I’ve traveled to over 40 countries, yet I’ve never seen any place more beautiful than the 1000 Islands,” she said.

For the past 32 years, she has lived in a home on the St. Lawrence shoreline just east of Gananoque. After retiring from teaching Cooperative Education at Gananoque Secondary School in 2015, she ramped up her travel, sometimes going away for a week, sometimes for more than a month. She says that, “When I move in to Stone & South, I’ll be able to lock the door and leave without worrying about my home. This is so appealing in a condominium environment. I look forward to the day when I can hear my door latch go click and leave without worrying about my home.”

In addition to the natural beauty of the area, Diane points out that, “I really like that I can be in the United States by car or boat in about 15 minutes. Kingston and Ottawa are close by, and with the Via Rail stop in town and the nearby Kingston airport, I can travel to anywhere in the world very easily.”

Diane is a patron member of the Thousand Islands Playhouse, steps from Stone & South, and her advice for anyone thinking of Gananoque is to try dining out at one of her favourite restaurants, The Riva, Graydon’s at the Woodview Inn or The Maple Leaf Czech Schnitzel House.

Diane also keeps busy teaching online courses for Queen’s University. She longs for the day when she can work from her large wraparound balcony. “I will have windows facing three directions that will let in lots of natural light, and oh, the island views!” When she first learned about Stone & South going on sale, she decided to buy there before she even visited the Discovery Centre.

“I was the first purchaser. Once I looked at the plans, it was easy to decide,” she says. “I bought the 1,267 sq. ft. Camelot Island Suite Penthouse, which features an eight foot deep, 251 sq. ft. balcony, and I am looking forward to decorating my unit in a blue and white nautical theme.”

She adds, “If one lives in eastern Ontario, the CaraCo brand is well known and well respected. They have many developments throughout Kingston, and have a reputation for quality and stability.”

Prices for CaraCo’s urban rustic residences begin from $488,900. For details on Stone & South on the River, check out the Discovery Centre at 5 King Street East in Gananoque, call 613-876-2524.