Single House Islands… So Many of Them!
Oh yeah, we were talking about the Thousand Islands. What really really enchanted me about the place were the cute little islands with just one home on them. Of course, these are summer dwellings as it will be physically impossible to live in the middle of a frozen river in the winter. Or would it? Imagine sledding to go visit your neighbour! 🙂
The most picturesque of all the houses, is this little gem, with the water and water birds almost coming up to the front steps.
In fact, if you get out of the back door, you will be stepping directly into the water!
There are no industries emitting effluence into the St. Lawrence river and the boats on the river have to adhere to strict cleanliness regulations. Also, it is a crime, punishable by law, for a resident to throw any garbage into the river. Thus the water of the St. Lawrence river is extremely clean and clear. Even at a depth of meters, you can make out the dark patches of the rocky river bottom.
Look at another red house. This one has more trees around it, and it has its own boat jetty.
This barge like house is built covering the entire width of the narrow island, like someone picked up and placed it there precisely.
Some of the large islands have common power generation facilities. And recently, underwater power connections have been introduced to a few islands located closer to the mainland. But most of the islands depend on individual generators and battery power for household needs.
See the neat boat house at the side of this house? The tree look huge, comparatively.
This house is directly under the tree. Hot summer’s day, blue chair, heavenly breeze… aah!
Perfect oval of an island. Can’t really see the boat house hidden among the trees.
There are no natural springs or waterfalls anywhere on the islands to provide drinking water. So the islanders have to bring their own water from the mainland. For cleaning and washing needs, water from the river is used.
Here is a blue house among blue waters! Step off the boat and you are directly on the deck of the house.
What do you do with your household garbage when you are located in the middle of water? And it is a crime to throw anything in the water? Not to worry, garbage collection is done regularly, by a barge nicknamed ‘honey barge’.
Here is a house located at the extreme end of the island. Also, I believe there is a pathway built to the neighbouring island.
While our boat passed by, the two guys sitting on the deck chugging beer waved to us. Many of the houses are owned by weekenders who live and work elsewhere during the week.
The Wau-Winet Island was written up in New York Times a while back.
Tourist guides on the boats always tell the story of the Zavikon Islands, owned by the same person and connected by a bridge but located in two countries. And how it is the shortest international bridge. Our guide was no exception… he spoke of the owner telling him about the convenience of being able to escape to another country for a while, whenever he had a little spat with his wife. (I could see the wistful looks on the faces of many a man on the boat!) And the boats stop around that area for a photo-op. However, that story has been debunked; both islands are in Canada!
Apparently the owner likes the fake story and is encouraging the telling of it, by displaying the different flags prominently on the little bridge.
After seeing the small houses, let’s take a look at the huge castles next.