Discover Fascinating Information about the 1000 Islands

Ever wonder how big the ships are that pass through the St. Lawrence River? Or what types of whales have called it home? What about the number of shipwrecks that haunt Lake Ontario and the 1000 Islands?

The Aquatarium encourages hands-on learning and discovery enriched by fascinating factual information. Learn interesting tidbits of information that will leave you hungering for more. The 1000 Islands and St. Lawrence River are home to extensive cultural history with rich and unique biodiversity, and our compiled Aqua Facts are just an introduction to all there is to discover!

River Otters:

  • River otters can stay underwater for up to eight minutes!
  • River otters can dive to depths of up to 60 feet.
  • Otters swim at speeds of up to 10 kilometers per hour.
  • The otter’s signature “slide” down the banks of the St. Lawrence River isn’t just about fun and games: it’s the most efficient way for them to cover large distances to trap prey in a variety of locations throughout the 1000 Islands of Ontario’s ecosystem.

St. Lawrence River:

  • The St. Lawrence River is 1,197 km long, approximately the same driving distance from Brockville, ON to Moncton, NB.
  • Today, the St. Lawrence Seaway allows ships to travel as far inland as Lake Superior, a total of 3,058km.
  • Cargo shipping on the St. Lawrence Seaway-Great Lakes system generates nearly $35 billion of economic activity for both Canada and the U.S.
  • The St. Lawrence River is home to over 80 species of fish, as well as threatened and endangered animals like the bald eagle and Blanding’s turtle.


  • Freshwater fishes, including many of those native to the 1000 Islands region, comprise more than 6 percent of the world’s protein supply for human consumption.
  • Fish make up a crucial link between ecosystems when humans consume them: they transport nutrient-dense materials across the boundary between land and water.
  • Despite its none-too-appetizing name, both expert and novice anglers prize the black crappie, a native regional freshwater fish, for its excellent eating quality and relative abundance in the 1000 Islands.

Flora and Fauna:

  • Over 80 species of fish have been identified in the St. Lawrence River.
  • The St. Lawrence River is also a native habitat to several at-risk species, such as American Ginseng, Blanding’s Turtle, the Monarch Butterfly and the Eastern Rat Snake.
  • Bald eagles weren’t seen in the area for a long time, but now, they are making a comeback. Keep a sharp lookout and you just might spot one!

1000 Islands:

  • There are 1864 Islands in the 1000 Islands. To be classified as an island, the island must be above water level year round; have an area greater than 1 square foot (0.093 m2); and support at least one living tree.
  • You guessed it: the 1000 Islands of Ontario lent their name to the popular salad dressing. A steward of the owner of Boldt Castle, Oscar Tschirky, concocted the tasty dressing.
  • The 1000 Islands archipelago is formed at the intersection of two great geological features: the Canadian Shield to the north and the Adirondacks to the south.
  • In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the area was a hugely popular summer resort, home to an array of grand hotels and other attractions in the 1000 Islands catering to the toniest tourists and other well-to-do landowners of both Canadian and American heritage.