Canada’s Dockside Theatre
The Thousand Islands Playhouse has been called “the most charming theatre in Canada.” High praise for sure, but as soon as you lay eyes on its two heritage theatre venues set against the scenic 1000 Islands backdrop, you’ll find yourself agreeing. In fact, this is the most active theatre in Eastern Ontario and is one of the top five summer festivals in Ontario, recognized along with the Shaw and Stratford Festivals. The Gananoque playhouse began life in 1982 and operates out the Springer Theatre and the smaller Firehall Theatre – that sit side by side along the banks of the St. Lawrence River.
The Springer Theatre is the Playhouse’s flagship building and was built in 1909 as the Gananoque Canoe Club. All of the theatre’s vintage, turn-of-the-century boathouse craftsmanship has been preserved. Inside, the auditorium seats 360 and features a grand arched stage. Before your show starts, or during intermission, you can walk the Springer Theatre’s long outer decks, feel the breeze coming off the water and take in a perfect panoramic view of the St. Lawrence and its 1000 Islands.
The Firehall Theatre is just slightly up the street, sits this historic building, built back in 1913 as the Gananoque Police Station and Firehouse. Here, theatre is a more intimate affair and this location hosts many community events and concerts.