A decidedly lazy lunch

Meandering along the back roads of Eastern Ontario is inevitably a day of discovery. We began our adventure less aimlessly this morning at precisely nine o’clock. Our mission was a table at the Ivy Lea Club overlooking the St Lawrence River.  It was a jaunt we estimated to take 1½ – 2 hours. Guided by our vehicle’s GPS we unwittingly ended travelling some exceptionally quaint and terribly scenic country roads we’d never before seen. Capturing once again the insightful adage about one’s own back yard. This set the atmosphere for the leisurely lunch that followed.


The weather today was ideal. The drive along the 1000 Island Parkway to the Ivy Lea Club was akin to opening a picture book. I marvelled at the distant white clouds suspended over the vast glimmering river. It was languid and peaceful.


As a result of Covid-19 it has been well over a year since we last visited the Ivy Lea Club. The trees and shrubbery appear all to have noticeably grown. Perpetual maintenance and incremental improvement are as much a part of this real estate as any other. But the hallmarks hadn’t changed.  The coffee shop and cottage canteen of superior ice cream and alimentary provisions were the same. And the river glittered among the Canadian Shield rock formations that qualify as among the 1000 islands. So too was my luncheon predominantly identical to my usual fodder; namely, a dozen fresh east coast oysters on the half shell, a Caesar salad, a lobster roll and in-house potato chips. To distinguish the meal I enjoyed a homemade lemonade which instantly identified the summertime tone. And the restaurant’s signature sticky toffee bun for dessert naturally.

On August 18, 1938, the Thousand Islands Bridge was opened, with an attendance of over 50,000 people. Prime Minister Mackenzie King and President Franklin D. Roosevelt both presided over the ceremonies. In preparation, the 13.8 km (8.6 mi) portion of the parkway west of Ivy Lea was quickly gravelled to provide access to the new bridge. Only the 2.7 km (1.7 mi) between the Ivy Lea and the bridge approach remained open following the ceremonies, however; traffic to and from the bridge accessed Highway 2 via what is now Fitzsimmons Road.