MALLORYTOWN, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 28, 2013) - Today, on behalf of the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Mr. Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville, officially unveiled Thousand Islands National Park of Canada. With Royal Assent of the Private Members Bill-C370 yesterday at 4 p.m., the name of St. Lawrence Islands National Park was officially changed to Thousand Islands National Park of Canada.
"The name Thousand Islands National Park will help this national park renew its place in the consciousness of Canadians and inspire future generations to continue support for this long established protected treasure," said MP Brown. "The Thousand Islands is known throughout the world as a tourism destination, and Parks Canada can now take advantage of this strong brand and align their public offering with those of other regional tourism providers."
The initiative to rename the park was led by MP Gord Brown. After consulting with local municipalities, business organizations and the Park, he introduced the name change as a bill in parliament. The new name better associates the park with its setting and helps promote and support natural and cultural tourism and related businesses within the Thousand Islands region.
"This name change presents an opportunity to renew Canadians' passion and support for our country's treasured natural spaces," said Minister Kent. "Placing Thousand Islands National Park on the map is a small but significant step that will help enhance public awareness of this incredible park."
Thousand Islands is an internationally recognized brand and with this name change, Parks Canada will contribute its known quality of service, and its ability to work with private companies to offer incredible experiences for Canadians and international visitors.
Parks Canada works to ensure Canada's historic and natural heritage is protected and, through a network of 44 national parks, 167 national historic sites, and four national marine conservation areas, invites Canadians and people around the world to engage in personal moments of inspiring discovery at our country's treasured natural and historic places.
For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room.
Thousand Islands National Park
Established in 1904 St. Lawrence Islands National Park was created greatly due to the efforts of community residents to have a national park in the area. It is unclear why the name St. Lawrence Islands National Park was selected as the original park name, although historical records refer to the area as "islands situated in the River St. Lawrence" and "islands in the St. Lawrence which comprise the Thousand Islands Group."
Thousand Islands National Park began with a small piece of waterfront property granted to the federal government by the Mallory family, with the stipulation that it be used for "park purposes." Over the years, more islands and land parcels were added. Today, the park consists of all or parts of 26 islands and 80 islets and shoals located along a 100-kilometre stretch of the St. Lawrence River between Kingston and Brockville, Ontario, as well as several mainland properties.
The park is located at the meeting point of two continental-scale biogeographic features: the St. Lawrence River and the Frontenac Arch. Both have a great influence on the biodiversity of the park. The granite-knob topography of the arch and a transition zone between boreal and deciduous forest species create a series of microhabitats which help to support one of the highest biodiversities in Canada including a high number of species at risk. The rugged nature of the Frontenac Arch has resulted in less landscape modification than in most of southern Ontario and as a result, the area remains important for many species of flora and fauna.
The Thousand Islands are considered "stepping stones" in the connectivity corridor linking Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario and Adirondack State Park in New York State. The park also represents a rich cultural landscape of human activity encompassing many generations that have connected to this place, including prehistoric and contemporary Aboriginal use, military and trade routes, early island settlement and farming, and more recently, recreational development.
Over 400,000 visitors a year experience the Thousand Islands by tour boat, travelling the St. Lawrence River among the park islands; with an average of 70,000 visitors stopping to enjoy the many offerings of Thousand Islands National Park.
As a significant protected area in the heart of the Thousand Islands, Thousand Islands National Park works to promote sustainable recreation while protecting the land and wildlife that make the area a popular tourist destination.